The fourth edition of ArtBAB has opened today at the Bahrain International Exhibitions and Convention Centre (BIECC). Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and Supreme Council for Women (SCW) President deputized Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities  BACA) President Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa  inaugurated the 2019 edition,

BACA President extended deepest thanks to HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, hailing her keen support to Bahraini artists, stressing the importance of  ArtBAB in opening horizons for them to showcase their artworks in famed galleries all over the world.

“These exhibitions represent an opportunity to highlight the work of the Bahraini artist, which is characterized by modernity and creativity. It is an annual gathering where artists meet with their counterparts from different countries to learn about new experiences and different trends that can add much to the distinguished Bahraini experience in the field of art”, she said.

Shaikha Maram Bint Isa Al-Khalifa, Director of the Office of HRH Wife of HM the King, stressed the importance of hosting such events in Bahrain, which support national efforts to promote Bahrain as an attractive cultural and artistic hub in the region.

She commended the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) for supporting the ArtBAB, annually held in March in Kingdom of Bahrain, in addition to holding other international artistic events and participating in renowned art exhibitions in the world. She hailed the signing of memorandum of understanding between ArtBAB and the organisers of the prestigious La Paris Biennale which will see Bahrain taking centre stage as the “invited country” at the French art fair. The Paris Biennale runs from Friday September 13 to Tuesday 17 September, 2019.  More than 120 artworks by Bahraini artists and artisans will be showcased.

The The fourth edition of ArtBAB  will see 16 international galleries from Buenos Aires to Greece, India to Paris, Antwerp, Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia who will showcase works alongside local artists. This year there are 17 artist stands and a BAAB Pavilion of Bahraini contemporary art show asking 30 artists.

“We are excited about the return of our showcase of Bahraini artists BAAB which has attracted over 100 artists this year,” said Fairs and Programme Director, Kaneka Subberwal, “Our Selectors’ Panel shall be finalizing the artworks that we shall display in the central space at the venue, putting the focus firmly on our Bahraini artists.”

At the inauguration, Kaneka Subberwal, Fairs & Programme Director announced that ArtBAB had signed an MoU with the organisers of the prestigious La Paris Biennale which will see Bahrain taking centrestage as the “invited country”  at the French art fair. The Paris Biennale runs from Friday September 13 to Tuesday September 17.

“We are proud to announce the next step in our exhilarating journey in taking Bahraini contemporary art across borders and to the world,” said Kaneka Subberwal, “According to the agreement, the Biennale shall feature a central Pavilion that will showcase over a 100 works of Bahraini artists. This Pavilion shall be conceived and curated by me and Art Select Programme Manager Tasneem Al Shuroughi, in collaboration with a curatorial team from Paris. We shall also exhibit artefacts and collectibles from our newly-launched crafts showcase, The Bahrain Room.

Contemporary crafts project

Shaikha Maram said: “Undoubtedly ArtBAB has opened new doors for Bahraini artists, increasing their channels of engagement with the world. It has also developed organically and our Artists Across Borders took over 25 Bahraini artists to curated shows at prestigious venues in Paris, Moscow, Singapore and the U.K. in 2018 alone. This year, we are launching an exciting and ambitious project: Artisans Across Borders The pioneering ‘Artisans Across Borders’ project that seeks to renew the ancient crafts of Bahrain will showcase finished collectibles and a limited-edition range of products in a design room. The products have been designed under the directorship of well-renowned Indian fashion design guru and luxury fashion icon, JJ Valaya assisted by Ameena Khan.”

The Bahrain Room, unveiled at ArtBAB 2019 will feature Room featuring special installations and large masterpieces of Bahraini crafts as well as a line of retail categories will feature 50 unique, one of a kind-products, that intertwine Bahraini motifs and modern-day aesthetics to bring JJ’s visions to life. Some of the pieces include linen jackets with Bani Jamra weaves and more.