Egyptian artist Shehab Shoukry presents his view.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
To herald the 76th Independence Day of India that fell on August 15, passionate culture promoter Funun Arts, along with Peppermill Restaurant, hosted a painting exhibition at Dubai Festival City Mall on August 12.
The event was titled Hum Hindustani (We Indians) and the colourful occasion was a harbinger of the celebrations that were to follow on August 15. “Funun Arts focused on things that unite everyone, as unity is strength and together we are stronger,” said Shiba Khan, Co-Founder, Funun Arts.
“Art has no boundaries, and this could be experienced in during the vibrant morning and in the beautiful ambience of Peppermill Restaurant, where artists not only from India, but from different nationalities gathered to paint.
The challenge was to use only the colours of the Indian flag; the magic created by the talented artists was remarkable.”
The participants were dressed in white T-shirts with the slogan Hum Hindustani inscribed in the triple colours of the Indian flag. The picture of a man holding the flag completed the look.
The location resounded to the tunes of Indian patriotic songs – another boost to the spirits. The event was set off by Shiba Khan in the presence of the guest of honour Mohammed Al Banna, Group CEO and Founder of Lead Ventures, special guest Ahmad Al Awadhi (well-known Emirati artist and businessperson), Anurag, manager of Peppermill, Raju, Peppermill operation manager and Sandi Saxena, art lover.
Mohammed Al Banna said he was extremely glad to be the part of the celebrations. “I can experience India through these masterpieces,” he said, commenting on the artwork.
“The colours really make me feel so positive and happy. Love the whole event full of culture and richness.” He added that it was a wonderful initiative from Funun Arts, and commended the art body for it. “We should keep doing this very often,” he concluded.
Ahmad Al Awadhi said that “India is known as the land of culture and tradition. Indian culture is rich and unique in its own way. We can experience all of this in today’s event.”
Sandi (also known as Queen Sandi), said: “We are the people of a colourful country; we are part of the inspiration of the talented artists and their paintings.”
Shiba Khan, herself an artist, was emotional when talking about the event. “Art is beyond differences - it ties all of us in one knot,” she said. “India is our nation and the UAE, our second home.
“We are thankful to the visionary leaders of the UAE who have created equal opportunities for every nation and made the Emirates a place where we all live in love, peace and harmony.”
Farah Khan, Co-founder of Funun Arts said: “India is the land of legends, and the cradle of traditions. Today, we are happy to present artists not only from India, but from many different nationalities. It makes us feel proud to see them depicting the colours of India.
“Here, I would like to appreciate the dedication of the fourteen-year-old- boy, Mohammad Huzaifa Khan, who is a volunteer in the event. He has captured all the moments of the day on his camera!” Twenty artists took part in the event. They were: Sabah Anees, Anjani Prakash Laitu, Mukta Choubisa, Saima Hasan, Meena Jadhav, Paulomi Rana, Pari Sagar, Yuvika Garg, Ritu Chaturvedi, Shiba Khan, Farah Khan, Khan Ayaan, Shabnoor, Amar and Sujatha (India); Shehab Shoukry (Egypt); Rafa Tom (Lebanon/Canada); Rafah Abdulrazzak (Syria); Subair Absan (Sri Lanka) and Canon Nilsson (Turkey).
Shehab Shoukry said that he had followed the rule and painted using the tri-colours of the Indian flag. “Art forms of India are incredible and its beauty is experienced in the entire world,” he said. “India is known for its colours, expressed vibrantly, and through its rich culture and heritage.” Rafa Tom said that “India is the land of mountains, rivers, and amazing nature; I have depicted the same in my painting.” Rafah Abdulrazzak said that “the diversity and vibrancy of India is appreciated worldwide. It is in this spirit of unity and of being together we are celebrating today’s event with the colours of art.”
Pari Sagar’s painting was a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation. She honoured the martyred Indian leader by using only line strokes, to create his silhouette. Hers was a minimalist approach, using only four colours for her art piece.
Yuvika Garg said that “as Indians, we are proud to celebrate the 76th Independence Day - just as we are proud of being in the UAE and calling it a home away from home. My work India in UAE is inspired by my favourite cityscapes and signature palette knife strokes. The tri-colour in the background pays homage to India. “The Taj Mahal and Burj Khalifa are the most represented buildings of India and the UAE. I painted them together in blue, signifying the bonds between India and UAE.
“The work depicts belongingness, respect, peace and love. We fondly remember our families and friends back home, while we celebrate the lovely event in the UAE. Special thanks to Shiba and Farah for inviting me to be a part of the commemorations.” Shiba Khan concluded that “India has one of the world’s largest collections of songs, music, dance, theatre, folk traditions, performing arts, rites and rituals, paintings, and literature. We are happy that we celebrated our diversity.”
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