Jameel Prize 5

Produced as part of Jameel Prize 5

Ran from 28 June 2018 to 25 November 2018

More about this Exhibition

Explore fashion design that elevates traditional work wear to wearable art, beside clever geometric abstraction. Encounter innovative multi-media installations and wonder at paintings inspired by Arabic illustrated manuscripts from the 13th century.


The artist Mehdi Moutashar and the architect Marina Tabassum have been announced as joint winners of the £25,000 Jameel Prize 5. This is the first time the prize has been awarded to two finalists. Fady Jameel, President of Art Jameel, presented Mehdi and Marina with the prize at an evening ceremony at the V&A on Wednesday 27 June 2018.

Mehdi received the award for his four bold works of minimalist abstraction rooted in Islamic geometry, and Marina for her visionary Bait ur Rouf mosque built in 2012 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Both winners' achievement has been to produce work of outstanding quality and contemporary relevance while demonstrating a profound understanding of the cultures from which they come. The judges felt that although working in very different fields, the joint winners had both shown the same combination of lucidity and sophistication in drawing on Islamic tradition.

This edition, selecting one winner proved extremely difficult, due to the very high standard of work in the exhibition. The joint Jameel Prize 5 winners are both in dialogue with contemporary global discourses on art and have produced exemplary work in two very different disciplines. They show an awareness of modernist practices of the 20th century, which have in turn drawn on traditions from around the world. At the same time, though, they are passionately rooted in and deeply learned about their own cultural legacies.

Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A and chair of judging panel


Mehdi Moutashar, Deux carrés dont un encadré (Two squares, one of them framed), 2017, wood, paint, elastic wire. Collection of the artist. Photo © Fabrice Leroux

Mehdi Moutashar (b. 1943, Iraq) lives and works in Arles, France. He graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts, Baghad, Iraq in 1966 and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France in 1970. He was Professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, from 1974 – 2008. Moutashar’s art lies at the confluence of two artistic traditions, the western heritage of geometric abstraction and the Islamic aesthetic tradition of geometrical order and lines. His art is a radical, geometrical abstraction with figures that are never enclosed inside the limits of a contour but open, fragmentary and constantly shifting.


Marina Tabassum, Prayer Hall, Bait ur Rouf Mosque, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2012. Photo: Sandro di Carlo Darsa. © MTA/Sandro di Carlo Darsa

Marina Tabassum (b. 1969, Dhaka, Bangladesh) lives and works in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tabassum graduated with a B.Arch from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1994. She is the principal of Marina Tabassum Architects (MTA), a company which aims to establish a global language of architecture yet rooted to the place, putting climate, materials, site, culture and local history first. As a result, projects are carefully chosen and are limited in number per year. They range from Master Planning of Eco Resorts to twelve storied residential blocks. For Jameel Prize 5, she is shortlisted for her project Bait ur Rouf Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh for which she also received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2014-2016.

The exhibition will be on display from 28 June – 25 November 2018.

Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A
Tanya Harrod, independent design historian
Salah Hassan, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
November Paynter, Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto
Ghulam Mohammad, artist and winner of Jameel Prize 4


Kamrooz Aram

Kamrooz Aram (b. 1978, Shiraz, Iran) lives and works in New York, USA. He graduated with a MFA from Columbia University in 2003. Through Aram’s diverse practice, which includes painting, collage, drawing and installation, he uses images as a tool to engage in the complicated relationship between traditional non-Western art and Western Modernism.

Kamrooz Aram, Ephesian Fog, 2016, multimedia installation. Photo courtesy of the artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai

Hayv Kahraman

Hayv Kahraman (b. 1981, Baghdad, Iraq) lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. She graduated in web design from the University of Umeå, Sweden in 2006 and in graphic design from the Accademia di Arte e Design di Firenze, Italy in 2005. Kahraman’s practice spans painting, drawing and sculpture and reflects her experience as an Iraqi refugee.

Hayv Kahraman, The Translator, from the series How Iraqi Are You?, 2015, oils on linen. Photo courtesy of Defares Collection

Hala Kaiksow

Hala Kaiksow (b. 1990) lives and works in Manama, Bahrain. She graduated with a Master of Collection Design from Polimoda, Florence, Italy in 2015 and with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Tufts University, Massachusetts, USA in 2012. Hala founded her eponymous, sustainable womenswear label in 2016. As a fashion designer, Hala borrows from her Arab heritage and works at re-contextualising it with a modern outlook. Traditional craft and handiwork is imperative to her work, incorporating traditional hand weaving but also experimenting with diversified materials and textures.

Hala Kaiksow, Shepherd's Coat and Momohiki Jumpsuit, from the Wandress Collection, 2015, wool and denim. Photo © Sergio Miranda

naqsh collective

naqsh collective was founded by sisters nermeen (b. 1980, Amman, Jordan) and nisreen (b. 1976, Amman, Jordan) Abudail in 2010 in Amman. nisreen, a qualified architect and nermeen, a graphic designer, bring together their skills to create and exhibit unique pieces of furniture, home accessories and art inspired by both contemporary and traditional Arabic aesthetics. Recently they have adopted the traditions of 18th and 19th century cross stitching embroidery from Syria and Palestine as their sole concept. The sisters document the motifs, names, stories and areas of the embroidery into digital format and then engrave the motifs onto wood, stone, brass and marble, preserving the spirit of the craft yet creating a new contemporary visual language.

naqsh collective (nisreen and nermeen abudail), shawl detail, 2015, walnut wood, paint and brass. Images courtesy of naqsh collective. Photo: Nabil Qutteineh

Younes Rahmoun

Younes Rahmoun (b. 1975, Tetouan, Morocco) lives and works in Tetouan, Morocco. Rahmoun graduated from the Institut National des Beaux-Arts de Tetouan, Morocco in 1998. Across his drawings, installations and videos, Rahmoun incorporates Sufi thought and Oriental philosophy, constantly referencing practices in Islamic art such as patterns, geometry and numbers.

Younes Rahmoun, Tâqiya-Nôr (Hat-light), 2016, multimedia installation, here shown at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Viva Arte Viva. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Imane Farès

Wardha Shabbir

Wardha Shabbir (b. 1987, Lahore, Pakistan) lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. She graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 2011, winning the Principal’s Honour Award. She is currently Visiting Lecturer in Fine Arts at the National College of Arts. Trained in traditional miniature painting, her technique consists of the coming together of countless dots as a unit to form an idea on the surface of the paper.

Wardha Shabbir, Two Pillars, 2017, paper, opaque watercolour. Courtesy of the artist. Photo © Usman Javed