N S Harsha wins 3rd Artes Mundi Prize

N S Harsha wins 3rd Artes Mundi Prize

Artes Mundi

Come give us a speech (detail) 2008 N S Harsha

May 8, 2008

N S Harsha wins 3rd Artes Mundi Prize


The prestigious 40,000 GBP Artes Mundi Prize has been awarded to Indian artist N S Harsha. At an award ceremony on 24 April 2008 at National Museum Cardiff, Jack Persekian, Chairman of the Judging Panel, fellow judge Xu Bing and Sir Robert Finch, Chairman of Liberty International and representing St David’s 2, Artes Mundi’s principal sponsor, presented Harsha with the award.

N. S. Harsha is a skilled story teller, combining details of everyday life in his native India with world events and images we have seen on the news. He has turned the Indian tradition of miniature painting into a form that enables him to mix the local with the universal. He uses it to draw our attention to the whimsical, the absurd as much as the tragic and to the internationally significant. He could be described as an artist / philosopher and without judgement, enables us to reflect on the world around us.

“The panel of judges acknowledged the work of all the artists and found coming to a decision extremely challenging” said Jack Persekian. “We based our decision on the artists’ work over the last 5-8 years and were particularly interested in work that added to our understanding of humanity and the human condition.”

In awarding the prize to N S Harsha, the panel were impressed by the scope of his work and its range and variety of approach, from painting and installation to community activities. “Basing his work upon his locality, cultural traditions and the shifting world of today, Harsha engages and connects with an ever broadening public” said Persekian. The panel stressed the strength of the exhibition at National Museum Cardiff and admired the outstanding presentations by each of the shortlisted artists.

The members of the Artes Mundi 3 Prize Jury were Jack Persekian, Director of the Sharjah Biennale; the Chinese artist Xu Bing, winner of the first Artes Mundi Prize in 2004 and now vice president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Tuula Arkio, freelance curator, writer and former General Director of the National Art Galleries, Helsinki; and David Alston, curator and Arts Director for the Arts Council of Wales.

The nine artists shortlisted for the Artes Mundi 3 Prize were Lida Abdul, Vasco Araújo, Mircea Cantor, Dalziel + Scullion, N.S. Harsha, Abdoulaye Konaté, Susan Norrie and Rosângela Rennó.

Artes Mundi Wales International Visual Art Prize. Awarded every two years, the 40,000 GBP Artes Mundi Prize is the largest international art prize in the UK 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 Prize in 2006.

Artes Mundi 3 exhibition runs to 8 June 2008 at National Museum Cardiff and features major works by the nine shortlisted artists.

Artes Mundi organises a two year programme of art, education and work in communities which culminates in the Artes Mundi Exhibition and Prize.

Artes Mundi 3
National Museum Cardiff
Cathays Park, Cardiff,
Wales, UK CF10 3NP

+44 (0)2920 397 951
Open 10am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays
Admission Free

Artes Mundi core supporters: Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff Council, Arts Council of Wales, BBC Wales, National Museum Wales and The Derek Williams Trust.

Artes Mundi 3 principal sponsor: St David’s 2
Artes Mundi 3 major sponsors: Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, Gerald Eve and Arts & Business.

Media partners: Western Mail and Sky Arts

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May 8, 2008

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