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Egyptian artist among 2012 Abraaj Capital prize winners

Wael Shawky takes home this year's ACAP prize along with artists from Palestine, Lebanon and Pakistan

Ahram Online, Thursday 6 Oct 2011
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The Abraaj Capital Art Prize (ACAP), now in its fourth year, announced on Thursday its five winning artists for 2012. Egyptian artist Wael Shawky was among the winners.

The artists, who were selected from a record number of submissions this year, are currently working on their proposed pieces, which will be unveiled at the Art Dubai exhibition next March. The artwork will become permanent additions to the Abraaj Capital art collection.

The 2012 winners are an internationally-acclaimed and diverse group who combine outstanding artistic ability with a desire to engage and champion the arts throughout the region. All the winners have a strong exhibition history both regionally and internationally and are actively involved in inspiring the next generation of regional artists.

“We have an outstanding group of winners this year who come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and are actively engaged in developing dynamic cultural experiences within the arts sector in their respective home countries,” ACAP Chairperson Savita Apte said.

Along with Shawky, this year’s winning artists are Taysir Batniji from Palestine; Joana Hadjithomas, Raed Yassin and Khalil Joreige from Lebanon; and Risham Syed from Pakistan.

This year’s winners will work with a guest curator who for the first time was selected through an open submission process.

“It will be exciting to see how these five artists will work with our guest curator for the collaboration that will be unveiled at Art Dubai,” said Apte.

Many former ACAP winners have gone on to achieve further accolades in the art world. 2009 winner Nazgol Ansarinia currently has a solo project at the Istanbul Biennial (along with 2012 winners Taysir Bayniji and Wael Shawky). 2011 winner Nadia Kaabi-Linke, meanwhile, is currently a resident at the Delfina Foundation.

ACAP artwork is regularly exhibited in international venues. ‘The Future of a Promise’ exhibition by Nadia Kaabi-Linke and Jananne Al-Ani, for example, is now showing  in Venice (until November), while the work of Hala Elkoussy is currently showing at City Hall as part of London’s Shubbak Festival.

The Abraaj Capital Art Prize was founded in 2008 and is now in its fourth edition. The annual event is meant to reflect Abraaj Capital’s dedication to realising the region’s artistic potential and providing talented artists with the opportunity to showcase the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions.

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