An artwork on show at Funun Arts fest.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
The UAE is marking its Golden Jubilee and on this special occasion, art promoter Funun Arts is showing its gratitude to the nation and its people, by a mega celebration. The art promoter, along with their venue partners Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai and Ibis One Central Dubai, have organised a week-long gala of art events.
Highlights: *100 artists/50 nationalities/100 artworks: The artists’ exhibition went live on November 28 *Live painting in Desert Safari: November 29 *70 student artists/20 nationalities/10 schools/70 artworks: Student art exhibition on December 1 *Collaborative live painting with children of determination on December 5.
The artist exhibition titled UAE: Spirit of Union, was hosted in Novotel World Trade Centre on November 28 under the patronage of Suhail Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman of Zarooni Foundation and the Zarooni group of companies. Says Shiba Khan, co-founder of Funun Arts and an artist herself: “The event, where 100 artists from 50 nationalities exhibited their 100 artworks, was a real beauty. “It showed that art is the best way to bring everyone together on one platform, to celebrate one motive; and that’s what the title of the exhibition said: Spirit of Union.
” Others attending the event included Sultana Kazim, fashion designer, artist and representative of the Museum of America in the UAE and Yasser Al Gergawi, Director of Projects and Partnerships, at the Ministry of Tolerance. Al Zarooni said: “We can see a variety of work and the expressive ways of artists through their paintings. Each artwork narrates a story which is well explained by the artist and felt by the viewer.” Shiba Khan adds: “The UAE is the most colourful place in the world where we can see so many different nationalities from around the globe, living together in love and harmony. “This is like a garden with so many beautiful and different flowers.
And as this is the Golden Jubilee year, it is the best time to salute this great nation.” Anoop Dhondoo, General Manager of Novotel, felt proud to be part of the mega celebration. “As the pandemic is lifting, this is the time to celebrate the 50th year, following all safety measures. As there are so many tourists, they can experience the harmony and strength of this great nation through this art exhibition, which is full of diverse people showing their love by showcasing the artwork themed on the UAE,” he said.
Kazim said that “we are experiencing the whole world under one roof. It is like bringing all the colours of the world on one canvas.” The second event was in the heart of the desert. It included live painting, as artists and their supporters enjoyed one of the most happening attractions of the UAE, namely, Desert Safari. Artists worked live among sand dunes and in the midst of nature. “It was like an art retreat,” says Shiba Khan. “Artists from Georgia came especially to be the part of this mega celebration - it was their first time in the UAE.” Farah Khan, creative designer, photographer and co-founder of Funun Arts, commented: “Art, a simple three-letter word, has a broad definition.
“From photography, music and dance to painting, everything is a genre of art. Art creates something without words, something that speaks to people — it is a language of its own. We see art every day; only, how we see it, is different.” This was not the end of the celebrations, however. YCK or Youth Creative Minds, a new addition to Funun Arts founded by Khan Ayaan Abdulla, is organising a student art exhibition on December 1 at Ibis One Central Dubai.
70 students from 20 nationalities and 10 schools and 10 mentors are striving to make art event a platform for various talents. “We have seen the work of these budding artists, which totally justifies the quote of one the greatest artists, Pablo Picasso, that “Every child is an artist,” Shiba Khan says. Abdulla, student of Grade XI of DPS Sharjah, who is the brain behind YCM, says that “I want to create a platform for the young generation, which is the future of any nation, so they can come forward, take initiatives, showcase their talents and unleash their creativity.”
“Creativity is what drives a nation towards greatness and empowering youth is the way to go forward. YOUTH to me stands for Young, Outgoing, United, Truthful and Honest.” Mohammed Huzaifa Khan, the young partner of YCM, who is a budding photographer and young activist, believes that this type of platform develops a sense of responsibility in the younger generation.
Funun Arts, along with these young champs of YCM, will be organising their next event on December 5. It is a collaborative live painting occasion, where artists, students of determination and student artists, join hands to create a masterpiece. The event will be hosted by Novotel World Trade Centre Dubai. Funun Arts is a non-profit platform where artists are given an opportunity to exhibit their talents in spaces that are affordable, which allows them the freedom to enhance their creativity, free of anxiety.
Emerging as an innovative idea from among a few artists in 2016, it was given shape by the Khan sisters, Shiba and Farah. Shiba Khan is an artist, fashion designer and art activist and Farah Khan, besides being a photographer and creative designer, is also a food blogger. Funun Arts has won appreciation for their initiatives in social causes, and has also been engaged in offering a helping hand to those in need. More than 400 multinational artists are part of its art community.
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