Sammy Baloji and Dineo Seshee Bopape are finalists of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.
03 Apr 2014

Sammy Baloji and Dineo Seshee Bopape are finalists of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

Sammy Baloji, Democratic Republic of Congo/Belgium Berlin, Germany, February 2014 ©Rolex/Tina Ruisinger

Twenty-five young artists from 21 countries have been selected as finalists for the 2014-2015 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

One young artist in each of the seven disciplines will be selected as a protégé for 12 months of one-to-one collaboration with leading artists Olafur Eliasson, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Michael Ondaatje, Alexei Ratmansky, Kaija Saariaho, Jennifer Tipton and Peter Zumthor. The seven new mentors are selecting their protégés over the next few weeks and their names will be announced in May.

The finalists, who range from 22 to 38 years of age, were selected from 154 nominees. They come from 21 countries, with all regions of the world represented: Asia (four finalists), Europe (six), North America (three), South America (five), Africa (five) and the Middle East (two).

They were shortlisted after an intensive global search by Rolex to find gifted young artists who would greatly benefit from a year’s guidance by an artistic master. In each of the seven disciplines, a voluntary, international panel of artistic leaders and experts nominates more than 20 young artists, who are then invited by Rolex to apply to be a protégé. Each panel then meets to consider the applications and choose three or four of the applicants who the panel believes would be ideal protégés. Those shortlisted candidates, who are listed below, will now meet the mentor in their discipline, who will choose a protégé.


The finalists for the visual art section with Mentor Olafur Eliasson are:

Sammy Baloji is a 35-year-old artist photographer, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and now based in Belgium. Founder of Picha Art Center and Lubumbashi Biennale, he wants to create an experimental atelier in Congo that would support artists and nurture local creation in this politically and economically uncertain environment.

Dineo Seshee Bopape is a 32-year-old South African visual artist who is inspired by Lewis Carroll Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster and Bessie Head, as well as artists David Hammons and Daniel Bovhkov – all creators who make her think about time, place and magic.

Sahej Rahal is a 25-year-old Indian visual artist whose wide range of approaches towards new media has greatly informed his aesthetic process. Mahatma Gandhi, whom he regards as the first performance artist, is his greatest influence.

Sumakshi Singh, a 34-year-old Indian visual artist, says that Vedic philosophy, as interpreted through Swami Kriyananda, triggers her work in exploring the nature of reality and its relationship to levels of consciousness.



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