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NYU Abu Dhabi Students Win The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2022

by Eddie Rayner

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), has announced the winners of the tenth edition of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2022: NYUAD sophomore undergraduate students Roudhah Al Mazrouei, an Emirati national, Gerald Jason Cruz from the Philippines, and Jennifer Tsai from Taiwan are the winning artists.

Their submission, entitled Urban Fabric, is a series of four sculptures resembling pieces of thread. These forms are intertwined and interlaced into the ground, turning the physical environment around the art piece into a canvas that the thread is woven into, linking each piece together. The installation is designed in a way that encourages interaction as it seeks to create a dynamic and thought-provoking space. It will be available for viewing throughout November at NYUAD’s campus.

The winning installation is inspired by the overarching idea of interconnectedness and is an attempt by the artists to bring art closer to more people

Jason Cruz

The winning trio hail from a diverse range of majors, from Civil Engineering to Arts and Art History. They formed a group to combine their expertise in engineering, visual arts, and architecture to create unique and intricate works of design. Al Mazrouei, Cruz, and Tsai were the recipients of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Art Pavilion Prize where their proposal, Impermanence, was built and exhibited during the Abu Dhabi Art Fair in November 2021.

H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said: “The Christo & Jeanne-Claude Award is an integral part of ADMAF’s commitment to nurturing creativity and innovation among the nation’s youth. The award is a platform for the UAE’s young artists to exhibit their work and provides guidance and support to help them realise their dreams and ambitions. This year’s winning submission, Urban Fabric, by NYUAD students Roudhah Al Mazrouei, Jason Cruz and Jennifer Tsai represents connection, diversity, and the inclusive nature of our beloved city and we are delighted to partner with NYU Abu Dhabi once more to help bring their unique project to life.”

‘Urban Fabric’ will be available for viewing at NYU Abu Dhabi’s campus in November

Jennifer Tsai

Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery and the University’s Chief Curator Maya Allison said: “Every year I am impressed by the creativity, inspiration, and initiative demonstrated by young talent during The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award. This year, we are delighted to have NYUAD students being awarded for an art piece that in their own words embodies the overarching idea of interconnectedness. I love the idea of four sculptures that play with the environment of the site, suggesting the landscape itself as a kind of fabric. The decentralised nature of the design connects locations that are far away from each other and yet linked through the fabric that is the city of Abu Dhabi.”

This year marks the Award’s tenth edition

The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award Director Emily Doherty added: “Christo is committed to supporting the next generation of artists and creative practitioners in the UAE. This year is our tenth edition of the Award and in the spirit of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s legacy, Urban Fabric is a public art installation that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

The winning artists have been awarded $10,000 to complete their installation with the guidance of experts including the Award’s Director Emily Doherty, The NYUAD Art Gallery team, NYUAD’s Visual Arts faculty, and the award team at ADMAF.

For more information visit: https://www.nyuad-artgallery.org/en_US/christo-award/about-christo-and-jeanne-claude/