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  • Oct 06, 2017

Lawrence Abu Hamdan Wins 2018 Abraaj Group Art Prize

Portrait of LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN, winner of the 2018 Abraaj Group Art Prize. Photo by Eric T. White. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

British-Lebanese artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Abraaj Group Art Prize, receiving USD 100,000 which is to be used for a new project. Shortlisted artists include Neïl Beloufa, Basma Alsharif and Ali Cherri, who will each receive USD 10,000. The artists were selected from a record number of applications from 65 countries by a panel of seven jurors, including curators Dana Farouki, Stuart Comer, artist Rashid Rana, writer and editor Myrna Ayad, Fayeeza Naqvi, chairman of the Aman Foundation, Zeina Arida, director of the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum and Frederic Sicre, managing director at Abraaj.  Abu Hamdan’s works will be displayed at the upcoming Abraaj Group Art Prize exhibition at Art Dubai 2018, which is slated to happen between March 21 and 24.

In a statement released on October 4, Abu Hamdan said, “I am delighted to be chosen as the winner of the Abraaj Group Art Prize [. . .] that has been granted to many excellent artists over the years. The Prize allows me to produce and conceive a work using materials and technologies previously unavailable to me, and in doing so enables me to deepen my exploration of the most contemporary ways of seeing and hearing our world. I very much appreciate this generous opportunity and I am honoured by the jury’s selection to support the production of an ambitious new artwork.”

Abu Hamdan’s work focuses on the interplay of noise and silence in conflicts, involving research into sound and surveillance technologies used in both war zones and civil society. The Berlin-based artist’s vast oeuvre includes audiovisual installations, cassette tape compositions, graphic works, performances, photography, Islamic sermons as well as essays and lectures. He has previously been the recipient of the 2016 Nam June Paik Award and also won the short film award at this year's Rotterdam International Film Festival. His works are part of the collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven, Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Arts Council in England.

Abu Hamdan joins the ranks of previous recipients Rana Begum, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Yto Barrada, and Vartan Avakian, among others.

Alice Dingle is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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