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Paris art fair to showcase more than 50 Bahraini artworks

BAHRAIN is the ‘guest of honour country’ at the prestigious international art fair, La Biennale Paris, which will be held in September.

The kingdom’s pavilion at the exciting event will showcase artworks and beautifully crafted furniture which were part of this year’s edition of Bahrain’s leading art fair, Art Bahrain Across Borders (ArtBab), held in March.

The pavilion will be the largest at La Biennale Paris, occupying an area of 364 square metres.

It will host more than 50 contemporary Bahraini artworks by 21 artists and 11 curated wood collectible pieces from the special Bahrain Room collection, part of ArtBab 2019.

The Paris exhibition is a first for traditional Bahraini artisans, as part of the kingdom’s art delegation at an international show of this stature.

Exhibits at the show will include two wall art installations and furniture collectible pieces highlighting traditional Bahraini handicraft techniques.

“The international dimension of Le Biennale Paris has been further underscored through the confirmation of the first guest of honour, the Kingdom of Bahrain,” said biennale organisers, Syndicat National des Antiquaires president Mathias Ary Jan.

“In a pavilion designed by Nathalie Crinière, the focus will be on Bahrain’s culture and the engaging cultural vision of this Gulf country,” he added.

“We are confident that this robust presence along with the excellence of contemporary Bahraini art will attract collectors from the region and also other parts of the world.”

The exhibition will be curated by noted art critic, exhibition curator and editor Pascale Le Thorel and artist and curator Amal Khalaf, both influential and knowledgeable in the global art world.


“The showcase of Bahraini contemporary art and the cultural narrative of the kingdom’s handicrafts in La Biennale Paris represent a major accomplishment for our artists who have established their footprint across borders,” said Art Select and ArtBab founder Kaneka Subberwal under whose direction the Biennale project has come to fruition.

“This is also a double celebration, as, for the first time, nine of Bahrain’s traditional artisans too will be part of the exhibitors, taking the narrative of the kingdom’s rich legacy and heritage to an audience of art connoisseurs.”

The latest exhibition is the second time that leading art consultancy, Art Select, is taking Bahraini artists to Paris, having organised a hugely successful Bahrain Art Week in Paris at exactly the same time last year.

“La Biennale Paris will provide valuable exposure of Bahraini craft skills and their contemporary revival,” Ms Subberwal added.

“We shall have intricate copper nail art, Bani Jamra weaving, gypsum panel work, woodcraft and ceramic art from The Bahrain Room project on display.”

The 21 contemporary Bahraini artists who have been selected are: Abdulla Buhijji, Abdul Rahim Sharif, Ahmed Anan, Aysha Al Moayyed, Balqees Fakhro, Ghada Khunji, Hamed Al Bosta, Hala Kaiksow, Hesham Sharif, Ishaq Madan, Jaafar Al Haddad, Jamal Abdulrahim, Khalid Al Jabri, Lulwa Al Khalifa, Maryam Al Amin, Maryam Al Noaimi, Marwa Al Khalifa, Nabeela Al Khayer, Noof Alrefaei, Omar Al Rashed and Somaya Abdulghani.


The nine craftspeople who will represent the successful Artisans Across Borders programme are Bani Jamra weaver Abdulhusain Yusuf Mohamed Hasan, four experts in wood carving – A Wahab Taqi, Ali Mohammed, Najeeb Herz Rashed Alshomali, Alawi Furnitures ceramics artisan Ghada AlKhuzaei, metal engraving artisan Noora Fraidoon, gypsum artist Jaffar A Hussain Yaqoob Yousif and copper nail-work artist Abdul-Rasool Kadhem Ahmed.

Bahrain is an ‘invited country’ at the 60-year-old art festival, set to take place from September 13 to 17 this year.



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