Pakistani artist Ghulam Mohammad has won the £25,000 Jameel Prize 4. His five works of paper collage, four Untitled and one with the title Gunjaan (2014) clinched him the prize, which was announced last night in Istanbul.
Mohammad’s work is incredibly intricate - he collects second hand books from markets and painstakingly cuts out individual letters from the pages and then uses these tiny pieces of fragile paper to make up collages, imbuing new meaning to the original letters.
In a statement released by the Victoria and Albert Museum yesterday, it was revealed that the judges felt that Mohammad’s work stood out for its excellence of concept and execution. He trained in the Islamic tradition of miniature painting, and, in his diminutive works in paper collage, he developed a medium that reflects that tradition in terms of his approach and the scale on which he works. The judges were particularly moved by the paradox between the intensity and the modesty of his collages.
Ayşe and Ece Ege, founders of Turkish fashion label Dice Kayek and winners of Jameel Prize 3, presented Ghulam Mohammad with the Prize at a ceremony at the Pera Museum, Istanbul.
Martin Roth, Director of the V&A and chair of the panel of judges, said, “As in previous Prizes, selecting the winner was extremely difficult, given the very high standard of the shortlisted work. Over the four cycles of the Jameel Prize so far, the award has been made to artists and designers at every stage of their creative lives. I am pleased to see that Jameel Prize 4 has been won by such a promisıng young artist at the beginning of his career.”
Fady Jameel, President of Community Jameel International, said, “We would like to congratulate Ghulam Mohammad, the first artist from Pakistan to win the Jameel Prize. Using second-hand books, Mohammad’s intricate collages of paper cuttings of Urdu script pasted on Wasli paper create new meanings and celebrate the great heritage of Islamic art, craft and design. The vision of the Jameel Prize is to promote artists who explore traditional Islamic influences through contemporary art.”