Indian artist Harsha wins 40,000 pound Artes Mundi Prize

April 26th, 2008 - 11:48 am ICT by admin  

(Attn Editors: Repeating Friday story for all needing)

London, April 26 (IANS) Indian artist N.S. Harsha, who tells stories about everyday life in India through his paintings, has been awarded the prestigious 40,000 pound ($80,000) Artes Mundi Prize, considered Britain’s biggest art award. The prize was awarded to Harsha by Jack Persekian, chairman of the judging panel, and Chinese artist Xu Bing, also a judge and the winner of the first Artes Mundi Prize in 2004, at a ceremony at the National Museum Cardiff Thursday night.

Harsha is a skilled storyteller, combining details of everyday life in India with world events and images we see on the news. He uses the Indian tradition of miniature painting in a form that enables him to mix the specific with the universal.

“The panel of judges acknowledged the work of all the artists and found coming to a decision extremely challenging,” said Persekian. “We based our decision on the artists’ work over the last five-eight years and were particularly interested in work that added to our understanding of humanity and the human condition.”

The panel was impressed by the scope of Harsha’s work and its range and variety of approach, from painting and installation to community activities.

The prize awarding ceremony, sponsored by St David’s 2, was attended by nearly 200 people from the international arts and business communities.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Wales’ minister for heritage, said: “I am delighted to congratulate Indian artist N.S. Harsha on receiving this prestigious prize, it is a great achievement. Artes Mundi is an important initiative that brings together artists from across the world to engage in cultural debate and its theme of humanity allows it to capture the public imagination.”

Sir Robert Finch, chairman of Liberty International and representing St David’s Partnership, also congratulated the artist and Artes Mundi.

“This exciting exhibition and prize adds a powerful vibrancy to Cardiff and as a sponsor, St David’s 2 is delighted to be part of this cultural development in the city,” he said.

Awarded every two years, the Artes Mundi Prize is the largest international art prize in Britain and one of the largest art prizes in the world. It recognises outstanding emerging artists from around the world who discuss the human condition.

Xu Bing won the first Artes Mundi Prize in 2004 and Eija-Liisa Ahtila was awarded the second in 2006.

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