A Look Inside the GCC’s First Digital Art Museum

The Khaleeji Art Museum is revolutionizing the gulf’s art scene

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When the pandemic forced art exhibitions and fairs to go virtual, no one could predict the future of the art world. But it turned out, digital art comes with added benefits. For one, it’s accessible for everyone across the globe. 

That’s precisely what Emirati entrepreneurs Manar and Sharifah Alhinai found value in, and as a result, they’ve launched the first ever Khaleeji Art Museum—the GCC’s first digital art museum. Founded in May 2020, it is a dedicated virtual space for the work of artists and photographers from the Gulf.

“Through our digital museum, we aim to introduce viewers from around the world to Gulf talents, including female artists of the Arab Gulf States, through the various exhibitions we hold virtually. Our museum is managed by and our exhibitions are produced by an Arab women team,” the sisters told Cosmopolitan Middle East.

Free and accessible for all, the museum now holds many online exhibitions and galleries in its records, the most recent amongst them entitled ‘Enough is Enough’ last March. 

The show brought together a selection of artworks, from photography and digital art to gouache and oil paintings, tackling sexual harassment. As the title signals, the 12 featured artists are taking a stand against the issue and urging for an end to this human rights violation.

The museum has also featured Saudi artist Faisal Alkheriji’s first solo online art show, entitled ‘Representing Culture Differently’. The 26-year-old has showcased 19 paintings blending surrealism and cubism with elements from the Saudi and Arab culture.

“We have a very rich and historical culture that I don’t feel we do it justice, and it is our job to show it to the world and keep our culture alive in any way possible,” Alkheriji said in a statement.

For Eid, the museum recently collaborated with Dubai Festival City Mall to create large outdoor projections of select works by six GCC artists like Kuwaiti artist Meshail Alfaisal and Bahraini artist Yara Ayoob.

You can check out the exhibitions here.

 

 

Image: Mujahid Al Malki

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