Jassim Al Awadhi is considered among the first Emirati photographers. Born in 1961, he grew up in pre- unionized Dubai with his 7 siblings. Jassim, being the youngest of his siblings was taken care of by his older siblings and was given the freedom to explore his passions in life. Jassim was extremely close to his uncle, whom had introduced him to photography, which he discovered his passion for in the 1940’s, after studying in India. After his uncle’s passing, Jassim inherited asmall collection of negatives and prints, which he cherishes to this day. The love for theseimages encouraged Jassim to take up photography as his profession. He graduated with a Master’s in Photography from Nottingham Trent University, UK, in 1999 having obtained a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from University of Dayton, Ohio, USA in 1985. As one of the first crime scene photographers of Dubai Police, he spent more than 20 years shaping the field of forensic photography in the UAE.
Jassim is Founder and Chairman of the UAE Photography Club, Chairman of the EmiratesPhotography Association and Founder of Akkas Visual Art Centre located in Al Fahidi, Dubai. Hehas judged and chaired many photography competitions. Since 2010, Jassim has been Head of Jury for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Photography Competition as well as the Fujairah Photography Award. He also is a regular judge for The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards (HIPA), most recently in 2015.
He has served as Secretary General of the Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Photography Awardas well as President of the Abu Dhabi International Association of Photography. Jassim’s work has been presented in over 27 exhibitions both in the UAE and abroad including eight solo exhibitions, the most recently being ‘The Presence of Absence’ (Manarat Al Saadiyat, 2018). Alongside his practice, he seeks to guide the next generation and has served as Associate Professor at Sharjah University – College of Fine Arts and Design (2004–2007) as well as mentor to Jalal Bin Thaneya on the 2019 Tashkeel Critical Practice Programme. Jassim has attained various accolades and recognitions, most prominently the 2010 Emirates Appreciation Award in Fine Arts (Photography) and the UAE Appreciation Award for Science, Arts and Literature bestowed by Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE.