Islamic Arts Biennale

When: From January 22nd to April, 2023 
Where: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at Hajj Terminal
Who: @biennale_sa

First of its kind, the Islamic Art Biennale is coming to Jeddah this month showcasing the intricacies and beauty of Islamic art . Under the theme of Awwal Bayt, meaning ‘First House,’ the exhibition will examine how the Ka’bah and Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque create a sense of belonging among Muslims around the world. Divided between an indoor and an outdoor area, the Islamic Arts Biennale is divided into two parts: indoor instalments will be focused on Sacred Direction (qiblah) and the outdoor installments surrounding Migration (hijrah). There will be a total of 44 participating artists from all around the region. 

“Amongst Men” by Haroon Gunn-Sallie (source: Twitter/@ArrajolM)

MENA Art Fair

When: From February 3rd to February 5th, 2023
Where: Brussels, Belgium at Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain
Who: @menart_fair

In its third edition, Brussels will be the city of choice to host the international contemporary art fair dedicated to Middle Eastern and North African art: MENA Art Fair. In the beautiful Villa Empain of the Boghossian Foundation, a key venue in the artistic life of Brussels, the fair will present traditional and contemporary artworks.

MENA Art Fair is an unparalleled fair that aims to set the countries of North Africa, the Levant, the Gulf, and Iran, as some of the most dynamic regions, with the most relevant artists, in today’s contemporary art scene.

Courtesy of Fondation Boghossian – Villa Empain
Courtesy of MENART Fair – Gallery Everything I Want (ITA),
Artist Flavie Audi, Le Vase Communicant
Courtesy of MENART Fair – Gallery Hunna Art (UAE)
Artist Eman Ali, Banat Al Fi’9a , 2022

Dhaka Art Summit

When: From February 3rd to February 5th, 2023
Where: Bangladesh at Shilpakala Academy
Who: @dhakaartsummit

The Dhaka Art Summit hopes to answer the question, “how do you tell a crisis story while fostering hope?”

Dedicated to South Asia, the Dhaka Art Summit is an international, non-commercial research and exhibition platform for art and architecture. DAS 2023 will examine how we acquire and develop a vocabulary to understand the world around us, including its mistranslation outside familiar contexts. As language documents history, so does nature. The exhibition also explores weather and water from the perspective of Bangladeshis who live along rivers and seas.

Ben Arpéa at Fabien Fryns Fine Art

When: Until February 19th, 2023
Dubai, UAE at Fabien Fryns Fine Art, Unit 19 Alserkal Avenue
Who: @fabienfryns @benarpea

Ben Arpéa’s solo exhibition, Where the Light Goes, explores the notion of temporality in his paintings, drawing inferences from representations of sunrises and sunsets. Arpéa’s work exists somewhere between semi-figurative and abstract expressionism, where he questions century-old motifs and classical landscape and still life. 

Courtesy of Fabien Fryns – Ben Arpéa, artist’s portrait
Courtesy of Fabien Fryns – Ben Arpéa “Purple Sky”
Courtesy of Fabien Fryns – Ben Arpéa “Tennis Court at Noon”

Béchir Boussandel at Tabari Art Space

When: From February 1st to February 27th, 2023
Where: Dubai at Tabari Art Sace in DIFC
Who: @tabari_artspace @boussandel.bechir

Moving towards destabilizing notions of time, space, and their intersections, Béchir Boussandel’s solo exhibition “Land Survey” explores the narratives of identity. Boussandel engages with notions of territory, mobility, appropriation, or habitat in relation to everyday objects while challenging boundaries between public and private spaces.

With Tabari Art Space, you can discover rising contemporary and modern artists from the Middle East and Africa. Located in Dubai’s DIFC, the gallery has connected emerging artists with international audiences for several years.

Through her writings about culture, art, music, and fashion, Zeina Saleh hopes to answer her own questions and to constantly stimulate her own curiosity. She holds an immense love and appreciation for music, and loves to travel. Her social media handle is @zeinasaleh.