Art Jameel, an initiative of Community Jameel, recently concluded its Jameel Prize 4 competition, a biannual international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. Organized by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), with shortlisted works hosted at the Pera Museum in Istanbul, the aim of the contest is to explore the relationship between Islamic traditions of art, craft and design in a contemporary context.

Supported by Art Jameel, the £25,000 Jameel Prize was conceived after the renovation of the V&A’s Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art, which opened in July 2006 and will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer. The gallery features an outstanding presentation of the Islamic Middle East’s rich artistic heritage, and the biannual Prize aims to raise awareness of the thriving interaction between contemporary practice and the great historical legacy of the region. It has also contributed to a broader understanding of Islamic culture globally.

Commenting on the Prize, Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said:

“Art Jameel is committed to supporting contemporary arts and culture, and the vision of the Jameel Prize is to promote artists who celebrate the great heritage of Islamic art, craft and design through contemporary mediums. This is the first year that the Jameel Prize exhibition is being hosted in the region, outside the V&A, and we look forward to taking it to further venues around the world.”

Over 280 nominations for the Jameel Prize 4 were received and 11 artists and designers were shortlisted from countries as far ranging as Afghanistan, Mali, Puerto Rico and Thailand. Works on show will range from delicate paper collages, animated video installation with marionettes and from ceramics, calligraphy, sculpture and artist’s books.

The winner was decided by a panel of judges chaired by Martin Roth, Director of the V&A. The judges selected Ghulam Mohammad as the winner of the Jameel Prize 4 for his five works of paper collage. The judges felt that Ghulam Mohammad’s work stood out for its excellence of concept and execution. He trained in the Islamic tradition of miniature painting, and he developed a medium that reflects that tradition in terms of his approach and the scale on which he works.

Roth commented: “As in previous Prizes, selecting the winner was extremely difficult, given the very high standard of the shortlisted work. Over the four cycles of the Jameel Prize so far, the award has been made to artists and designers at every stage of their creative lives. I am pleased to see that Jameel Prize 4 has been won by such a promisıng young artist at the beginning of his career.”

In addition to Roth, judges included Alan Caiger-Smith, studio potter; Ece and Ayşe Ege, founders of the fashion label Dice Kayek and winners of Jameel Prize 3; Rose Issa, curator, writer, publisher and producer; Hammad Nasar, curator, writer and Head of Research and Programmes at Asia Art Archive (AAA), Hong Kong. The late Zaha Hadid, award-winning architect, was Patron of the Jameel Prize.

The Jameel Prize 4 exhibition was curated by Tim Stanley, senior curator for the V&A’s Middle Eastern collection, with Salma Tuqan, the V&A’s curator of Middle Eastern contemporary art and design. This successful collaboration with the Pera Museum is the first time that the Jameel Prize has been launched at an external venue. In the future, the exhibition will rotate between the V&A and additional guest venues globally.

The exhibition is open until 14 August 2016.