Christo Award goes to three NYUAD undergrads

The winners of the tenth edition of The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award have been named as three NYUAD sophomore undergraduates – Emirati national Roudhah Al Mazrouei, Gerald Jason Cruz from the Philippines, and Jennifer Tsai from Taiwan (left to right in the pic above).

Their submission, Urban Fabric, is a series of four sculptures resembling pieces of thread. We’re not allowed to see it yet (it will go on public view in November) but apparently the 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 seeks to create a dynamic and thought-provoking space that invites interaction, and it has obvious relevance to the connections that can bind together individuals from different places (such as the UAE, the Philippines and Taiwan).

The trio, who combine a variety of majors – Civil Engineering, Arts, Art History – already have a winning project under their belts: Al Mazrouei, Cruz, and Tsai were the recipients of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Art Pavilion Prize. Their project, Impermanence (right, albeit in a snap that doesn’t do it justice), was built and used during the Abu Dhabi Art Fair last November (the Pavilion Prize is awarded to UAE university students for a structure that provides the entrance to the Fair: their concept was designed to disappear completely after the event, being made of completely demountable scaffolding and canvas).

Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery Maya Allison said she was continually 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 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.”

The winning artists have been given $10,000 to complete their installation. They’ll work under 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.

Urban Fabric will be installed at NYU Abu Dhabi’s campus in November for public viewing. Incidentally, submissions are still open for the current Abu Dhabi Art Pavilion Prize – register by 20 June, submit a proposal before 25 July 2022. Details and entry form here.

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