Mon, Feb 7, 2022

Art & Auctions
Bahrain to host 'region's first' NFT art expo

Bahrain-based RAK Art Foundation and Dar Alfann Gallery have entered into a joint venture to create NFT MENA Exhibit 2022, a state-of-the-art exhibition that will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Manama from March 16 to 18.

The NFT exhibition, being held during the F1 weekend in Bahrain, offers a unique and innovative experience and is the first of its kind in the region.

The global art conversation is changing, presenting us with a revolution in digital art — one that will forever alter the way we perceive the art world and Bahrain has chosen to capitalise on this, show organisers said at a press conference today.

“The exhibition -- which is the first edition and will go on to become an annual event -- will provide a platform for much-needed conversations about a decentralised future and the next phases of the Internet, as we begin to consider the blockchain and its many facets and assets and try to come to terms with a new frontier; one that merges the worlds of technology, art, culture and the economy,” said Abdulrahman Almokla, Chairman of Dar Alfann Gallery.

“The main purpose of this event is educational. While these topics are making the front pages and gaining popularity fast, most people are still asking themselves “what are NFTs?” We want to answer this question and show them the possibilities that NFTs can offer. What it could mean for them as artists, investors, business owners, gallerists and so on.”

In other words, NFT MENA Exhibit 2022 is an attempt to propel the web 3.0 narrative, and showcase the cultural relevance of digital artworks and their potential as both intellectual, cultural and investment capital. In fact, the exhibited art and the panel of speakers will demonstrate how utilising the emerging technologies as a creative outlet creates new dynamics in the art world and new opportunities in terms of investment and global markets, he said.

Alongside some international artists, the exhibition will present a curation of artworks by Bahraini artists such as Leena Al Ayoobi, Adnan Al Ahmed and more, and explain step-by-step the process of getting your artwork on the blockchain, in addition to talks, live minting and auctioning, workshops by NFT experts, NFT markets and crypto-exchange representatives, as well as educational sessions for artists and NFT enthusiasts.

The organisers have also partnered with NFT BAZL, a leading NFT marketplace to bring their expertise to realise this event.

This one-of-a-kind presentation stands at the crossroads between the digital and the physical, the material and the immaterial. Its aim is to create awareness, harness the enthusiasm generated by such new “disruptive” technologies and inject it back into the art trade in order to create a more versatile and inclusive market, said the organisers.

“We also aspire to open a public debate about the social perception of art, the legitimacy of digital artworks and their cultural implications on both local and global fronts,” they said.

The RAK Art Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering artists worldwide by providing opportunities, encouraging cross-cultural collaborations and exchange, and fostering international partnerships. Dar Alfann, based in Bahrain, is a boutique firm that specialises in creating art and artwork that speaks to the traditional heritage of the Arabian Gulf countries. - 

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