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Regional art splashed on global canvas
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 06 - 2011

The selection committee of the MENASART Fair 2011 finalized its entries for this year and announced that 25 of the most established galleries in the Middle East, North African and South Asia regions will be showcasing more than 2,000 contemporary artworks in a variety of medium including paintings, sculptures, photography, videos art and art installations represented by some 200 artists from 28 countries.
Set to take place from July 13-16 in Lebanon, the fair was initially launched in 2010 and has already gained the attention of auction houses and museums around the art capitals of the region and the world, making it one of the must be in collaborative art exhibits of the year.
The boutique-style exclusive exhibition is becoming an essential meeting point where collectors, artists and art connoisseurs from around the world will discover one of the largest and most diverse collections of artworks from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions.
Art fair manager Laure d'Hauteville confirmed that strict selection measures were applied to ensure the most well reputed galleries were entered into the event and affirmed. “It is time to demonstrate the exceptional quality and standards of the region's art scene, and we are confident that the galleries taking part in this year's fair – which will include Egypt, Syria and Tunisia for the first time – are going to exhibit one of the most artistic collections in the area.”
D'Hauteville also highlighted the strategic importance of this event in light of the recent turmoil in the region. “Art has the power to create a multilingual dialogue for tolerance, openness and understanding, and we hope that MENASART Fair together with other such cultural events in the region will help create a movement that encourages people to experience art. There is a vital need for an international event that recognizes the growing demand for art and crystallizes the current change of direction in contemporary art markets; moreover, recent auction sales have confirmed the vibrancy of the South Asian art market that generated record sales, especially for artists in Indonesia and the Philippines,” she added.
A contemporary Saudi Arabian art exhibition, “NABATT - Sense of Being”. will explore the very characteristics of human life, the relationships between diverse cultures and a common belonging to the world, by presenting exceptional creations of 12 artists from Saudi Arabia. The exhibition is curated by Princesses Reem Al-Faisal and Lulwah Al-Homoud.
Significant Saudi presence
NABATT is currently in Lebanon showcasing new art from Saudi Arabia as the guest if honor at the fair. Featuring art by contemporary Saudi artists, including new pieces that have not been seen previously, the fair will be inaugurated by Princess Reem Al-Faisal. The organizers of the fair have also named July 14 as Education Day which will feature a roundtable discussion regarding the future of contemporary Saudi Art, in addition to a speech by Dr. Geoffery King from SOAS (School of African and Oriental Studies, London). Other participants include Mona Khazindar, Director of Institute du Monde Arabe and Sirine Fatouh, from the Department of Research at Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Sponsored by Bellucci Jewellery and Tamer Group, Education Day aims to educate audiences about contemporary Saudi Art and the responsibility it has for the general public. “We are proud to have private companies supporting us as this is an indication that society is recognising the vital role of art,” Lulwah Al-Homoud, Co-Curator of NABATT, said. “In sponsoring Education Day, these companies are acknowledging the unique role that the private sector plays in enhancing a cultural experience that is in line with their brand values.
“We are excited to bring NABATT to Lebanon,” said Princess Reem Al-Faisal, Co-curator of NABATT in Lebanon. “It is a richly rewarding experience to bring contemporary Saudi art to Beirut. We hope this will give some insight into the immense creativity in Saudi Arabia.”
NABATT in Lebanon will feature works by 15 contemporary Saudi artists, the mediums of which include the visual arts, music and literature. The diversity of this media creates an intriguing crossover illustrating the vivid cultural engagement within the Saudi art scene. “The art scene in Saudi right now is producing some incredible work,” added Lulwah Al-Homoud, “and it is a testimony to the artists and their creativity that we are able to show new art work in Lebanon.”
Princess Reem Al-Faisal is a renowned photographer; her photos has been exhibited around the world. She is the founder of Empty Quarter, the first photographic gallery in the Middle East. She is also aboard member of the World Muslim Foundation (WMF), an international advocacy organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also written many articles concerned with Muslim/Arab rights. Lulwah Al-Homoud is an independent curator, artist, art consultant and a branding expert based in London with extensive international experience of advising high profile individuals, organizations, museums and galleries.
Featured artists
Fahad Al-Gethami, Saddiek Wasil, Reem Al-Faisal, Lulwah Al-Homoud, Noha Al-Sharif, Mohammad Farea, Jowhara Al-Saud, Nasser Al-Turki, Adel Al-Khiyami, Mahdi Al-Jeraibi, Mohammad Al-Ajlan, Dia Aziz Dia, Zaman Jassim, Fatimah Baazeem and Nasser Al-Salim. Poetry by Abdulatif Al

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