Muscat: Omani artist Hassan Meer is among 30 Asian artists shortlisted for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, a prestigious award that recognises the region's most influential and innovative artists.
The $30,000 cash prize is awarded by the Sovereign Art Foundation, a Hong Kong-based charity, and selected based on public votes on the organisation's website. Currently, the 30 top contenders, selected from 300 nominees, have their work posted on the site, giving the public a chance to choose their favourite.
Meer, who was nominated by Bait Al Zubair's art curator and museum director, Sarah White, said his photograph of an Omani bride and grown beside a crumbling old, graffiti-covered house in Bawsher depicts the social changes happening in Oman.
For Meer, whose work has been shown in galleries as far away as Tokyo, Geneva and London, this is a wonderful accomplishment not just for him personally, but for the Sultanate. "It's a good opportunity for Oman because some of the work is being exhibited in New York. It's easy to go out of Oman, but it's not easy to exhibit in a prestigious museum," Meer said.
Following the award, the top 30 works of art will be sold by the renowned art auction house Christie's at a charity dinner. Fifty percent of the proceeds of each sale go to the artist and the other 50 percent goes to the Sovereign Art Foundation.