Egyptian prize-winning Mohamed Abouelnaga is a multidisciplinary visual artist and art curator.
Throughout his colorful career, he created award winning art projects, nurtured and invested in his community and brought up a new generation of young artists with his teaching, workshop and his multitude of practices.
Born in the Egyptian city of Tanta, Mohamed Abouelnaga graduated with honour in 1983 from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University then received his Master’s Degree in 1992. He received his PHD in
Philosophy of Art from Alexandria University in 1997. He is currently an assistant professorat the faculty of Specific Education in Cairo University.
He was the first Middle Eastern artist to receive a grant from the Japan Foundation to travel for six months to be part of a workshop, under the supervision of pioneering Japanese artist Kyoko Ibe, where he incorporated experiences and techniques in the arts of manual paper-making between Washi Japanese paper and Egyptian papyrus. During this period, Abouelnaga also participated in a variety of art and technical workshops and realized a solo exhibition in the Japanese city of Kyoto
As a curator, he created in 2002 the biggest and most successful Artist Book Biennial in the Alexandria Bibliotheca. Entitled “Imagining the Book”.
Also in 2002, he founded Elnafeza for Contemporary Art & Development where he trained more than 25 handicapped youngsters in using rice straws, Nile water lilies and bananas stalks for papermaking.
Partly as a result, he became a fellow of Ashoka in 2005, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, which gathers all the intellectuals aiming to reduce poverty around the world. In the same context, Abouelnaga recently participated at the recent conference of TransCultural Exchange that was held in Boston.
In 2009, he was assigned by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture to become the curator of the 25th Alexandria Biennial for Mediterranean Countries 2009.
In the past two decades, Abouelnaga exhibited in many several solo shows in Egypt and around the world, including Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, Roma and Lucerne, showcasing his painting, video and installations.
He received the Prize of the Mediterranean Sea at the 1998 Cairo Biennale, the First Prize at the Alexandria Biennial in 2001, represented Egypt in the Venice Biennial 2002 and more recently his Cairo 11 video won the first prize at the Danube Video Art festival in 2013.