Sharjah Art Foundation announces its autumn 2022 programmes

July 18, 2022 / 5:54 PM
Sharjah 24: The autumn season at Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) features major group exhibitions, international collaborations and initiatives spanning contemporary art, photography, film and publishing.

Continuing the Foundation’s commitment to acting as a catalyst for collaboration and exchange, highlights of the programme include one of the first major group exhibitions exploring pop art in the South Asian context, a significant exhibition of works from the Foundation's collection featuring artists from multiple diasporas at Deichtorhallen, Hamburg and a collaboration with Serpentine on a solo exhibition of pioneering Sudanese painter Kamala Ibrahim Ishag. 

Additional information on the Foundation’s autumn 2022 programmes in Sharjah and around the world follows below and at sharjahart.org.


Pop South Asia
2 September – 11 December 2022
Venue: Gallery 1, 2, 3 and 6, Al Mureijah Art Spaces 

This major survey is one of the first attempts to provide a substantial study and framing of South Asian pop art, bringing together more than 100 works of painting, prints, sculpture, video and installation from the mid-twentieth century to today. Featuring approximately 40 artists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the diaspora, the exhibition moves across multiple themes, spanning religious and folk practices to cinema and digital media, to expand the conventional understanding of pop art beyond the Western perspective and engage with the specific complexities of the ‘popular’ in South Asia. Co-organised with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, the exhibition makes its debut at the Foundation and will travel to the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi.

This exhibition is curated by Iftikhar Dadi (Artist and Professor at Cornell University) and Roobina Karode (Director and Chief Curator, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art).

Watch and Chill 2.0: Streaming Senses
Online platform: https://watchandchill.kr/en/ (available 10 June - 31 December 2022)
MMCA physical presentation: 10 June 2022 – 12 September 2022
Sharjah Art Foundation physical presentation: 2 September – 11 December 2022
ArkDes physical programme: 1 October – 31 December 2022 
On-Site Venue at Sharjah Art Foundation: Gallery 5, Al Mureijah Art Spaces

Watch and Chill 2:0: Streaming Senses is a subscription-based streaming platform and in-person screening programme organised by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Korea in partnership with Sharjah Art Foundation and ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. The project allows audiences worldwide to freely access a selection of moving-image artworks from the collections of these three major international institutions, while offering local audiences the opportunity to view a range of rarely seen media-based artworks on site.

Streaming Senses online platform includes 22 artworks, with six selected by the Foundation, which respond to the relationship between technology and human perception, venturing beyond the screen to evoke various forms of synaesthesia. The presentation speaks to what ‘sensing’ might mean in the digital era through four sub-themes: ‘Optical Tactility’, ‘Calibrated Projection’, ‘Trance, Cross, Move’ and ‘Bits of the Spirit’. The works begin streaming on the Watch and Chill website on 10 June, with subtitles in Korean, English and Arabic; a new work will be released each week.
Sharjah Art Foundation’s onsite presentation will feature screenings of video works from the Foundation’s collection with accompanying public programmes.
This exhibition is curated by Jihoi Lee (Curator of Architecture, Installation and Sculpture, MMCA), Hoor Al Qasimi (Director of Sharjah Art Foundation) and James Taylor-Foster (Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Design, ArkDes).


Kamala Ibrahim Ishag 
7 October 2022 – 29 January 2023
Venue : Serpentine South, London, UK

The work of pioneering Sudanese artist Kamala Ibrahim Ishag (b. 1937) is presented in a major exhibition organised by Serpentine and Sharjah Art Foundation in collaboration with the Africa Institute, Sharjah. The exhibition builds on the artist’s first major retrospective organised by Sharjah Art Foundation in 2016-2017.

Ishag has forged a unique and expansive practice which is not defined by a singular style or movement. Most noted is her establishment of the Crystalist school, along with a number of her students, in the mid-1970s that contributed to the conceptual turn in Sudanese contemporary art practices. Her work embraces and expresses different landscapes, histories and subjects in relation to how she has experienced them. The exhibition celebrates the breadth and importance of her work and offers London audiences insights into her worlds. 

The exhibition features new paintings created in Ishag’s Khartoum studio that have previously never been presented, with works spanning from the 1960s to today. Alongside large-scale canvases and works on paper, the exhibition includes Ishag’s paintings on different surfaces such as calabashes, screens and leather drums. A selection of the artist’s graphic design practice and archive offers context into her prolific practice and experiences of living and working in Sudan for the majority of her career.

This exhibition is curated by Hoor Al Qasimi (Director, Sharjah Art Foundation), Salah M. Hassan (Director, The Africa Institute, and Professor at Cornell University) and Melissa Blanchflower (Curator Exhibitions and Public Art), with Sarah Hamed (Assistant Curator Serpentine).

In the Heart of Another Country
The Diasporic Imagination in the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection
28 October 2022 – 12 March 2023
Venue: Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany

Drawing on art from the collection of Sharjah Art Foundation, In the Heart of Another Country explores the concept of home – of longing and belonging by artists who hail from multiple diasporas. The exhibition explores the ways that physical movement – how mobility across geographies – has shaped and contoured the frame of global art today. The artists herein have traversed migratory routes from South and West Asia, through Africa and the Caribbean. Many now live in dispersed sites, far from where they first believed that they belonged. In the Heart of Another Country showcases the work of more than 60 artists through over 140 artworks in all media, many of which have rarely, if ever, been seen outside of their original context. Recently restored installations are presented alongside contemporary acquisitions, which narrate a communal story of kinship amongst artists – one often developed against a backdrop of political turmoil and social unrest.
In the Heart of Another Country embodies the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection’s goal to present art that posits East-East and South-South alliances, forging a meeting point – a connective tissue that nurtures a polyphonous and inclusive art history.
The exhibition is organised by Deichtorhallen, Hamburg and Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE. The exhibition is curated by Dr Omar Kholeif (Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE).  

Hrair Sarkissian: The Other Side of Silence
27 November 2022 – 14 May 2023 
Venue: Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Following its debut at Sharjah Art Foundation in 2021, Hrair Sarkissian’s first mid-career survey travels to Bonnefanten in its most expansive presentation to date. The exhibition includes the SAF-commissioned installation Last Seen (2018-2021) and presents the premiere of a major two-channel film commission entitled Sweet and Sour (2022). The large-scale photographs of Syrian-Armenian artist Sarkissian are developed using a large format camera – a life-long practice first developed in his father’s photo studio in Damascus. Acting simultaneously as an archaeologist and storyteller, Sarkissian’s works in photography, sound, film and installation conjure landscapes that uncover hidden histories which are often concealed from official records. 

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif (Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation); Dr. Theodor Ringborg (Artistic Director, Bonniers Konsthall); and Stijn Huijts (Artistic Director, Bonnefanten). Available at the exhibition is Sarkissian’s first major monograph, co-edited and co-authored by Kholeif, with contributions from Hoor Al Qasimi, Marianne Hirsch, Stijn Huijts, Hannah Feldman, Vali Mahlouji, Todd Reisz, as well as co-editor Dr. Theodor Ringborg. The book is available from Lenz Press. 


Vantage Point Sharjah 10
16 September – 11 December 2022
Venue: Al Hamriyah Studios

First launched in 2013 to encourage public engagement with photography as an artistic medium, Vantage Point Sharjah (VPS) is an annual photography open call exhibition which has evolved into a dynamic platform dedicated to supporting up-and-coming photographers from traditionally underrepresented regions around the world. The 10th edition of the initiative calls for works that celebrate photography’s ability to perceive social realities through different perspectives and will culminate in a group exhibition of work by the selected artists and the presentation of the juried Vantage Point Awards. VPS 10 invites all forms and approaches – from photojournalism to intimate photo essays, and from film to digital and experimental photography. This year, an international jury will award a winner and four runners-up. VPS 10 open call application details are available here (deadline: 25 July 2022).

Sharjah Film Platform
21 October 2022 – 30 October 2022

The annual film festival Sharjah Film Platform supports the growing film scene in Sharjah and the surrounding region by celebrating and sustaining the work of local, regional and international filmmakers. The platform includes short and feature-length film screenings with awards granted to select films by a panel of notable jurors, a public programme of talks and workshops and the Sharjah Film Platform Industry Hub, an initiative that supports professional development, film production and distribution regionally and internationally. This year’s screening programme will offer a wider spectrum of films than previous iterations of Sharjah Film Platform, featuring the outstanding works selected from an open call from more than 3,000 submissions; other recent works in film that have received critical acclaim and historical films by trailblazing directors who shaped the history of cinema in and around the region.  

25 November 2022 – 27 November 2022
Venue: Bait Obaid Al Shamsi

FOCAL POINT is an art book fair supporting the practice of independent bookmaking from the region and around the world. The annual event showcases a compelling selection of printed material by artists’ presses, bookmakers, self-publishers and other non-commercial cultural producers committed to expanding and experimenting with the medium of publishing. Hosted in the heritage house of Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, the fair includes talks, book launches, artists’ signings, workshops, music and artist-made products. The fair places a special focus on UAE-based publishers and functions as a critical space for knowledge sharing and community building. 

In the lead up to FOCAL POINT 2022, SAF has launched two open calls: one for the annual publishing grant (deadline: 2 September 2022), and another for the fourth edition of its comic anthology, Corniche (deadline: 30 June 2022). Winners of the publishing grant will be announced during the fair and the winners of the Corniche Open Call will have their work compiled into a publication that will launch at FOCAL POINT 2022.

July 18, 2022 / 5:54 PM

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