REACHING BEYOND BORDERS
(Saju Nair - Dubai) Art and Culture have played a significant role in the making of The United Arab Emirates. Over the years, UAE has produced world-renowned artists and is always praised for preserving its heritage, tradition and culture. It is also interesting to note that any developmental projects carried out in this nation are greatly influenced by art. All infrastructural projects are meticulously designed and constructed to showcase the technical brilliance and artistic thinking of those behind it. When the sun sets, these magnanimous structures illuminate the night sky in dazzling colors. An Ariel view of UAE is a stunning artwork in itself and the credit goes to the visionary leaders of this great land and the citizens who worked towards the making of this country.
UAE always plays an active role in expanding the art fraternity and hence, there are numerous international and local art gatherings conducted by various galleries and institutions in the UAE quite frequently. In addition to regular art gatherings, there are mega art events such as World Art Dubai, Art Dubai, Sikka Art Fair, etc that attract international artists from all across the globe to fly down to UAE and exhibit their creations. Needless to say, all these exhibitions have gained commercial success and have also become a popular destination for art collectors due to the wide variety of art styles and concepts. There are many artists from the UAE who ensure the presence of their creations in various museums across the globe but again, those opportunities are limited. This report will be based on a museum in South Korea and how this museum has influenced the art fraternity in the UAE.
Art has no boundaries and in the current generation, social media platforms have become the greatest advantage for an artist to gain popularity and to connect with the global community wherein they utilize this platform to understand, analyze and share their thoughts with those who have similar interests in art. This report is based on the 7th Geoje International Art Festival titled 'Peace Again' that will be conducted at the Yukyung Art Museum on the 2nd floor of the Haegeumgang Theme Museum from September 1st to October 25th this year. This festival will feature 283 artists from 63 countries who were selected from the hundreds of entries received ever since the event was first announced to the public. Additionally, 30 artists were also selected from the 283 artists to participate in The Korea Art Fair 2021 that was held from August 5 to August 8 at COEX, Seoul. As an individual connected to the UAE art fraternity, it brought us pride and honor when 24 artists out of the selected 283 were from The United Arab Emirates which means around 8.5% of the total participation from 63 countries were contributed from UAE. These statistics justify the popularity of art and artists in the UAE. Once the 7th Geoje International Art Festival titled 'Peace Again' concludes, the artworks will find their rightful place in the Haegeumgang Theme Museum as part of its permanent collection.
Over a period of time, the quality of artworks created by the artists in the UAE has increased and consequently, the artists have gained immense appreciation from the art fraternity across the world. The art fraternity, here in UAE, is indebted to Mr. Peter Gressmann - Founder of artforumuae for constantly supporting and encouraging artists to gain larger exposure on a global platform. First landing in UAE as a student in 1978 the young Peter was fascinated with the tradition and the vast opportunities of this nation. This was one of the reasons Mr. Peter then tourist agent, took the lead to bring a group of German tourists to Sharjah and after having worked in similar jobs, Mr. Peter got the opportunity to travel all across the Middle East and several other countries and he utilized this opportunity to visit various art museums to experience and to understand the works of world-renowned artists. Even though he is not an artist by himself, his passion for art has led him to become a curious observer knowingly or unknowingly he was then transforming into an art dealer and an art historian. Mr. Peter started inclining completely towards art and he decided to share his decades-long of experience and knowledge to the artists and as a result, Mr. Peter Gressmann established artforumuae in 2008 with a mission to provide a platform for artists to showcase their creations on a public domain and also to engage artists in deep discussions about the history of art, its techniques, styles, concepts and various other topics. This effort has proven successful as we have observed a commendable enhancement in the quality of artworks, a considerable increase in emerging artists, and a newfound appreciation for the history of art. The acceptance and respect extended to Mr. Peter by the art fraternity should be one of the reasons why Mr. Peter Gressmann was appointed as one of the 16 judges from across the globe headed by Ms. Elsa Victorios to give life to the 7th Geoje International Art Festival titled 'Peace Again'.
Mr. Peter Gressmann also took the lead in communicating with the art fraternity and encouraged artists to be a part of this art festival. More importantly, artists always dream of having their artworks become a permanent collection in a world-renowned museum-like Haegeumgang Theme Museum. In a short interaction with Mr. Peter, he said "When I was contacted by the museum to be part of the jury of such a large scale event, I feel it as an acceptance of my service rendered to the art fraternity. Having founded artforumuae in 2008 as a non-profit organization with an aim to support artists, today artforumuae enjoys the participation of thousands of artists and art enthusiasts worldwide. I believe such platforms are required to promote art and to encourage healthy discussions about art. As you know, art can be viewed and interpreted in different perspectives and that differs from person to person, so to open up such discussions in a public domain will encourage artists to self-analyze, understand, and initiate all corrective actions if any to enhance their skills. I was appointed as a member of the Jury on February 2021 and from then on, we worked hard to go through the selection process since we received hundreds of entries from all over the world. When I announced the open call to participate in this prestigious event it was followed by 37 artists from different countries and also 24 artists of different nationalities who live and work in the UAE. I think this international event can be a milestone in the career of an artist. It can only be an advantage if an artists' work is permanently hanging in a museum during their lifetime."
Ahmed Al Awadhi - (UAE), Aparna Mohan - (India), Afshan Quraishi - (India), Anita Jain - (India), Bharat Thakur - (India), Dr. Rohita Ann Thomas - (India), Hussain Sajwani - (UAE), Inga Butkute - (Lithuania), Jehan Ali - (Iraq), Mustafa Chouhaibi - (Morocco), Noor Haidri - (Pakistan), Nyama Yasir - (Pakistan), Rania Abou Hashem - (Egypt), - Rubab Chaudhary - (Pakistan), Sultana Kazim - (UAE), Shilpi Jain Garg - (India), Snehita Rathod - (India), Shrutika Gosavi - (India), Shereen Abraham - (India), Shefali Ranthe - (Danmark), Sindhuja Galipalli - (India), Sonal Madan Johar - (India), Suranga Navarathne - (Sri Lanka) and Varsha Saju Nair (India) are the 24 artists from 8 nationalities, residing in the UAE, who have secured their place in this grand event. The magnificent creations of these talented artists will be on display at the 7th Geoje International Art Festival titled 'Peace Again' which will be conducted at the Yukyung Art Museum on the 2nd floor of the Haegeumgang Theme Museum from September 1st to October 25th 2021.
I, Saju Nair along with the founder of TV2, Ms. Alessandra Giorda congratulate the organizers, jury panel, participating artists, and the entire team working at the Museum for all their hard work in hosting such mega event.
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