A work of art from the exhibition.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Alif: A straight line … It is the line that provides a connection to the Almighty. It is also the theme of the Ramadan art exhibition being organised by Funun Arts Group, along with Novotel World Trade Center. Inaugurated at the beginning of Ramadan, it will continue till the end of Eid holidays. Ramadan is observed in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the holiest month in Islam; it is a time for reflection and self-control.
The philosophy of Ramadan calls upon us to know ourselves, to master ourselves, and to discipline ourselves, the better to free ourselves from everything which is negative. Purifying our hearts and souls, Ramadan is the month of blessings, forgiveness and charitable giving. Is there a better time than the holy month for spiritual renewal? Twenty-four artists from diverse religions, cultures and nationalities have come together to welcome the holy month where Ramadan, the Hindu festival of Navratri, and Christian Lent all fall together, indicating the divine fact that we are all one family.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Suhail Mohammed Al Zarooni, founder of Zarooni Foundation and Sultana Kazim, artist and fashion designer. They were accompanied by Emirati artist and businessperson Ahmed Al Awadhi and Rajesh Bapodara, Founder of Be Attractive e-magazine, besides others. A variety of artworks in styles such as Calligraphy, Abstract, Cubism, Sufism, Contemporary and Photography, are being shown.
Calligraphy artists include Fatemeh Hosseinbor from Iran; Moroccan artist Rajia Hammour; Bangladeshi artist Mahfuzur Rehman; Armenian artist Maria Bedrossian; Pakistani artists Noor Haidri, Amna Saeed and Alia Amin; Indian artists Sabrin Asker, Saida Banu, Sabah Anees, Shabnoor Quraishi and Annu Vikas and British artist, Wahida Begum.
Those showcasing abstract style and cubism are Indian artists Anjini Prakash Laitu, Renuka Chellani, Pari Sagar and Koushal Choudhary; Edit Gorbe from Hungary; Yuliya Solomennaya from Belarus and Roudaina Fardon, from the USA. Al Awadhi displays the portrait of Father of the Nation, Sheikh Zayed. Doods Capiral from the Philippines displays two artworks, and Farah Khan presents her photograph of the Holy Quran.
Shiba Khan, artist and co-founder of Funun Arts Group said: “Art is a place where you can be with your own kind; a magical place were imagination flies freely and widely. “Alif is the exhibition where we can experience how artists create magic with their beautiful artworks. We always plan an exhibition with a different theme, different concept, and every time we are amazed to see how artists produce beautiful ideas, bringing their thoughts to the canvas. “Planning any exhibition goes through a thought process and Funun lways puts the maximum effort, from planning an exhibition, to executing it.
“We are thankful to our partner Novotel World Trade Center, who always helps us make events successful. We are a resolute team and share a similar ideology! “Funun Arts Group is also very thankful to all the artists: without them, this would not have been possible. We are thankful to all our media and supporters as well, for keep us moving and motivating us.” Al Zarooni said that “the UAE is the place where we live in peace and harmony. Diverse cultures and religions live here at one place. “In this exhibition, we not only experience beautiful artwork, but also see how the whole artist community has come together to welcome the holy month.
“Funun Arts and Novotel World Trade Center is doing an amazing job by creating this wonderful platform for the whole community to showcase their creativity.” Kazim said that “art is the only field where we can see so much beauty and positivity together at one place and artists are the magicians who make it possible. I am so honoured to be here and see so much talent in one place.” Farah Khan, who is also co-founder and creative designer of Funun Arts Group said: “Ramadan is the month of spiritual detox.
“Alif is the exhibition where we brought artists who highlight this theme. My photograph, From the darkness to the light, which is the part of the exhibition, conveys the message of positivity and enlightenment. “We always try to bring diverse nationalities, as Funun Arts believes that Art is beyond borders and is the best way to bring everyone together.” Anoop Dhondhoo, General Manager, Novotel, welcomed everyone by noting how the artwork displayed was in harmony with the title.
Ferry, digital cluster manager of Novotel, said: “Novotel is always super happy to bring creative people together. Welcoming the holy month of Ramadan with art, what else can be so beautiful! Art adds colour and beauty to any celebration, making it more beautiful.” Bapodara said that “I came from India and luckily can experience this exhibition in person. We are covering art events by Funun Arts Group; but this is very first time I saw it in person, and I will say it was worth attending.”
He appreciated Funun and Novotel teams for organising the event. “For us, the making of exhibitions has always had to do with dialogue: a concentrated, in-depth, focused dialogue with artists, who keep teaching us that exhibitions have to consistently invent new rules for creativity,” concluded Shiba and Farah Khan, who are also sisters. Funun Arts Group is a platform for emerging artists, cultural practitioners, creative entrepreneurs and homegrown initiatives. Exhibiting both locally and internationally, over five hundred multinational artists are the part of its art community.
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