Indian participation at internationally successful ArtBAB continues with fashion designer JJ Vallaya’s designs for The Bahrain Room going to the Paris Biennale next

The 2019
edition of ArtBAB, Bahrain’s premier international art platform held in March,
was marked by an engagement of new ideas and avenues to take the artists to
bigger global platforms – like the Paris Biennale. Held under the patronage of
HRH Princess Sabeekha bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa, wife of the King of Bahrain,
this year saw 11 countries participating. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Russia,
Bulgaria, Argentina, India, Belgium, UK, Italy and Portugal.

The 16
participating galleries recorded sales of BD 93,156. The annual fair also saw a
rise in sales this year, ringing in BD 257,700 in overall sales. Commented
Kaneka Subberwal, director, Fairs & Programmes, “The growing weight of
excellence that the ArtBAB shows have brought to international attention, has
resulted in many significant collaborations and exposure.”

ArtBAB 2019
also broke new ground, with visitors getting to experience a renewal of the
Kingdom’s traditional crafts heritage through The Bahrain Room, a curated
collection of specially designed collectibles that were based on Bahraini craft
traditions – but given a contemporary look by international fashion and design
icon from India – JJ Valaya, assisted by Ameena Khan. There was also a CRAFTed
section where Bahraini and international designers working with design elements
unique to the Kingdom showcased their portfolios.

Cosmic
Heart Gallery from India was one of the 16
international galleries from Argentina, France, Belgium, Greece, Bulgaria, etc,
which what had a presence at this exhibition. “The underlying vision of Cosmic Heart Gallery is a world without
borders which focuses on the exchange of art and culture. ArtBAB provided an
excellent platform and for Art Bahrain Across Borders, the gallery commemorated
two immensely talented Indian artists Natasha Lalla & Shailan Parker, with
a flair for contemporary, abstract art; synonymous with ArtBAB’s theme. The aim
was to showcase the contrast of both monochromatic and polychromatic works of
art and celebrate the distinct creative expression that each artist
represents,” says Jalpa H Vithalani, creative head & director, Cosmic Heart
Gallery. 

Cosmic Heart Gallery is an art space
established by Jalpa H Vithalani. The gallery is a platform for young artists and
veterans in art, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

The
organisers have also announced that Bahrain will be the ‘invited country’ at
the prestigious La Paris Biennale with a 300sq-m pavilion dedicated to
contemporary Bahraini art. The Paris exhibition will be conceived and curated
by Kaneka and Art Select programme manager Tasneem Al Shuroughi, in
collaboration with a curatorial team from Paris. The pavilion will also exhibit
artefacts and collectibles from ArtBAB’s newly-launched crafts showcase, The
Bahrain Room. According to the agreement, the Biennale shall feature a central
Pavilion that will showcase over a 100 works of Bahraini artists.

“With
300sq-m , the Bahrain Pavilion will be the biggest one at the Biennale Paris,”
said Mathias Ary Jan, president of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires, which
organises the biennale, “Bahrain’s presence as a guest country at the Paris
Biennale is expected to energise the event and reinforce its international
standing… We are confident that this robust presence along with the excellence
of contemporary Bahraini art will attract collectors from the region and also
other parts of the world.”

The Paris
Biennale runs from Friday, September 13 to Tuesday, September 17, 2019.

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