Art Jameel Photography Award winners announced

February 6, 2014 9:10 am

Art Jameel, the Arts and Culture initiative of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI), announced the 20 winners, including Saudi and expatriate photographers, of the Art Jameel Photography Award (JPA) last night. The award ceremony took place at the Park Hyatt –Al Furuseya in Jeddah on the sidelines of the Jeddah Art Week under the patronage of Minister Eng Adil Fakieh, and the deputy minister of Culture and Information Dr.Soud Katib , who himself attended the event with Sheikh Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel.

on this occasion, Sheikh Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, announced the launch of Art Jameel, the arts and culture initiatives of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives and said: “We have transformed the award this year to include all photographers in the Kingdom and make it one of Art Jameel programmes under the name of Art Jameel Photography Award with the aim to discover emerging talents, developing their skills and exhibit exceptional photographs, as well as promote photography to a diverse audience.”

Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Badawood, ALJCI Managing Director, mentioned in his speech that Art Jameel is not a new initiative but started off over 10 years ago when ALJCI renovated the Islamic art gallery at the famous Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) in London, in 2004. Later, the gallery was renamed Jameel Gallery and the Jameel Prize was launched. ALJCI continued supporting art initiatives, such as Edge of Arabia and Arabian Wings, Jeddah’s sculpture restoration project. It furthermore, launched the Jameel Photography Award, the Abdul Latif Jameel Art Olympics in Makkah and supported the launch of the First Edition initiative. ALJCI has been taking several other art and cultural programmes under its wings, such as setting up a museum of art in Dubai.

Badawood added that ALJCI’s goal was to help develop artists’ skills, and create an ideal environment, in which they could express their creativity and expose their exemplary artworks.

The expert judging panel, consisting of professional artists, examined all the submitted artworks under the artistic supervision of Arabian Wings. Photographer Hassan Mohammed Al Mubarak came first in the “Special” theme. His winning photograph was titled ‘Society Frames’, and in the “General” theme it was photographer Ahmed Ihsan Al Aphghani who claimed the first prize with a photograph titled ‘Sons of Adam’.

“I am impressed by the quality of the photographic work, which was entered into the competition this year. This is certainly proof that the level of creativity and professionalism of artists in the Kingdom, has been improving year after year,” said Lina Lazaar, Founder of Jeddah Art Week and a key member of the JPA judging panel. ”

“The remaining days of Jeddah Art Week are equally promising, an exciting display of the creative talent in our Kingdom spanning the whole gamut of art. I would like to thank ALJCI for their contribution to our ongoing partnership, which made the event possible,” she added.

The Jameel Photography award covered two themes; “Special” with its title ‘You and Me’ and the “General” theme. The winners shared the SR 85,000 worth of cash prizes intended to support them in producing exemplary photographic art. The winners’ twenty artworks in both themes, plus others, which were selected by the judging panel, will be displayed in the Arabian Wings gallery in Jeddah.

Mohammed Bahrawi, Founder of Arabian Wings for Fine Arts and curator of the award exhibition said, “The Jameel Photography Award is a significant step in supporting the development of photography in Saudi Arabia. It encourages photographers to work hard to excel. The collaboration between Arabian Wings and ALJCI in this year’s edition of the award shows how important it is that we work together to provide opportunity to Saudi talent so that, with God’s will, JPA will become an international award in the future.”

Commenting on the event, Zain Zedan, Manager of Arts and Cultural initiatives at ALJCI Saudi Arabia said: “This is the first version of the award in its new format. We are so proud of the high number of artworks that we received, and the high level of professionalism we witnessed in the competing photographs. Our foremost interest lies in supporting the art and cultural scene in our country by helping to bring more excellent artworks to the fore. We can achieve this by supporting young talent in their creativity and assisting them to present their artworks professionally.”

“At JPA, we decided to adopt international judging criteria to assess competing artworks in the two themes to reflect higher standards of creativity and professionalism. The “Special” theme ‘You and Me’ allowed artists to express the relation between things and how they are connected, whilst the ‘General’ theme showed the more common and familiar things in the society,” Zedan added.

Zedan also stated that ALJCI has provided job opportunities for talented young photographers in different fields, such as journalism and advertising, for several years now.

The Jameel Photography Award is an expanded version of the Bab Rizq Jameel Photography Award, which was launched back in 2010 and since has provided great opportunities for young photographers to present their artworks, and has helped them make photography their source of income.