Abu Dhabi: NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF), has announced the winners of the 11th edition of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2023.
The winning artists are NYUAD graduate Ms. Vivi Zhu, a Chinese-born award-winning documentary filmmaker, artist, and social entrepreneur, University of Sharjah graduate Ms. Hala El Abora, a Palestinian Jordanian artist living and working in Dubai, and Mr. Majd Alloush, a Syrian artist who holds a BFA from the University of Sharjah.
Their submission, titled Shaheeq, borrows wisdom from the mangrove trees around the UAE landscape and hopes to inspire the viewer to acknowledge and maintain the solutions already activated in our environment and to illuminate a philosophy towards metaphysical grief caused by the climate crisis.
Ms. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, commented that “we are pleased to partner with NYU Abu Dhabi on the 11th edition of the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, to empower the next generation of young visionary artists in the UAE to realise their dreams and ambitions.”
Ms. Maya Allison, Executive Director of the NYUAD Art Gallery and the university’s Chief Curator, said: “I am inspired by the talent of young artists in the UAE, as with the winning proposal for Shaheeq. The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award was established to support the next generation of creative practitioners in the UAE, whose voices must be heard and stories told. There is no story bigger for this generation than climate change and the need to imagine a more sustainable future.”
Ms. Emily Doherty, The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award Director, remarked that “the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award will be eleven years old in 2023, making it one of the longest-running art awards in the country and certainly unique in its championing of emerging artists in the region. Our winners this year, Majd, Vivi, and Hala, now embark on an eight-month production period, supported by both the NYUAD Gallery team and the artists’ mentor, Dale Hudson, to realise their work.”
Produced annually since 2013, in collaboration with the NYUAD Art Gallery, The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award serves as a launch pad for artists across the emirates, encouraging new artwork and offering winners insight into professional life as an artist, from commission to exhibition. The programme is open to UAE-based students and recent graduates.