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Winning artwork ‘Wihda (Unity)’ was displayed at Emirates Palace during the Abu Dhabi Festival

Huda & Mohamed Kanoo Award 2017 16th Apr 2017

Huda & Mohamed Kanoo Award 2017 bestowed upon American University of Sharjah Students following art exhibit at Abu Dhabi Festival

Following the presentation of the winning artwork – ‘Wihda (Unity)’ – at Emirates Palace during Abu Dhabi Festival, on March 31 The Huda and Mohamed Kanoo Award 2017 was presented to American University of Sharjah students Mohammad Abualhuda, Raghad Alali and Mohammad Rowaizak. The Award was presented to the students by philanthropist H.E. Huda Ebrahim Alkhamis, Founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival and Mohamed Abdul Latif Kanoo, prominent businessman and acclaimed artist.


The Huda and Mohamed Kanoo Award was established in 1998 and exists to support and elevate the profile of exceptional creative endeavours that possess a significant cultural message relevant to the UAE. The Award recognises that cultural expression has a powerful role in exploring essential social values.


‘Wihda (Unity)is an intricate, stainless steel sculpture that reflects upon the virtue of tolerance, the theme of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Festival. It has been enjoyed by Festival audiences during its presentation at the entrance of Emirates Palace, prompting conversations and underscoring culture’s role in articulating the values around social unity.


H.E. Huda Ebrahim Alkhamis said, “Art, regardless of form, has a capacity to communicate across language barriers and to bring people together around shared human truths. The essence of ‘Wihda (Unity)’ is both timely and timeless, expressing a central principal of Islamic society, a fundamental of the UAE’s vision and gesturing to a spirit of tolerance that is vital in today’s world.”


Mohamed Abdul Latif Kanoo said, “’Wihda (Unity)’ achieves the elusive balance between concept and execution. At proposal stage, the artwork clearly possessed exceptional clarity of vision, articulating a complex concept in a way that was both accessible and nuanced. The final realisation displays a technical proficiency and exactness far beyond the students’ years. ‘Wihda (Unity)’ is beautiful, engaging and has a profound meaning.”


Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS said, “We are proud of our students’ success in winning the prestigious Huda and Mohamed Kanoo Award. Our College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) is known throughout the region for the creativity, innovation and academic excellence of its students and the high quality of its faculty members and this win endorses that reputation.”


The multi-cellular sphere reflects diverse unity and unified diversity and was created by the three students, who are fourth year architecture majors at AUS, with the support of their mentors, Assistant Professors of Architecture Camilo Cerro and Mathew Trimble. The work was shortlisted for The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2017.


"Although we faced a few challenges initially, with the support of the faculty at CAAD, we were able to turn these challenges, such as choice of materials and assembly of systems, into opportunities and they became strong elements in the project. Overall, we found the process extremely enriching," the winning team members said.


The artwork was exhibited as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival which is presented and organised by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. ADMAF is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision.