‘Art Bahrain Across Borders’ Unveils Fair Participants


Under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness
Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa
Wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women

13 March 2017:

Under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women, Bahrain’s second contemporary art fair, Art Bahrain Across Borders (ArtBAB 2017), promises to be a fusion of local, regional and international talent, with acclaimed artists and galleries from all corners of the world uniting under one roof. The participant names were unveiled during a private audience with Her Royal Highness, where she addressed the ArtBAB project owners and management, exhibitors and strategic partners.

Her Royal Highness expressed her solid support for ArtBAB 2017, and reiterated the significance of this initiative in elevating the artistic sector in Bahrain, attracting foreign investment and fostering skill development.

“Art is deeply embedded within the Bahraini culture, stemming from generations of local artists who have left their mark and legacy on this island. Initiatives such as ArtBAB are essential in sustaining Bahrain’s reputation as an artistic hub and providing the local talent with the knowledge, skills, opportunities and the vehicle to transcend boundaries and reach out to the global art communities. Similarly, investment in art means investment in the economy and the local arts sector has all the potential to grown into a viable industry that can drive investment into the country”.

ArtBAB 2017 will see over 60 participants hosted this year at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Centre from the 22nd to the 26th of March 2017, spanning Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the United States, and with a very strong presence from Bahrain.

Thirty-six Bahraini participants will showcase their work at the ‘ArtBAB Pavilion’, a section dedicated exclusively to Bahraini artists who are being funded by Tamkeen, the project owners. These artists include: Aysha Al Moayyed, Somaya Abdulghani, Zakeya Zada, Dalal AbdulRahman Al Sindi, Ayman Jaafar, Maryam Al Sindi, Husain Isa Yusef Yaqoob, Maryam Al Hajri, Sahar Ahmadi, Salwa Almoayyed, Saima Jalil, Seema Baqi, Mohamed Taha, Hamed Al Bosta, Dana Al Moaibed, Taiba Faraj, Waseela Marzooq Ahmed, Amani Al Hajeri, Areej Rajab, Ahmed Anan, Karina Al Zu’bi, Sana Al Borshaid, Noora Hasan Al Ghatam, Mohammed Al Mahdi, Sayed Hassan Al Sari, Mona El Rubi, Elias Madan, Ghada Khunji, Abdulkarim Al Orrayed, Rasha Yousif, Aysha Hafuz, Omar Alrashid, Othman Khunji, Ebrahim Khalifa, Mayasa Al Sowaidi and Marwa Bint Rashid Al Khalifa.

There will also be ten galleries exhibiting at the fair, in the dedicated ‘Gallery Pavilion’, and include: leading London gallery ‘Maddox Gallery’ (UK); Ukraine’s biggest art gallery ‘Tsekh Gallery’ which has expanded into Lithuania with its second space; ‘XVA Gallery’ (Dubai), one of the Middle East’s foremost contemporary art galleries; ‘Samara Art Gallery’ (India) which will come on board to showcase a variety of Indian artists including work by owner Sonal Ambani; ‘Project 88’ (India) which has a roster of some of the most exciting artists working in the Indian subcontinent; reputed Syrian ‘Samer Kozah’ Art Gallery; ‘David Risley’ (Denmark), a contemporary art gallery representing new and emerging talent as well as established artists; ‘Temnikova and Kasela Gallery’ (Estonia) which functions as one of the countries few commercial galleries; Bait Muzna Art Gallery (Oman), the first gallery to open up in Oman showcasing contemporary art; and ‘Galerie Charradeau’ (France) which hosts works such as furniture, graphic works and sculptures from the 1930s and post-war.

In addition, a separate pavilion for general entry artists, both established local and reputed international names, will be taking up their own exhibition space to display their individual works. These sixteen artists include Bahrainis Balqees Fakhro, Nabeela Al Khayer, Jamal Abdulrahim, Lulwa Bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Faika Al Hassan, Mariam Fakhro, Abbas Al Mosawi, Maryam Nass and Khaled Farhan. The international names include Pamela Arent (USA), Yonas Hailu (Ethiopia), Dorte Tuldar (Denmark), Mazarine Memon (Canada), Bhanu Palam (India), Rouble Nagi (India) and Azelio Corni (Italy).

In addition to the sixty participants is a video installation comprising thirty two, 6-metre wide screens suspended across the exhibition hall, will feature films by internationally renowned artists alongside excerpts from Bahraini documentaries. The international names include Marcel Dzama (Canada), Cristina Lucas (Spain), John Stezaker (UK), Beat Streuli (Switzerland), Gillian Wearing (UK), Ming Wong (Singapore), Maha Maamoun (Egypt), Flo Kasearu (Estonia), Marko Maetamm (Estonia), Nilbar Gures (Turkey), Ebtisam Abdulaziz (Sharjah), Raqs (India), Cao Fei (China), Neha Chosky (India/USA), Jan Toomik (Estonia), Iv Toshain (Bulgaria), Michel Francois (Belgium), Graham Gussin (UK), Alice Cattaneo (Italy), Dean Kelland (UK), Shi Jong (China), Shimabuku (Japan), Fiona Banner (UK) and Cornelia Parker (UK).

ArtBAB 2017 has been designed to embrace and highlight excellence in the local arts sector while uniting the local and global art communities and providing a stage for learning, engagement and the exchange of ideas.

Ms. Kaneka Subberwal, Founder of Art Select and Fair Director of ArtBAB 2017 says: “The fusion of talent that will be showcased at this year’s international art fair is exemplary. Our objective from the start was to strike the right balance between local talent and international names representing all aspects of the vast art spectrum, and I can say we have achieved this. We have seen participation increase by 20% since the last edition with new countries taking part. The selection of artists and galleries across the board has been hand-picked to reflect ArtBAB’s niche standing vis a vis its regional counterparts”.

Alistair Hicks, Chair of Gallery Selection for ArtBAB explained:

“ArtBAB presents a new concept of art fair – one that reassesses the basics of introducing the collector to artists and new art, and gallerists to collectors – an event that is more intimate, fun and informative about the state of art today – many of the galleries participating are amongst the best in the world for showcasing new and emerging talent and this supports the work of the ArtBAB pavilion and the central curatorial theme of Art Bahrain Across Borders.”

ArtBAB 2017 is spearheaded by Tamkeen, Bahrain’s semi-government arm mandated to drive private sector growth, and will be managed and executed by international art investment and consultancy firm Art Select (a brand of Art and Spice).

A series of talks and workshops under the overriding umbrella ‘Talks@ArtBAB’, will be running in parallel to the fair hosted by both local Bahraini and select international artists.

Dr Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, Chief Executive of Tamkeen says: “Tamkeen believes that the art sector has gained importance as an engine of economic growth, not only locally but across the region. We want to support this sector through initiatives such as ArtBAB, and we hope to steer the arts sector into new levels. The aim is to inspire the local and regional talent and promote art education and skills development by bridging our local artists with their regional and international counterparts, encourage collaborations and foster learning and development from the exchange of ideas with renowned names in the art field.”

The strategic partners for ArtBAB 2017 are Gulf Air, the Bahrain Economic Development Board, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, the Bahrain Airport Company and Batelco.

About Tamkeen:

Tamkeen is a semi-government organisation in Bahrain established in 2006 under Law Number (57) as part of the country’s national reform initiatives, with the task of making the private sector as the key driver of sustainable economic development.

Underpinned by its 3 strategic pillars – enhancing quality, serving customers, and achieving results – the organisation provides an integrated range of programmes to create a solid foundation for a modern economy – such as SME financing, skills training, and entrepreneurship.

At the same time, these programmes address key challenges facing Bahrainis and businesses in the private sector at various stages of their development – from start-ups to mature companies, and from students to senior executives.

To date, Tamkeen’s programmes have served more than 130,000 Bahrainis and businesses. More information available at www.tamkeen.bh

Or contact us through our official channel (TamkeenBahrain):


About ArtSelect

ArtSelect is a unique initiative launched on the strength of a private passion by its founder and owner Kaneka Subberwal, which today is a strong and successful international business format.

The hosting of high calibre exhibitions, together with providing a platform for emerging artists has given ArtSelect a definite edge in making art more accessible, thereby strengthening its association with clients from various cities including Dubai, Muscat, London, and Bahrain. The art exhibited ranges from established masters to emerging talent from India, Pakistan and the Middle East.

The ArtSelect team endeavours to position itself as a valuable resource for a substantial range of quality art. And finally to advise, consult and assist clients in the significance of building private and corporate collections.