Richard Mille and Louvre Abu Dhabi are delighted to present Nabla Yahya, the third winner of the Richard Mille Art Prize – whose work was celebrated under the Louvre Abu Dhabi dome in a ceremony on January 24th. Nabla Yahya (b. 1993, Abu Dhabi) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work Soft Bank, was one of eight pieces shortlisted for the Art Here 2023 exhibition, which opened to public in November 2023. Soft Bank (2023), Nabla’s winning installation, offered an amalgamation of her extensive research into the obscure and neglected history pertaining to the initial construction of the Suez Canal. Using a three-dimensional cartographic representation of the 164km Suez Canal, her figurative approach to this year’s Art Here theme, ‘Transparencies’, challenged observers to contemplate the role of cultural hegemony at the cost of what is todays Suez Canal. Soft Bank expands on the disregarded details that were made inconsequential, thus conceptualizing her interpretation of ‘Transparencies’. This theme explored the dynamics of transparency as well as its material and perceptual significance. Presented for the first time under the museum’s symbolic dome, the exhibition delved into the interplay of shadows, liquid reflections, and flashes of permeating sunlight provided by this location. Nabla Yahya was selected by a distinguished six-member jury, led by H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, an Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Chairman of UAE Unlimited, an art collector, and a patron of the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum and Sharjah Art Foundation. Joining him are Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Director of the Islamic Arts department at Musée du Louvre in France, and former Director for Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management at Louvre Abu Dhabi; Maya El Khalil, independent curator and art advisor, former Founding Director of Athr Gallery in Jeddah, and curator of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2023; Clare Lilley, Director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the selector of the annual Frieze Sculpture in London’s Regent’s Park 2012- 22 and a trustee of Art UK, London, the George Rickey Foundation, New York, and the Jupiter Artland Foundation, Edinburgh; Dr. Guilhem André, Acting Director for Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management at Louvre Abu Dhabi, seasoned museum professional, expert archaeologist and art historian; and Mohammed Kazem, a renowned Emirati artist previously shortlisted for the 2021 edition of Art Here. The Richard Mille Art Prize and Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here serve as a platform to showcase contemporary artists from the region working with a diversity of mediums. Each year, the exhibition sees several artists selected through an open call for proposals, each presenting an artwork that responds to a unique thematic. 

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “Part of our driving mission is to ensure we support and empower artists in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and beyond, providing the conditions for creative innovation and artistic expression to flourish. The Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here exhibition and accompanying Richard Mille Art Prize are an important platform for GCC-based contemporary artists to demonstrate the talent present in the region, further raising Abu Dhabi’s profile as a centre for culture and creativity.” 

Maya El Khalil, curator of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2023, said: “Each artist in the exhibition provided a surprising and novel engagement with the theme. The multidimensionality of Nabla Yayha’s work ultimately made the award a unanimous decision. SoftBank approaches the idea of ‘Transparencies’ indirectly – interrogating difficult histories that are treated as unseen when they should be confronted. The details of the work shed light on the invisible currents of finance, trade, and labour that structure the region. It is both a brilliant response to the theme and a significant work with the astute complexity that is a hallmark of Nabla’s practice and thinking – we are all excited to see what she does in future.” 

“I am deeply honored to receive the 2023 Richard Mille Art Prize. This recognition is a testament to the power of art to transcend boundaries and illuminate hidden histories. ‘SoftBank’ is not just an installation; it’s a dialogue between the past and the present, a reflection on the Suez Canal’s transformation. This award fuels my commitment to exploring untold stories and challenging perspectives through my work. Thank you to Louvre Abu Dhabi and Richard Mille Art Prize for championing creativity and providing a platform to contemporary artists like me.” Said Nabla Yahya, winner of the 2023 Richard Mille Art Prize. 

For more details on the Art Prize please visit