2016 Prize curator Nav Haq discussed the 2016 exhibition and commissioned work with winning artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou Rahme, taking in how the diverse group of Abraaj Group Art Prize winners and short-listed artists Dina Danish, Basir Mahmoud and Mahmoud Khaled looked to dismantle structures of language and systems to question cultural normalisation.
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b.1983) work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation and performance practices. They have exhibited and performed internationally in many biennials and musuems; and they founded the sound and image performance group Tashweesh. They were fellows at Akademie der Kunste der Welt in Cologne in 2013; and recipients of the Sharjah Biennale Prize in 2015.
Egyptian artist Dina Danish studied at the American University in Cairo, and she later received her MFA from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She took part in artist residencies including the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam; Spinola Banna in Italy; PiST/// in Istanbul and A.i.R. Dubai. Her work has been internationally shown in museums and Institutions across the world.
Nav Haq is a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (MuHKA). He was previously Exhibitions Curator at Arnolfini, Bristol, and Curator at Gasworks, London. In 2012 he was a recipient of the Independent Vision Award for Curatorial Achievement, awarded by Independent Curators International, New York.
Mahmoud Khaled received a B.F.A in Painting from Alexandria University in 2004. He completed the inaugural year of the Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut in 2012. He is currently represented by Gypsum Gallery in Cairo, and lives and works between Cairo and Trondheim, Norway. His work has been widely exhibited globally.
Basir Mahmood studied in Lahore and received a yearlong fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2011. His work has been widely shown at places including: Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); and at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan (2015). He is currently represented by Grey Noise Gallery, Dubai.