Winners of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2020 Announced

Sara Mohamed from Egypt and Laura AlDhahi from Kuwait

The winning submission, Haweia – an Arabic term meaning identity – will officially be unveiled at NYU Abu Dhabi in November 2020

Press Release

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), has announced the winners of the eighth edition of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2020. The winning trio are architecture students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS): Sara Mohamed from Egypt, Laura AlDhahi from Kuwait, and Sahil Rattha Singh from India. 

The winning submission, titled Haweia – an Arabic term meaning “identity” – will be a sculptural installation with a smooth exterior façade of folded aluminum, contrasted with a complex interior of reflective surfaces and fins. The installation will serve as a lens through which visitors can contemplate their inner selves and discover different configurations of their Haweia as they move around and inside the piece. Haweia will officially be unveiled at NYUAD in November 2020, prior to the installation being taken on tour to Abu Dhabi Art and Umm Al Emarat Park.

H.E. Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation said: “Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award in its eighth edition is evidence of the continued momentum cultural work has in spite of the difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. This Award reaffirms the value of culture as well as the aesthetic value of the arts."

Sahil Rattha Singh from India

The winners have been awarded USD 10,000 to complete their installation, working closely with museum professionals from The NYUAD Art Gallery alongside their mentor, Associate Professor at the American University of Sharjah’s Department of Architecture, Jason Carlow.

 

“I have been genuinely impressed by the resourcefulness and commitment of these artists, which have not faded with the arrival of the pandemic. This difficult time has created a challenging environment for art production, and yet, even as they finish their college year remotely, they have still managed to launch the project plan and production. Our team has set up video-conference mentoring, reviewing materials, and plans. Thus, once again, The Christo Award process allows young artists to experience the real world of making a major project, including joining us in facing the great unknowns that can emerge at a time like this.”

Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery Maya Allison

Members of this year’s selection committee included ADMAF Founder H.E. Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, NYUAD Provost Fabio Piano, Director of Abu Dhabi Art Dyala Nusseibeh, artist Azza Al Qubaisi, and guest juror Kevin Jones, founder of Juniper Mind.

The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award is open to UAE-based students and recent graduates and was established as a launch pad for visual artists across the Emirates, encouraging new artwork and offering winners an insight into professional life as an artist from commission to exhibition.


About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.