A work of art from the exhibition.
Mohammad Yusuf, Feature Writer
Alif: A straight line… This is the line that connects with the Almighty. It is also the theme of the Ramadan art exhibition organized by Funun Arts Group, with the Novotel World Trade Center. Inaugurated at the beginning of Ramadan, it will continue until the end of the Eid holidays. Ramadan is observed in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the holiest month in Islam; it is a time of reflection and self-control.
The philosophy of Ramadan calls us to know ourselves, to master ourselves and to discipline ourselves to better free ourselves from all that is negative. Purifying our hearts and souls, Ramadan is the month of blessings, forgiveness and charitable giving. What better time than the holy month for spiritual renewal? Twenty-four performers from various religions, cultures and nationalities have come together to welcome the holy month when Ramadan, the Hindu festival of Navratri and Christian Lent all fall together, indicating the divine fact that we are all one family.
The exhibition was opened by Suhail Mohammed Al Zarooni, founder of the Zarooni Foundation and Sultana Kazim, artist and fashion designer. They were accompanied by Emirati artist and businessman Ahmed Al Awadhi and Rajesh Bapodara, founder of electronic magazine Be Attractive, among others. A variety of artworks in styles such as calligraphy, abstract, cubism, sufism, contemporary, and photography are featured.
Calligraphers include Fatemeh Hosseinbor from Iran; Moroccan artist Rajia Hammour; Bangladeshi artist Mahfuzur Rehman; Armenian artist Maria Bedrossian; Pakistani artists Noor Haidri, Amna Saeed and Alia Amin; Indian artists Sabrin Asker, Saida Banu, Sabah Anees, Shabnoor Quraishi and Annu Vikas and British artist Wahida Begum.
Those who exhibit the abstract style and cubism are Indian artists Anjini Prakash Laitu, Renuka Chellani, Pari Sagar and Koushal Choudhary; Edit Gorbe of Hungary; Yuliya Solomennaya from Belarus and Roudaina Fardon from the United States. Al Awadhi displays the portrait of the Father of the Nation, Sheikh Zayed. Doods Capiral from the Philippines presents two works of art and Farah Khan presents her photograph of the Holy Quran.
Shiba Khan, artist and co-founder of Funun Arts Group said, “Art is a place where you can be with your loved ones; a magical place where the imagination soars freely and widely. “Alif is the exhibition where we can discover how artists create magic with their beautiful works of art. We always plan an exhibition with a different theme, a different concept, and each time we are amazed at how the artists produce beautiful ideas, bringing their thoughts to the canvas.” Planning any exhibition goes through a thought process and Funun always puts in the maximum effort, from planning an exhibition to executing it.
“We thank our partner Novotel World Trade Center, who always help us make our events a success. We are a resolute team and share a similar ideology! “Funun Arts Group is also very grateful to all the artists: without them, this would not have been possible. We also thank all our media and our supporters, who keep us going and motivate us. Al Zarooni said, “The UAE is where we live in peace and harmony. Various cultures and religions live here in one place. “In this exhibition, we not only experience beautiful works of art, but also see how the entire community of artists has come together to welcome the holy month.
“Funun Arts and Novotel World Trade Center are doing an amazing job creating this wonderful platform for the whole community to show off their creativity.” Kazim said that “art is the only realm where we can see so much beauty and positivity together in one place and the artists are the magicians who make it possible. I’m so honored to be here and see so much talent in one place. Farah Khan, who is also co-founder and creator of Funun Arts Group, said, “Ramadan is the month of spiritual detox.
“Alif is the exhibition where we have brought in artists who highlight this theme. My photograph, From Darkness to Light, which is part of the exhibition, conveys the message of positivity and enlightenment. “We always try to bring together diverse nationalities, because Funun Arts believes that art crosses borders and is the best way to bring everyone together.” Anoop Dhondhoo, General Manager of Novotel, welcomed everyone noting how well the artwork presented was in harmony with the title.
Ferry, Head of Novotel’s Digital Cluster, said: “Novotel is always very happy to bring creative people together. Welcoming the holy month of Ramadan with art, what else is so beautiful! Art adds color and beauty to any celebration, making it more beautiful. Bapodara said, “I’m from India and luckily I can experience this exhibition in person. We cover art events from Funun Arts Group; but it was the very first time I saw him in person, and I will say that it was worth attending.
He appreciated the Funun and Novotel teams for organizing the event. “For us, making exhibitions has always been about dialogue: focused, deep and focused dialogue with artists, who keep teaching us that exhibitions must constantly invent new rules of creativity,” concluded Shiba and Farah Khan, who are also sisters. Funun Arts Group is a platform for emerging artists, cultural practitioners, creative entrepreneurs and local initiatives. Exhibiting both locally and internationally, over five hundred multinational artists are part of its artistic community.