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Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian artist’

Sheikh Sultan opens private collection to public putting Sharjah on the UAE art map

Posted by artradar on August 18, 2010


PRIVATE COLLECTIONS PUBLIC GALLERIES SHARJAH

In Arabic, the word “barjeel”, from which the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, takes its name, means “wind tower”. For collector and owner Sheikh Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi, the euphemism does very little to hide his vision – that of an art space where ideas, like air, circulate freely and create a dynamic where art can breathe.

Sheikh Sultan, Barjeel Art Foundation

Sheikh Sultan, Barjeel Art Foundation

Housing close to four-hundred and eighty works of art from the Arab world or by Arab artists living elsewhere, the Barjeel Art Foundation’s collection is originally the collection of Sheikh Sultan. In an interview with The National Daily Newspaper in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, Sheikh Sultan said that,

Artists are the conscience of society. It is essential for their work to be seen and appreciated.

Another article on Real Estate Channel, recounts Professor Alma Kadragic’s VIP tour of the gallery space led by the Sheikh himself. Kadragic says,

Many people have visited the gallery over the first five months since it opened, and Sheikh Sultan has personally guided VIPs and others through the collection. The day I visited with a friend, we were joined by two other women, and Sheikh Sultan treated us to descriptions of the works on display and even opened locked doors to show some others kept out of sight in storerooms.

The first exhibition at the Barjeel Art Foundation is called “Peripheral Vision” and features contemporary work made later than 2007 by Arab artists. The show is on until the end of August this year, after which new selections from the Sheikh’s collection will be mounted for show. The foundation is currently not selling any of the works. The premise of the foundation is summed up by Sheikh Sultan:

Layan Shawabkeh, 'Ladies of Gaza', acrylic on canvas.

Layan Shawabkeh, 'Ladies of Gaza', acrylic on canvas.

We want to show how art of the Arab world is nuanced and in a constant state of transformation and renewal. Our mission is to expose different aspects of social, political and geographical landscapes that may be obstructed and out of focus.The works can however be borrowed for exhibition locally or internationally by institutions that will pay for transportation and insurance.

The objective behind the Barjeel Art Foundation is, in Sheikh Sultan’s words,

A foremost goal of Barjeel has been to give the artworks in the collection greater public exposure; making the space accessible for people to come and view a selection of art in rotating exhibitions seemed to be the ideal starting point.

The collection houses some masterpieces of Arab art. Considered a national treasure, artist Abdul Qader Al Rais’s works are so important that they are only handled by the Ministry of Culture of Sharjah, the Sheikh being an exception.

The gallery is not averse to showing political art, like that of Layan Shawabkeh, a Palestinian artist who died in 2009 at the age of 23. In a work called Ladies of Gaza, Shawabkeh takes inspiration from many of Picasso’s works that deal with women and post World War II trauma.

The Barjeel Art Foundation comes at a time when governments world over are cutting funds for art institutions and the market is relying on trusted modern, rather than contemporary artists for returns. Additionally, the art world of the UAE is fragmented, with only a few galleries in Abu Dhabi where the Louvre and the Guggenheim have yet to be built. Dubai seems to be at the forefront of cultural and financial investment in art although Arab art altogether has a long way to go.

AM/KN

Related Topics: Middle Eastern artists, collectorsgallery showsnon-profit

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Posted in Art spaces, Business of art, Collector nationality, Collectors, Gallery shows, Middle Eastern, Nonprofit, Oil, Painting, Palestinian, Promoting art, Sharjah, UAE | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Multiple biennale-exhibiting female video artist Larissa Sansour shows a fresh view of Palestine

Posted by artradar on March 30, 2009


PALESTINIAN VIDEO ART

‘Soup Over Bethlehem’ (2006) by Larissa Sansour, depicts an ordinary Palestinian family, Sansour’s own, around a dinner table on a rooftop overlooking the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

In this entrancing 9 minute (save it for the weekend) video on the Saatchi site, what starts as a culinary discussion about the national dish mloukhieh being served from a soup bowl soon evolves into a personal and engaging conversation about politics.

Larissa Sansour Soup over Bethlehem

Larissa Sansour Soup over Bethlehem

The handheld cameras and the intimate sounds of cutlery against china  help the viewer gain an alternative more direct experience of Palestinian issues slicing right through the Palestine blindness induced by the usual slick but tired TV footage.

The Arabic spoken around the dinner table is interrupted by English, and family members hold a variety of international passports, jobs and academic degrees. The diasporic traits present in every Palestinian family history lend a global quality  to life even under the restraints of occupation.

In turn, the mloukhieh in the soup bowl represents the shared national heritage and the meal itself becomes a gastronomic anchoring of a Palestinian identity in eternal flux.

About Larissa Sansour

Larissa Sansour was born in 1973 in Jerusalem, studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London and New York, and earned her MA from New York University.

Sansour’s work has been exhibited worldwide in galleries, museums and film festivals, including Tate Modern, London and the Arken Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. Her work was shown in last year’s Third Guangzhou Triennial in China, the Contemporary Art Biennale in Nîmes, France and the Busan Biennale in South Korea. Her latest film “A Space Exodus” was nominated for the Muhr Awards for short film at the Dubai International Film Festival. Her work will feature in the 11th International Istanbul Biennial in September 2009.

‘Soup Over Bethlehem (Mloukhieh)’, 2006 on Saatchi TV
Video, 9 minutes 30 seconds

Related categories: video art, Middle Eastern art, political art

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Posted in Palestinian, Political, Video | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Asian artists on show in Liverpool Biennial September to November 2008

Posted by artradar on August 31, 2008


EVENT BIENNIAL LIVERPOOL

Celebrating 10 years of commissioning ambitious and challenging new work by leading international artists, the 5th edition of Liverpool Biennial’s International exhibition MADE UP runs from 20 September to 30 November 2008.

Artists from Asia include:

Khalil Rabah

Khalil Rabah

Khalil Rabah (Palestine 1961)

Using narratives that hover between fiction and reality, Palestinian Khalil Rabah’s installations, objects, videos, actions and interventions articulate the effects of war on Palestinian society, its economy and identity.

His ongoing Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind, for instance, which has had manifestations in Athens, Istanbul, Amsterdam and elsewhere, playfully interrogates history as an accumulation of fact and artifice. This fictionalised museum also questions the notion of archiving and the idea of the museum itself as a repository of objects and construction of collective knowledge. Similarly, in constructing a London office for the United States of Palestine Airlines in 2007, or planting olive trees – uprooted from their original home in Palestine – outside the United Nations in Geneva in 1995, Rabah provocatively plays out ownership of the past and reclamation of a future currently denied.

Yayoi Kusama (Japan 1929)

Working across a broad range of media, Kusama is perhaps best known for her compulsive repetition of a recurring vocabulary of forms – polka dots, or phallic tubers, for example – often rendered on bright yellow or red backgrounds.

U-Ram Choe (Korea 1970)

Kinetic sculpture maker U-Ram Choe’s work is a fanciful dialogue of aesthetics and machinery, and explores themes of biological transformation, flight, and movement.

Guy Ben-Ner (Israel 1969)

Low-tech, but ingeniously inventive, Guy Ben-Ner’s videos often centre on home and family, exploring, exposing and exploiting the relationship he has with his children.

Atelier Bow Wow (Japan) and Ai Weiwei (China) are also on show.

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Posted in Biennials, Chinese, Israeli, Japanese, Kinetic, Korean, New Media, Palestinian, Sculpture, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »