Nadia Al Amri, Ahmed Al Shukaili and Ahmed Altoqi—three award winning Omani photographers—will display their work at Bahrain’s glossy new art fair, an official from the Bait Muzna Gallery said.
“The photographers will display their black-and-white collections at the fair,” the official said, adding that Bahrain’s art fair, a daring project piloted in 2015, is now emerging as the distinctive brand ArtBAB or Art Bahrain Across Borders.
The fair will take place between March 22 and 26 at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre under royal patronage of Her Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King of Bahrain and President of the Supreme Council for Women.
“The three Omani photographers share a passionate love for Oman and the pristine, ever-changing light that dramatises its spectacular landscapes, the character expressed in the faces of people, the nation’s fascinating traditional culture, and its proud history on land and sea,” official added.
All three artists are both local and international award-winners; gold-medallists, who belong to the prestigious FIAP—The International Federation of Photographic Art. Each photographer spoke of what he or she had learned through the lens and the spiritual journey that opened up with the practice of their art. For ArtBAB, they have chosen works from their black and white collections.
Al Amri is particularly admired for images of haunting beauty and how she mirrors reality in ways that reveal inner meaning. She is presenting five conceptual pieces in the exhibition on the theme of women in surreal settings.
Altoqi describes himself as “the son of a beautiful land, of sweeping beaches, soaring mountain ranges, golden sand dune deserts, green valleys and sheltering palm trees... the son of a heritage spanning 3,000 years, of diverse history, heritage, life and folklore, faces full of tolerance, dignity and unlimited generosity.”
Altoqi’s collection for ArtBAB includes four striking landscapes, an engaging portrait of a basket-maker at work, and an unforgettable image of a fisherman asleep amid his nets.
From his magnificent collection of portraits, Al Shukaili has selected six pieces showing the weathered faces of old Omani men, etched with character, and emanating wisdom.
“I treat photography as a tool to indulge in the beauty of life and humanity away from other complications of life itself. I found that life is fascinating in a different way through the viewfinder of my camera and that made me explore more and more fruitfully,” Shukaili said. ArtBAB will host reputed artists, galleries and collectors from Bahrain, the region and around the world.
The exhibition will also include a BAAB Pavilion exclusively for 30 Bahraini artists selected by an international jury; a Gallery Arena to host some 35 international and local galleries; an International Artists Pavilion; an art book shop; and an art merchandising and design section.
A specially designed art and education programme entitled ‘[email protected]
,’ will also be held in which Al Shukaili will participate.
“This is a great opportunity to display the work of Omani artists and to exchange ideas with artists from the region and around the world; as well all experience a stimulating diversity of artwork in one place. I am incredibly excited to be part of ArtBAB with my collection called ‘Glistens with Grey,’ along with amazing photographs by my colleagues Ahmed Altoqi and Nadia Al Amri,” Al Shukaili added.
Founded at the turn of the new millennium, the Bait Muzna Gallery continues to have a significant pioneering impact on the development of art in Oman, particularly in bringing Omani artists into the realm of global art where they have created excitement and interest, received well-deserved acclaim and benefitted from exposure to exciting new ideas.
Bait Muzna’s initiative at ArtBAB will mark another milestone along the way.