Artwork from Funun Arts exhibition.
UAE-based art promoter Funun Arts, in partnership with Index (May 31 – June 2), exhibited the works of artists it represented at Dubai World Trade Center. Besides being a showcase of global art sourced from international creatives, it was an immersive experience for visitors. Funun Arts presented art in every form, including photographs, wall art, paintings, sculptures and home decor. Index is a trade exhibition that has been connecting interior designers, buyers, retailers, distributors, consultants and contractors to interiors brands, products and services from across the globe for over thirty years.
Funun Arts Founders, Shiba Khan and Farah Khan, are dedicated to bringing artists together on one platform, Index Dubai being the latest of them. They have also been appreciated for their initiatives towards social causes to create a better society, since they are engaged in offering a helping hand to those in need. Many of their art events have been held for contributing to charitable ends. They believe that art lies not only in brushes and canvases: according to them, it is also a form of communicating your thoughts without constraint. This brings positive energy, which brightens the spirit of the onlooker, they say.
At Index, some artists travelled from overseas, to be part of the event. Artists conducted live painting exercises in different areas of the venue. “These artworks are dedicated to this beautiful and great nation,” said the Khans. “The vibrant colours used showcase the positivity of the nation, the iconic buildings symbolise its connectivity to the world, the camels and sand dunes display heritage and culture and Arabic calligraphy symbolises its connectivity to traditions.” Artists who participated in the live painting action included Aparna Sreejith and Sulaiman Khan; Tatiana Yatlo and Yasmin Hamid and Saida Bano and Sumaiyyah Faridi. Yatlo is a modern, talented Ukrainian artist. She specialises in oil painting, picturising femininity and expressing its beauty, emotions and character. Shiba Khan showcased her new series titled Emotions. Her paintings are a portrayal of her inner thoughts and feelings, in response to her surroundings.
For her, art is a form of self-expression without boundaries. It helps her see things from different perspectives, taking her on a path of spontaneity and discovery. She expresses her feelings and emotions by employing bold colours and textures to show her love of life and the beauty and magnificence of the natural world. Farah Khan, who is also creative designer of Funun Arts, showcased her photographs, paying tribute to the UAE. She said “art can make the world come alive. It can make the world colourful. Art is the inspiration behind all that happens. Art is the pillar of strength to many around us, the centrifugal force of our own little world.” German gallery Artinova Gallery presented ceramic flowers through art. Stone artwork by Egyptian artists, works in resin, abstract and contemporary artworks, all were the part of its exhibits. Young and emerging artist Amal Mirajkar was one of the artists who exhibited their works. Mirajkar is Dubai based, self-taught, and someone who hones her skills in acrylic painting. She is also an Arabic calligraphist.
Others participating included Rose, a young artist from Thailand who has exhibited in many galleries and art fairs in Thailand and internationally. “Her work combines the exoticism of Thai culture with Western aspects, and conveys a new dimension of beauty where dreamy, nature forms come together,” noted Shiba Khan. Syrian artist Rafah Abdulrazzak actively challenges herself to improve her art making and likes to experiment with contemporary techniques. “Oil painting is my favourite medium,” the artist says, “as it makes me feel free and alive”. Lebanese artist Rima Moukahal’s fascination with colours and painting began at a young age. Her teachers at the Italian School for Girls in Beirut, rewarded her talent with an invitation to a drawing course in Italy.
Sharareh Tabatabaei, Iranian artist based in Germany and founder of Artinova Gallery, has a deep enthusiasm for art and design, and uses innovative ideas creatively.
Esraa Soshan from Egypt is self-taught and multidisciplinary in her artistic pursuits. Currently based in Dubai, she is a specialist in wall sculptures designed in a contemporary way, as also mosaic pieces and bold illustrations. She started her art journey in 2016, following a childhood dream, and joined ESMOD Dubai, the French fashion institute, to study fashion illustration. She has continued to self-study and experiment with many forms of art. She creates fashion illustrations, mixed media and mosaics, among others.
Khan Ayaan Abdulla, born in India and brought up in the UAE, is presently a student of the 11th grade, studying in Delhi Private School, Sharjah. The love for art in him was seeded by his mother Shiba Khan, and his aunt, Farah Khan. Photography for Abdulla is a way to capture a moment before it passes away — and also the path to bring to the world, moments that will vanish. He has exhibited his works in many galleries. As a photographer, he feels himself to be the eyes of the world. “Ayaan shoots because he sees; he shoots because if he doesn’t, then he doesn’t know who will …” says his mother. Abdulla is also passionate about space and aims to be an astronaut. He was among the thirteen young astronauts from the UAE to attend the Global Space Congress, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
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