A view of an exterior of the New York University Abu Dhabi campus on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.
A view of an exterior of the New York University Abu Dhabi campus on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.

The 2016 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award Announces Winners

Record number of entries in award’s fourth year

Press Release

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, announces the winning entries for The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2016.
The entry titled ‘Silk Road’, submitted by students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), was selected as the winning entry out of a record number of entrants. ‘Silk Road’ is an architecturally informed interactive structure that invites audience participation. Runner-up entries included two projects from NYUAD students, ‘Wall II Window’ and ‘Nomaddwell’, along with ‘Social Translator’ from the American University of Sharjah and ‘PORTAL’ from Zayed University.

In its fourth year, the annual award aims to encourage the creation of new artwork in the UAE as well as to give young artists a platform to launch a career in the arts and the experience of working on a live project with the support of industry professionals. The winners receive USD $5,000 to realize their work and $10,000 towards advancing their careers, along with an invitation by Christo to attend The Floating Piers in Italy in June 2016. The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2016 was open to UAE residents and full-time students who are currently in higher education institutions or have graduated in the past five years.

NYUAD’s Provost Fabio Piano, who was a member of the selection committee, said: "The steering committee was consistently impressed by the quality and the level of creativity of this year's entries. While each submission demonstrated its own unique artistry, the winning entry ultimately inspired us with a beautiful, formative concept and thorough, well considered plans for bringing it to life."

Award Director Emily Doherty, said: “This was a standout year for The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award with a record breaking 54 entrants. In the four years since the Award was established, over 3,000 UAE students have been involved and 135 have submitted entries from 38 different nationalities. We are thankful to all who participated, including the student mentors without whom this award could not happen.”

Christo commented: “When I first came to Abu Dhabi in 1979, I was impressed by this incredible place even back then. Thirty-six years on, it is so impressive to see this many students entering the award, and I am happy to do what I can to support the next generation of young artists and art lovers across the UAE."

The winning work will be unveiled at the NYUAD campus in April 2016 and will later tour a number of locations around the UAE.

Below is a full list of the 2016 award winning entries, student names and mentors:
Winning entry:


American University of Sharjah
SILK ROAD - Mohammad Z I Abualhuda (Jordan), Khalid Khairi Al Tamimi (Jordan), Ghanem Mohamed Younes (Egypt)
Mentor – Marcus Farr

Runners up:
New York University Abu Dhabi
WALL II WINDOW - Jiwon Shin (Republic of Korea)
Mentor – Scott Fitzgerald

New York University Abu Dhabi
NOMADDWELL - Brittany Trilford (New Zealand), Frederik Brinck Jensen (Denmark)
Mentor – David Darts

American University of Sharjah
SOCIAL TRANSLATOR - Sultan Al Mutairi (Saudi Arabia), Tigran Kostandyan (Armenia), Farah Khoury (Iraq)
Mentor – Daniel Chavez

Zayed University
PORTAL - Khulood Al Rais (UAE)
Mentor – Rahul Malpure


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.