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Han Nefkens Foundation announces a new Video Art Production Grant

The Han Nefkens Foundation – South Asian Video Art Production Grant in collaboration with Prameya Art Foundation, Delhi, India and in partnership with Nottingham Contemporary, UK; Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai, UAE; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT), Japan; Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA), Belgium and Para Site (Hong Kong)



The South Asian Video Art Production Grant 2023 is directed at artists living in South Asia and aims to be a tool for increasing contemporary artistic production in the video art field.

This project was conceived through the vision and aspiration of the Prameya Art Foundation, with the objective of partnering with the Han Nefkens Foundation to conceptualise a production grant specifically for emerging and mid-career artists residing and practicing in South Asia, with a strong commitment to the medium of moving image art.

This grant supported by the Han Nefkens Foundation will facilitate the commission of a moving image work, developed over a period of nine months by an artist from the region who will be chosen from artists nominated by experts on the contemporary arts in South Asia. This regional focus recognises the commitment that Prameya Art Foundation has towards initiating support structures for artists across South Asia especially in ways that do not currently exist. Moving image has the unique possibility to transcend impermeable borders in the region and this grant recognises its overlapping, inseparable histories and the vital work by artists located there in coming together to sustain dialogue with each other as one way to collectively shape the emergence of the contemporary art context in South Asia as it exists now. This continues the work of Han Nefkens Foundation in furthering conversations and experimentation with the moving image globally, focusing solely in the production of video art, with the aim of connecting people through art across the globe, and serving as a platform to mid-career video artists to advance their careers, through grants and commissions with international partner institutions.

The particularities of the geo-political context have prompted us to seek global partners to the grant, coming from the UAE with Ishara Art Foundation, Japan with Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Belgium with M HKA, the UK with Nottingham Contemporary and Hong Kong with Para Site, who have all committed to exhibiting the work created by the recipient of this grant alongside Prameya Art Foundation. 

The Han Nefkens Foundation

The Han Nefkens Foundation is a private, non-profit organisation set up in Barcelona in 2009 by Dutch writer and patron, Han Nefkens. It focuses on the production of video art, with the aim of connecting people through art across the world, collaborating with renowned international art institutions. The Foundation’s founding values have defined it from the beginning as an innovative and forward-thinking model: a production hub that oversees and promotes contemporary creation from the very first moments until the final presentation. Positioned as a platform for video artists to advance their careers, its main activity is to commission new works through its commissions and grants on an international level.

The Prameya Art Foundation

Prameya Art Foundation is an initiative to support experimental practices as well as encourage trans-disciplinary collaborations. Prameya, meaning knowledge in Sanskrit, is indicative of the Foundation’s approach to the arts as a discursive space, and dialogue as its future. Conceived as a not-for-profit platform, the foundation is driven by the idea that for a sustainable arts context, it is important to invest in artistic research, curatorial projects, public art initiatives, social practice, collaborations and residencies. It aims to build a strong base for contemporary art practice and develop national and international strategic partnerships for supporting artists and their work. Prameya Art Foundation is founded by Anahita Taneja and Shefali Somani who have been committed to contemporary art in South Asia for almost two decades.

Nottingham Contemporary  

Nottingham Contemporary is one of the leading centres of contemporary art in Europe. Since opening in 2009, it has welcomed over 2 million visitors – with free admission for all – to their highly ambitious programme that has featured hundreds of artists and cultural practitioners from across the globe.

Their programme champions international art and artists who invite us to imagine the world in new ways and to empower different perspectives into the most pressing cultural, social, and political questions of today. Nottingham Contemporary supports artists at different stages of their careers – from first-time solo shows in the UK to surveys of renowned or overlooked figures – and regularly present significant thematic exhibitions and major artist–curated projects. It was shortlisted for the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019. Nottingham Contemporary is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and regularly funded by Nottingham City Council and through partnerships with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. 

Ishara Art Foundation

Ishara Art Foundation was founded in 2019 as a non-profit organisation dedicated to presenting contemporary art of South Asia. Located in Dubai, the Foundation supports emerging and established practices that advance critical dialogue and explore global interconnections.

Guided by a research-led approach, Ishara realises its mission through exhibitions, onsite and online programmes, education initiatives and collaborations in the UAE and internationally. The Foundation facilitates exchange between South Asian and international artistic networks that include museums, foundations, institutions, galleries and individuals.

The Ishara logo, a synthesis of a square and circle, is based on an ideogram by Zarina to convey the word آسمان (‘Aasman’), sky. It forms one of 36 images from ‘Home is a Foreign Place’ (1999), a work in the collection of Ishara’s Founder and Chairperson, Smita Prabhakar. Ishara signifies a gesture, a signal or a hint, and is a word common to several languages including Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Swahili and Urdu. 

Ishara Art Foundation is presented in partnership with Alserkal.

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