Dubai: A group of 28 artists from different countries have joined hands to help rebuild the flood-affected Indian state of Kerala, with a touring exhibition of their works in the UAE.
Titled ‘Together We Can’, the exhibition’s aim is to donate the proceeds from the paintings’ sale to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.
The Art 4 You community will host the exhibition in Sharjah from October 4.
Yasser Al Gergawi, director of programming and partnership at the Ministry of Tolerance, who is also a prominent figure in UAE’s art circles, opened the exhibition at Ghinwa Restaurant in Flora Hotel, Al Barsha on Thursday night.
Appreciating the artists’ efforts, Al Gergawi said: “This is how art becomes a soft power to rebuild our destroyed cities and destroyed minds in a much better way.”
The exhibition is organised by Funun Arts, a non-profitable group of artists formed by Shiba Khan and Farah Khan, two sisters from New Delhi in India, who have been living in Dubai for 10 years.
“This exhibition is close to our heart because it is organised for a noble cause,” said Shiba.
While about a dozen artists will donate the full proceeds of the sale of their works to the cause, the rest will share 50 per cent of it, she said.
Priced from Dh1,000 and above, the paintings belong to a variety of genres ranging from landscape paintings and portraits to calligraphic paintings and abstract art works.
Portraits include those of the UAE’s founding father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Though she has been part of many exhibitions earlier, Egyptian artist Noura Mostafa said this one was special because it was her first time being part of a humanitarian initiative.
“What happened in Kerala has pained all of us. Artists have the ability to grab the attention of the community towards such issues and also give back to the society,” said Emirati artist Ahmed Rukni.
Artist Jesno Rengi from Kerala said she was happy that she could offer a work related to her state itself, a painting of a Kathakali dancer, for the exhibition. “It is also a chance for me to feature Kerala’s traditional art through this forum,” said Rengi, founder of Art 4 You community.
Sharjah-based artist Art Noor, from India, famous for his abstract paintings based on Arabic calligraphy of Allah’s most beautiful names, has offered one of those paintings for the cause.
Titled ‘Al Majeed’, the calligraphic art piece is priced at Dh9,990.
Renowned yoga guru and artist Bharat Thakur, who was among the guests, made an impromptu offer to the exhibition. He gifted one of his paintings done with ink on paper, priced at Dh30,000.