Etihad Modern Art Gallery in collaboration with Afghanistan Embassy will host the UAE’s largest art exhibition dedicated to Afghan artists as part of an event that celebrates Afghanistan’s cultural heritage
Etihad Modern Art Gallery in collaboration with Afghanistan Embassy in the UAE will continue to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence through a unique exhibition titled Made in Afghanistan, which will open to the public on Monday November 18, 2019 and run until January 16, 2020.
Made in Afghanistan will be the largest art exhibition dedicated to Afghan artists in the UAE, bringing together 11 artists through over 50 artworks. It will also include some of the country’s famous precious gemstones, handcrafts, antiques and agricultural products with the aim of providing the capital’s international audience a glimpse into Afghanistan’s cultural heritage and arts, which is often forgotten in the midst of its struggles and wars.
The art exhibition, which is curated by Nabila Horakhsh, contemporary artist who will also be exhibiting at the event, will feature a variety of styles by established and emerging artists, including: Shamsia Hassani, Afghanistan’s first female graffiti artist, Ali Baba Awrang, calligraphy painter, and Robaba Mohammadi, paralysed artist who paints with her mouth.
“Etihad Modern Art Gallery strives to provide artists with a platform that allows their passion and messages to be shared with a wider audience,” said H.E. Khalid Siddique Al Mutawaa, founder of EMGA.
“Made in Afghanistan provides visitors with the opportunity to see a different side of Afghanistan, one that is beautiful, peaceful and far from violence,” Al Mutawaa added.
Al Mutawaa thanked the Republic of Afghanistan Embassy for their support, in particular their vital role in choosing and delivering some of their country’s treasured cultural heritage for the event.
He went on to thank the artists and said, “Majority of the artists in this exhibition work under conditions that are just unimaginable to most of us. Life under constant fear and surrounded by violence, the security concerns often prevents Afghan artists from holding an exhibition in their own country. We are proud and delighted to be able to spread their message of peace and share their love for arts in Abu Dhabi.”
Ambassador Abdul FaridZikria, Republic of Aghanistan’s ambassador to the UAE, said: “I would like to express my utmost gratitude to H.E. Khalid SiddiqueAl Mutawaa and their colleagues at Etihad Modern Art Gallery for graciously hosting Made in Afghanistan art exhibition in commemoration of Afghanistan’s 100thAnniversary of its independence.”
“Afghanistan has been at the crossroad of invaders and civilization. This exhibition will showcase the art work of young artists as well as Afghan hand crafts depicting the mix of cultures that make this exhibition so special,” he added.
The presence of nine of the artists at this unprecedented event has been coordinated by Berang Arts in Kabul. When Nabila Horakhsh, co-founder of Berang Arts, visited Abu Dhabi for the first time in 2017, as a guest at Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, she was so moved by the capital’s focus on arts and its diverse audience that she aspired to return one day as part of an exhibition that showcased Afghanistan’s artists, in particular those who have been working tirelessly as part of Bernag Arts to grow modern arts in her country. Just over Two years later that hope has become a reality.
“This is the first time that the artists associated with Berang Arts are exhibiting in an Arab country and I am looking forward to meeting and exchanging ideas with Abu Dhabi’s artists and art lovers,” said Horakhsh.
“There are very few opportunities for Afghan artists to exhibit inside the country and access to international galleries is a real struggle for us. I truly believe that this exhibition will have a very positive impact for the growth of Afghan artists,” said Horakhash.
“This is a very special exhibition because there has never been an exhibition of this size dedicated solely to Afghan artists in the UAE and this can be the beginning of a long conversation with the emirates’ art community,” said Horakhsh.
“We hope we can have many more exhibitions in the UAE, with even more artists, and we are grateful to EMAG and the Afghanistan Embassy for all their support and for creating this exciting event that aims to deliver the Afghan artists’ message of peace to Abu Dhabi and beyond,” added Horakhsh.
Mohammad Shahab Eslami, minimalistic and photo montage photographer, and founder of Induction, a photography group in Kabul, who lived in the UAE as a child and is an active member of Berang Arts, will be exhibiting six pieces at Made in Afghanistan.
“I am very proud that my work will be showcased in Abu Dhabi, one of the most influential art hubs in the Middle East. The fact that my work will be viewed by some of the most important art audiences is an extremely valuable experience for me,” said Eslami.
“I am very thankful to EMAG for presenting Abu Dhabi residents with the cultural and artistic side of Afghans,” said Eslami.
On Sunday November 17, Robaba Mohammadi, 19-year-old paralysed artist who paints with her mouth, is planned to paint live at the invitation-only opening event in the presence of esteemed guests. Horakhsh will be also be attending the opening evening, representing Berang Arts artists.
Abu Dhabi’s renowned Afghani restaurant Nolu’s will be providing traditional Afghan finger food for the first week of the exhibition to give visitors a taste of Afghanistan.
Alongside Nolu’s, Al Jaber Gallery, Shamal Afghan Fruits Trading Co. and Photo Vision Plus have all been instrumental sponsors of the event without whom the exhibition would not have been made possible.
Shamsia Hassani, Mohsin Taasha, Nabila Horakhsh, Latifa Attaii, Ali Baba Awrang, Jahan Ara Rafi, Mohammad Shahab Eslami, Abdul Latif Eshraq, NaseerTurkmani, Robaba Mohammadi and Farzana Sultan Hussain.