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BW Businessworld

ArtBAB Working To Communicate Art Across Borders

ArtBAB has worked with artists of India and had an excellent participation. Amid great participation from India, there has been a fantastic interaction with Indian artists

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ArtBAB (Art Bahrain Across Borders), an initiative under patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of the King of Bahrain is an international fair and hosts leading artists from all over the world - UK, Russia, Africa, Bahrain, France, Ukraine, Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, India, Italy and USA among other countries. The latest edition of the Fair is going to be organized from 14th to 18th March 2018 in Bahrain.

ArtBAB has played an instrumental role in promoting Bahrain’s contemporary art scene with Art Select.

Kaneka Subberwal Fair Director of ArtBAB told BW Businessworld, “I have developed a relationship with Bahrain since my first trip in 2008. I took special interest and fondness to the artists of Bahrain, who are extremely talented, very diverse in their technique, exposure and expression. I felt there was a need to communicate their talent across borders and connect the world through art to Bahrain.”

ArtBAB has worked with artists of India and had an excellent participation. Amid great participation from India, there has been a fantastic interaction with Indian artists.

Artists should not be restricted to tiers. The art fair has stands where artists can purchase stands and showcase their art. If an artist has the knowledge, exposure, then there isn’t any issue with selling as well.

India has a plethora of artists so selling art should not be an issue and that is something very niche to ArtBAB.

Kaneka shared, “We have something called BAB Pavilion. We give out an open call to nationals in Bahrain. They apply for the pavilion and are selected by a panel which allows three works per artist. All this is sponsored by the government for empowering the artists.”

ArtBAB wants to connect the Bahrinian artists across the world and bring them to Bahrain, because of its rich legacy, heritage and the power to observe art. One of the main spines of the project is agency Tamkeen, a funding company which focuses on employment.

The art fair brings ample opportunities for a number of people involved through designing. Any kind of exchange of human capital bridges the gap.

Kaneka shared, “I see a lot of art movement in India. As an audience, Indians are very versatile in their approach. There is huge education; art has been going on for generations. There is huge capacity to take up roles, which we are also banking on for our artists.”

About the total participation in the International art fair she added, “We had 48 participants in the first year and 65 last year, which is a considerable improvement. We are hoping to go much higher this year. We did revenue of around Rs 2.5 crore and are planning to go 1.5 times higher this year.”

We have an education program, where artists interact with each other and gain experience. The main aim is to support artists and building bridges with the countries.

This year in India, ArtBAB has partnered with a philanthropist Rouble Nagi to showcase a first of its kind art initiative welcoming Bahraini contemporary artists and connecting creative enthusiasts from India and Bahrain through an unparalleled exchange programme of artist involvements. Under the initiative, Bahraini artists will visit India to display their 30-35 exclusive art works in Delhi and Mumbai in the months of October and November respectively.


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artist bahrain art exhibition employment Contemporary Art