Kuwaiti and Lebanese artists nominated for prestigious £40,000 UK prize

Alia Farid and Mounira Al Solh are some of the candidates in the running to scoop the Artes Mundi award

'When It Didn't Cut' (2022) by Mounira Al Solh, who is nominated for the 10th Artes Mundi prize. Photo: Sfeir-Semler Gallery
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Artes Mundi, the biennial exhibition and prize based in Wales, has announced the shortlist for 2023.

The nominees for the 10th event include Kuwaiti-Puerto Rican artist Alia Farid and Lebanese-Dutch artist Mounira Al Solh, alongside Kurdish artist Rushdi Anwar, Colombian artist Carolina Caycedo, Mexican artist Naomi Rincon Gallardo, Taloi Havini from Papua New Guinea and Nguyen Trinh Thi from Vietnam.

Artes Mundi is one of the UK's most internationally diverse art prizes and awards the winner with a £40,000 ($50,000) windfall.

It is given in partnership with the Bagri Foundation, which focuses on Asian culture, and work by the artists will travel around Wales to five venues including the National Museum of Cardiff and MOSTYN, Llandudno.

“AM10 will prove a watershed moment for Artes Mundi,” said director Nigel Prince. “As we simultaneously celebrate the legacies of the past 20 years working with some of the most exceptional artistic voices of recent times, we look ahead with our nationwide partners to presenting work from this edition’s shortlist that will speak to the urgent issues of our times in the most immediate of ways.”

Nguyen Trinh Thi's early video installation 'UNSUBTITLED' (2010), shown at Nha San Studio in Hanoi. Photo: Jamie Maxtone-Graham

Artes Mundi has provided exhibitions to many artists at important stages of their careers, such as Theaster Gates, whose exhibition Black Chapel opens at the Serpentine Pavilion in London this week, and Dineo Seshee Bopape, whose installation was a star of the Sharjah Biennial in 2017.

The exhibition’s range has seen it challenge traditional British art awards such as Tate’s Turner Prize. And, despite it's location in Wales leaving it far away from the centre of UK's art scene in London, it is closely followed.

The selectors for this year are Zoe Butt, one of the curators of the 2019 Sharjah Biennial, Katya Garcia-Anton, Wanda Nanibush and Gabi Ngcobo.

Work by Kuwaiti-Puerto Rican artist Alia Farid, on view as part of her solo exhibition, In Lieu of What Is, at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, this year. Photo: Alia Farid

“In deliberating on our finalist selection, we were inspired by the opening up of ideas about connections to land, contested territories and histories, the questioning of nationhood and its environmental impact, and of how these ideas challenge preconceived notions of identity and belonging,” the four said in a statement.

The winner of the prize will be announced during the run of the show.

AM10 will be on view from October, 2023, to March, 2024.

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