Graduation Awards 2021

11 July 2021

The Graduation Show 2021 was held from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 July 2021.
On this page we proudly present the nominees & winners of the Graduation Awards 2021!

The Graduation Awards 2021 comprised 27 prizes. The Academy and Department awards are supported by the Stichting tot Steun. The external prizes were made possible through collaborations with local and national partners. Thanks to Keep an Eye Foundation, Stroom Den Haag, Heden Kunst van Nu, Schuitema Stichting, Jan Roëde Stichting, Waag Technology & Society, Page Not Found and iii for their continuous support towards our graduates.

Heden Start Award

This start-up prize is aimed at supporting talented KABK alumni and consists of a solo exhibition at Heden and a year of coaching and advice. The jury selects the winner from among the graduates of the bachelor programmes.


Winner: Sina Dyks

Sina Dyks
Sina Dyks - photo: Eric de Vries
"..Her work is an ode to craft and a re-appraisal of making. She makes use of sustainable materials, upcycling plastic into beautiful yarns which she then weaves into textile sculptures. In her thoughtful way of working - Dyks herself designed the programme that gives input to the loom - she combines new technology with traditional craft."

Read the full jury report (in Dutch)

Jury members: Daniela Petovic (artistic director), Nadine van den Bosch (curator)

Thanks to: Stichting Heden Den Haag

Jan Roëde Award

The Jan Roëde Prize, is an incentive prize consisting of €2.500,- and awarded to a graduating artist of the KABK's Fine Arts department.


Winner: Menghua Wu

Menghua Wu
Menghua Wu - photo Eric de Vries
"...In her project, Menghua Wu investigates the stratification and mythical origin of an existence rooted in Mongolia, her native land, a country with a tumultuous history. She allows herself great freedom in her painterly expression and the results are convincing. It is therefore a great pleasure for the jury to declare her the winner of the Jan Roëde Prize 2021."

Extra incentive award winner: Laurence Herfs

Laurence Herfs
Laurence Herfs - photo: Eric de Vries
"..Laurence Herfs depicts a theme that is highly topical at the KABK and in other art institutions. With her drawings, she places a veil of aesthetics over the topical and autobiographical, sublimating the trauma into something the viewer can come closer to and feel."

Read the full jury report and the extra incentive award jury report (in Dutch).

Jury members: Olga van Hulsen, Louw van Sinderen, Dick Stapel, Huub van Wersch (all members of the Foundation's Board) and Shehera Grot (curator at Kunsthal Rotterdam). The jury was guided by teacher and visual artist Pim Voorneman from the KABK.

Thanks to: Jan  Roëde  Foundation

Paul Schuitema Award

In spirit, vision, and method, the awarded body of work for this prize must relate to that of Paul Schuitema - photographer, typographer, furniture designer, painter, interior architect, and respected teacher at our Royal Academy of Art. The winning project of the Paul Schuitema Award must meet criteria regarding social relevance, the design process and research, organizing capabilities, authenticity, and progressive thinking. The winner receives € 1.000,-.


Winner: Jesse Greulich

Jesse Greulich
Jesse Greulich - photo: Eric de Vries
"Jesse successfully translated the broad scope of her theme – education that allows and stimulates individual exploration and development – into an intricate concept from which she generated the accessible and comprehensive outcome: the BiKA project. In this, and the actual relevance of the project, she relates to Paul Schuitema’s spirit. To translate a Dutch proverb: power in modesty."

Read the full jury report

Jury members: Gert Dumbar (Honorary member – in absence), Anne Schuitema (on behalf of the Schuitema Family), Jiri Nieuwenhuis (on behalf of the Schuitema Family), Brecht Hoffmann (teacher Graphic Design), Guus Rijven (teacher Photography), Zsofia Kollar (alumn Interior Architecture & Furniture Design), Gilleam Trapenberg (alumn Photography) , Auke Lansink (alumn Graphic Design), Ernie Mellegers (teacher Interior Architecture & Furniture Design)

Thanks to: Schuitema  Foundation

Stroom Encouragement Award

Every year, the presentation of the Stroom Den Haag Encouragement Award is eagerly awaited. Due to the recognition and incentive, this award offers in the further development of the winner’s artistic career. This year, one winner will be named, who will receive the prize money of € 3,000. The two nominees in this edition will also receive a prize for the first time, worth €500.


Winner: Ellen Yiu Kwan Kit

Ellen Yiu Kwan Kit
Ellen Yiu Kwan Kit - photo: Eric de Vries
"Her work is convincing because of the sensitivity, craftsmanship and pleasure in creation that is expressed in her entire installation. The stratification and versatility of the work mean that there is always something new to discover. Yiu Kwan Kit works with scale in a playful, humorous way and produces a lot, which shows a pleasant kind of obsession and a wide range of skills and interests. The extremely precise and deliberate miniatures in particular stand out for their tender, special sculptural quality. Yiu Kwan Kit handles her subjects in a tactile way and excites the viewer with her very generous, well thought-out, mature presentation."

Read the full jury report (in Dutch)

Jury members: Yasmijn Jarram (conservator KM21, Den Haag), Tirza Kater (artistiek directeur Hotel Maria Kapel, Hoorn; medeoprichter projectruimte Marwan, Amsterdam), en Marius Lut (Haagse kunstenaar; medeoprichter en directeur Billytown, Den Haag).

Thanks to: Stroom Den Haag

Waag Technology & Society Award

The second edition of the Waag Art/Science Award will award two prizes: one to a selected graduation project from the bachelor departments ArtScience, Graphic Design and Interactive/Media/Design and one to a selected graduation project from the master departments ArtScience, Non Linear Narrative and Industrial Design. Each winner receives € 300,-.

Nominees BA Waag Award

  • Soyun Park (Graphic Design)
  • Adriana Navarro Villacampa (Graphic Design)
  • Ada Popowicz (Graphic Design)

Winner BA Waag award: Ada Popowicz

Ada Popowicz
Ada Popowicz - photo: Roel Backaert

Nominees MA Waag Award

  • Natalia Śliwińska (Non Linear Narrative)
  • Farah Rahman (Art Science)
  • Pablo Perez Quartenoud (Non Linear Narrative)

Winner MA Waag award: Natalia Śliwińska

Natalia Śliwińska
Natalia Śliwińska - photo: Charlotte Brand

Read the jury report

Jury members: Lucas Evers, Mariana Pereze Bobadilla, Zoenie Liwen Deng

Thanks to: Waag Technology & Society

iii Research Residency Award

This year for the first time iii awards the iii Research Residency Award to a fresh graduate of the Royal Academy of Art. The winner will be invited for a 4-week residency at iii workspace, which includes a fee of €2.000,- and a production budget of €1.000,-


Winner: Cemre Kara

Cemre Kara
Cemre Kara - photo: Charlotte Brand
"..Cemre’s work offers a stunning visual and dramatic presentation drawing on timeless aesthetic worlds of classical painting, theatre, performance and video art, confronting us viscerally with the most basic reactions of repulsion and attraction. By reinventing the use of ordinary cutlery, what seems innocently familiar is revealed in a new light."

Read the full jury report

Jury members:  Matteo Marangoni, Yun Lee, Philip Vermeulen

With thanks to: iii

Page Not Found Thesis Prize

The Page Not Found Thesis Award celebrates the thesis which integrates most strongly its own dissemination. The jury pays attention to how the analog or digital publication echoes the thesis’ original research, how its text is embodied, and the related design decisions.

The jury is impressed by the quality of the graduates’ publications. This level of quality reflects the graduates’ commitment to their thesis, for which they each collaborated with a graphic designer, and the support given by the Master Artistic Research department.

Winner Juliana Martínez Hernández

"What we left behind" by Juliana Martínez Hernández, designed by Héctor Rafael Garzón Negater

"Juliana’s research addresses the culture of violence in Colombia, and aspires to counter the psychological repercussions of trauma, and in particular “the phobia that the people themselves have to remember their history”, by adopting a reparative emotional language. The sober layout of her publication, interspersed with monochrome red photographies from her family archive, tactfully suits Juliana’s undertaking. A metal file fastener holds its pages.

The jury lauds this decision, reminiscent of the open-ended labour that archiving implies. The binding ultimately gives the reader agency to edit the linear sequence of pages. This choice brilliantly embodies Juliana’s convictions that History is a fragile construct, often abused, and that the writing of History should be reclaimed, to allow healing."

Jury members: Sebastien Tien and Ola Vasiljeva (directors Page Not Found)

Academy Shop Award

The Academy Shop Award is intended to act as a stimulus for the starting artistic practice and activities of our graduates. The winner is chosen from among the graduates of the bachelor programmes. The €300,- prize money can be spent on art supplies at both the Academy's store and the Goodman brand store in The Hague.


Winner: Robin Griffioen

Robin Griffioen
Robin Griffioen - photo: Charlotte Brand
"As a father of 5 children, I know how ruthless and remorseless kids can be. Robin captured both pain and beauty in her pictures. It’s impressive to see her fight for acknowledgment and exposure. I want to contribute to that."

Jury member: Gerard van Zeggelaar

Thanks to: Art supply store Academiewinkel Den Haag

BA Department Awards

with thanks to Stichting tot Steun

Nominees BA ArtScience Department Award 2021
- Cemre Kara
- Þórir Höskuldsson
- Robinou

Winner: Cemre Kara

Nominees BA Fine Arts Department Award 2021
- Anna Hijmans
- Ellen Yiu Kwan Kit
- Catelijne Boele

Winner: Anna Hijmans

Nominees BA Interior Architecture & Furniture Design Department Award 2021
- Ebru Güner
- Jesse Greulich
- Guglielmo Bozzoli Parasacchi

Winner: Guglielmo Bozzoli Parasacchi

Nominees BA Interactive/Media/Design Department Award 2021
- Ella Hebendanz, Ines DeRu en pamela varela (collective)
- Jeong Hyeon Ghim

Winner: Jeong Hyeon Ghim

Nominees BA Graphic Design Department Award 2021
- Kexin Hao
- Mika Schalks
- Radek Górniak

Winner: Kexin Hao

Nominees BA Photography Department Award 2021
- Danit Ariel
- Tina Farifteh
- Lilli Weinstein

Winner: Tina Farifteh

Nominees BA Textile & Fashion Department Award 2021
- Max Willebrand Westin
- Stef Reijnierse
- Iulia Hmarnaia

Winner: Max Willebrand Westin

MA Department Awards

Nominees MA Artistic Research Department Award 2021
- Ghiath Taha
- Leonie Brandner

Winner: Ghiath Taha

Nominees MA ArtScience Department Award 2021
- Nika Schmitt
- Niels de Bakker

Winner: Nika Schmitt

Nominees MA Industrial Design Department Award 2021
- Job Oort
- Erco Lai

Winner: Job Oort

Nominees MA Interior Architecture Department Award 2021
- Tereza Chroñáková
- Elisa Piazzi

Winner: Tereza Chroñáková

Nominees MA Non Linear Narrative Department Award 2021
- Dario di Paolantonio
- Tuana İnhan

Winner: Dario di Paolantonio

Amplyifing Voices Award winner: Natalia Śliwińska

Nominees MA Photography & Society Department Award 2021
- Kata Geibl
- Atle Blekastad

Winner: Atle Blekastad

Nominees MA TypeMedia Department Award 2021
- Léna Le Pommelet
- Lukas Horn

Winner: Léna Le Pommelet

Royal Academy Awards

Royal Academy Bachelor Award winner: Tina Farifteh (BA Photography)

Tina Farifteh
Tina Farifteh - photo: Charlotte Brand
"...With her capstone, Tina integrated the instrument of language into the photography discipline, demonstrating how her visual language can be both seductive and uncomfortable to address urgent matters.[...] Her immersive installation is an attempt to transfer that physical experience to her audience, added voices demonstrate well the competing narratives of propaganda, fake-thru, and facts of the era we live in. The work of Tina Farifteh is permeated by a deep concern for the fate of individuals."

Jury report Royal Academy Bachelor's Award

Royal Academy Master Award winner: Ghiath Taha Mardini (MA Artistic Research)

Ghiath Taha
Ghiath Taha - photo: Charlotte Brand
"The jury found this work to be an intense and deeply moving experience. The artist becomes an online ghost in order to bring forth the ghosts that war creates, and sets this within the existential awfulness of war as an entertainment form."

Jury report Royal Academy Master's Award

Thesis Bachelor Award

- Muireann Nic an Bheatha (ArtSicence)
- Bo Wielders (Fine Arts)
- Olga Elliot Schou (Graphic Design)
- Kaja Hribšek (Interior Architecture & Furniture Design)
- pamela varela (Interactive/Media/Design)
- Lilli Weinstein (Photography)
- Max Willebrand Westin (Textile & Fashion)

Winner: Olga Elliot Schou
(Graphic Design)
A Tale of Two Mermaids

"Nuanced, personal, refreshing and authentic. These are the jury words to describe the thesis. The jury found this thesis both theoretically intriguing and informing, the quality of the references is very high. The thesis is consistent, well written and the metaphor of the two mermaids is very smart. All in all this thesis scored highest on all points and is the winner of the BA Thesis Awards 2021".

Honorable Mention: pamela varela (Interactive/Media/Design)
body politics body poetics

"The urgency of this thesis jumps off the page. The thesis is written in a way that grabs the reader, for the jury it was a joy to read. The thesis is theoretically and contextually well situated and the design of the thesis was both aesthetically interesting as it was relevant to the subject. The interwoven poetry was fascinating. It was a very close call with the winning thesis, therefore worth an honorable mention".

Thesis Master Award

- Leonie Brandner (Artistic Research)
- Tereza Chronakova (Interior Architecture INSIDE)
- Lucie Ponard (Industrial Design)
- Dario di Paolantonio (Non Linear Narrative)
- Thana Faroq (Photography & Society)
- Ivo Brouwer (Type Media)

Winner: Lucie Ponard (Industrial Design)
Untangling Stories in Earth layers

"The jury found the interplay of material experiment, theoretical reflection and visual documentation impressive, this makes this thesis a truly unique example of design research. The research is authentic and has integrity, the topic is relevant in its field. The rigor of the research and the beautiful imagery make this research relevant on both an academic and artistic level".

Honorable Mention: Thana Faroq (Photography & Society)
There is a Blue Sky Today and No Rain

"The jury was very impressed and moved by this thesis which is both delicate and strong. The subject matter is urgent and the thesis manages to start lifting personal experience to a story with a more universal appeal. The thesis is well written and a great example of ethnographic research".

Links to theses BA and MA 2021

The Royal Academy Awards are made possible thanks to Stichting tot Steun