A composition by Egyptian artist Amr Wadea.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Funun Arts Group, the art community that celebrates the diverse talents of artists, visual arts enthusiasts, designers, photographers and imaginative individuals established in 2016 by Shiba Khan and Farah Khan, is giving an extended welcome to 2024 with a month-long exhibition titled Urban Tapestry at the Artist Playground, Pullman Hotel DCC, Dubai (Jan. 26 — Feb. 29). It features a display of thirty art pieces by eighteen artists. The event is a tribute to the various aspects of urban life, with each artwork giving a distinctive perspective on the essence of city living. Ranging from vibrant street scenes to abstract interpretations of soaring skyscrapers, the collection showcases the diversity and vibrancy of urban culture.
Visitors seem particularly captivated by the intricate details embedded in the artworks, which unveil hidden layers of significance on closer examination. The exhibition attracts both knowledgeable art enthusiasts and also merely inquisitive observers. The show was opened by Chief Guest Abdul Qader AlRais and Sultana Farooq Kazim, along with Guests of Honour Faisal Abdul Qader, Ahmed Al Awadhi, Mohammed Ali, Nada AlBarazi and Sandy Saxena, along with other distinguished guests, who added value to the event.
Shiba Khan (left) and Farah Khan.
The artists who showcase their creativity are Abid Alam, Ahmed Al Awadhi, Amr Wadea, Anjini Prakash Laitu, Anubha Kaw, Dr. Anum Ali, Dr. Poonam Chauhan, Edcel Cabalan, Farah Khan, Heena Mamtani, Juveria Mohiuddin, Mukta Choubisa, Pari Sagar, Rafah Abdulrazzak, Ram Awasthi, Rooma Eejaz, Safa Peshimam and Yuvika Garg. Shiba Khan said that “Urban Tapestry is an art exhibition that focuses on showcasing works inspired by urban environments, exploring the complexities and beauty found in city landscapes. This type of exhibition typically features a variety of classifications including paintings, photographs, sculptures, mixed media installations and other genres, capturing different aspects of urban life. The term “tapestry” suggests an intricate weaving together of various elements, mirroring the diverse and interconnected nature of urban settings.”
Artists participating in such exhibitions depict cityscapes, street scenes, architectural details, cultural diversity, social issues, or the juxtapose nature and urban themes. “The subject of each of our exhibitions is decided with a lot of consideration and much research is involved in it, as our objective is not only showcasing the artworks, but also to educate people through them,” according to Shiba Khan. Farah Khan said that “this exhibition provides artists a platform to share their perspectives on urban environments and invites viewers to contemplate the complexities and beauty of city living. They also serve as a reminder of the significance of urban spaces both as cultural hubs and sites of human interaction and creativity.”
Indian artist Anubha Kaw’s view of her world.
Themes explored in the exhibition include City Life, Cultural Diversity, Architecture and Infrastructure, Social Commentary and exploration of the unique structures and landmarks that are special to cityscapes, often their defining features. Nada AlBarazi, pioneer artist and special guest, expressed her views thus. “It was such a delight to be able to experience the wonders of Urban Tapestry by Funun Arts Group and being able to see all the beautiful artworks of the dynamic and delightful artists and listen to them relating the perspective behind each artwork. Their narration of the experiences and their Muses behind their artworks, was an enlightening experience.”
Rooma Eejaz, who is an artist from Pakistan, said: “I, as an artist, believe that any art exhibition is successful because of a few factors. One of the important ones is the theme of the exhibition. Urban Tapestry is a beautiful theme, and it gives total creative freedom to artists, allowing them full play of the imagination, and to put it on the canvas. I am glad to be part of this event and am looking forward to more such events by Funun Arts Group.” Egyptian artist and architect Amr Wadea is showcasing his artwork. He conducted a masterclass, sharing his experience and perspective on how art helps him in his profession. He demonstrated how he used different techniques and underlined some key points, relating how he worked on the theme of Urban Tapestry.
Pakistani artist Abid Alam’s presentation.
Artist Anubha Kaw showcases her nostalgic emotions through silk painting. The streets of Kashmir, which is the hometown of the artist, can well be felt and experienced in her painting. She described it by saying that the intricate composition is what we refer to as “urban fabric.” “Just as a fabric is composed of various threads intricately woven together, a city’s urban fabric is a tapestry woven from the physical, spatial and social elements that give a town its distinct personality. This can be seen in my painting,” she said.
Shiba and Farah Khan, who are also sisters and artists, said that “the success of any event or any company is based on a good and hard-working team and supporters. We are very lucky to have this in our court. We would really thank all our team, the media and supporters for believing in us and keeping us motivated to go ahead. Everything has its own power and our core power is our artists, and we are grateful to the art community for trusting us. We promise to keep working in the best possible way for the whole community.” The sisters invited everyone to view the exhibition. “Please take a moment to visit the Artist Playground at Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre and immerse yourself in the creative expressions of talented individuals,” they said. Gulf Today backs their invitation.
Funun Arts Group is a community of art galleries, visual artists, designers, photographers and creative brains. It is a platform for emerging artists, cultural practitioners, creative entrepreneurs and homegrown initiatives and a non-profit space where artists are given an opportunity to exhibit their talents in locations that are affordable. Funun allows them the freedom to express their creativity freely. The Group exhibits both locally and internationally and takes part in international art fairs, along with doing a number of shows in the UAE. More than five hundred multinational artists are part of Funun and the organisation serves as a bridge between artists, interior designers, architects, art collectors and art enthusiasts.
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