SAAI Awardees



Artist Award

maryam hina hasnain

Chelsea College of Art, UAL, London, UK — MAFA

Bio: Maryam Hina Hasnain was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. She moved to Kuala Lumpur and later to London to study Fine Art. She holds a BA Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London and an MA Distinction in Fine Art from Chelsea College, University of Arts London. Her practice is underpinned by an interest in trade, empire, migration, borders and citizenship. These themes are explored through a variety of mediums; paintings, soundscapes, installations and textile interventions. Her studio practice extends into the realm of research, curation and collaborative practice. She is an active, founding member of 2 artist collectives; Neulinge (est. 2019) & Forum Collective (est. 2020). She has previously shown with Artlicks Weekend, London Grads Now at the Saatchi Gallery, and most recently participated as an artist and co curated a project for Late at Tate Britain x Chelsea College titled "Constructing Landscapes/ Building Worlds''. She lives & works between London and Karachi.

Award Ceremony & Lecture: The award ceremony and the Artist Talk will take place on Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 9 a.m. PST


Prize Announcement

The Prize Committee: Asma Kazmi (Chair, University of California, Berkeley), Allan deSouza (University of California, Berkeley), Mohini Chandra (Plymouth College of Art), Namita Gupta Wiggers (Warren Wilson College/Critical Craft Forum)

Thesis Award


aparna kumar

Lecturer in Art and Visual Cultures of the Global South, Dept. of History of Art, University College London

Dissertation TitlePartition and the Historiography of Art in South Asia (University of California, Los Angeles, 2018)

Advisor: Prof. Saloni Mathur

Dissertation Abstract: This dissertation investigates the impact of the partition of 1947 on art, art institutions, and aesthetic discourse in India and Pakistan in the twentieth century. A study of art, museums, mobility, and historiography, it challenges prevailing national frameworks within the field of South Asian art history that have suppressed the violent and traumatic legacy of the partition for global histories of modernism. This project situates the partition as a defining era of cultural anxiety in South Asia, whose fragmentations of place, identity, and humanity entwine culture, society, and modernism in India and Pakistan today. Bridging histories of museums and migration, it traces the divergent lives of artifacts and cultural institutions in South Asia, before and after 1947, to elucidate the paradoxical conditions in which art and heritage were made national. In this regard, it investigates both how contending national imaginations were carved from a shared cultural landscape, and how art and culture in India and Pakistan seep through the hard and fast divides of territory and identity upon which the partition of 1947 purportedly was based. Read a longer abstract HERE.

Award Ceremony & Lecture: The award ceremony and lecture will take place on  Thu, Apr 22, 2021 from 9 a.m. PST


Prize Announcement

The Prize Committee: Atreyee Gupta (Chair, University of California, Berkeley), Navina Najat Haidar (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Tamara Sears (Rutgers University)




Dissertation TitleTransforming the Buddha. A biography of the monumental Buddha of Guita Bahī, Lalitpur, and its implication for the Nepalese school of sculpture in metal. (University of Vienna, 2019)

Advisors: Univ. Prof. Deborah-Klimburg-Salter, Univ. Prof. Martin Gaenszle.

Dissertation Abstract: The just under 2-meter-high Buddha of Guita Bahī is the largest surviving in situ metal Buddha image that has yet been discovered in South Asia and the Himalaya. This dissertation traces a biography of this Buddha image—from the time of its casting around the 9th-10th century CE up to its present condition—and explains how its visual appearance was transformed throughout its history and eventually became “Buddha Dīpaṅkara”. Drawing together art historical, architectural, textual, and inscriptional evidence, this study demonstrates how this Buddha image, as well as its architectural context, has undergone continuous transformations and restorations.

This study compares the technical features of the Buddha of Guita Bahī and the Sultanganj Buddha and suggests that these two images provide rare surviving evidence of the phenomenon of casting monumental Buddha images for important monasteries. Furthermore, the focus on the technical features proves to be a fundamental analytical tool for understanding how the Buddha of Guita Bahī was transformed over the centuries. Future investigation on the casting methods adopted for making Buddha images can disclose new information on the dissemination of casting technology and the interactions among casting centers and religious centers in the region

Prize Announcement

The Prize Committee: Atreyee Gupta (Chair, University of California, Berkeley), Navina Najat Haidar (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Tamara Sears (Rutgers University)

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