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Prestigious 40,000 Pound Artes Mundi Prize Awarded to Indian Artist N S Harsha
N S Harsha. Come give us a speech - 2007-8. Six panels - acrylic. The school within - 2008. (on floor). Floor painting with cushions


LONDON.- The prestigious Artes Mundi Prize has been awarded to Indian artist N S Harsha, it was announced this evening at National Museum Cardiff. The £40,000 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.

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 specific 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. The panel stressed the strength of the exhibition at National Museum Cardiff and admired the outstanding presentations by each of the shortlisted artists.

The Prize Awarding ceremony, sponsored by St David's 2, was attended by nearly two hundred people from the international arts and business communities. Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Wales’ Minister for Heritage said "I am delighted to congratulate 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. The public response to the exhibition here in our National Museum, the artistic activity in communities across Wales and its work with schools and colleges is testament to that and it has become one of the highlights in Wales’ cultural calendar.” Sir Robert Finch, Chairman of Liberty International and representing St David’s Partnership, also congratulated the winning 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 of the city.”

Awarded every two years, the £40,000 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. This is the third Prize. Xu Bing won the first Artes Mundi Prize in 2004 and Eija-Liisa Ahtila was awarded the second Prize in 2006.






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