Biennial opens with message of peace

SHARJAH- His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the Sixth Sharjah International Arts Biennial at the Sharjah Expo Centre yesterday.

By Tarek Fleihan

Published: Wed 9 Apr 2003, 11:47 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 9:57 PM

During his tour of the exhibition, Dr Shaikh Sultan approached one of the installation art works, and wrote in Arabic on one of the white T-shirts that make up part of the art work, 'May the guns fall silent'.

Shaikh Issam bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, attended the opening along with Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Midfa, Minister of Health, Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Sharjah Crown Prince and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, as well as other Shaikhs.

A total of 120 plastic artists from 29 Arab and foreign countries are taking part in the event. They were selected from a total of 400 artists who applied to participate in the biennial which will continue until May 8.

The Sharjah International Arts Biennial which is organised under the supervision of Shaikha Hoor Al Qasimi, daughter of Dr Shaikh Sultan and an artist herself, will present the works of the UAE artists with a focus on their experiences and the development of their art schools.

An international symposium 'Arts in a changing horizon' will also be organised starting today on the sidelines of the event.

Dr Shaikh Sultan also attended a ceremony in the evening for honouring Arab artists participating in the festival at the Sharjah Arts Museum.

During his inaugural speech, Hisham Madloum, General Coordinator of the Sharjah Arts Biennial Festival, said that the festival prompted artists to produce innovative and creative works during the previous years, praising the efforts of Dr Shaikh Sultan in supporting the event.

"The festival has became an international landmark in a short span of time, and succeeded to convey the message of art from different areas in the world," he said, adding that the organising committee spared no effort to ensure the festival's continuous success by selecting elite artists from all around the world. Mr Madloum said that the festival has always been an opportunity for artists to interact and debate contemporary art issues.

Among the honoured Arab artists were the Iraqi critic and artist Shaker Hassan, Jordanian artist princess Wejdan Ali, Palestinian artist Sulaiman Mansoor and the UAE artist Hassan Sahrif.

The artists said that the festival is a prominent cultural event gathering Arab and international artists and intellectuals. They stressed the importance of such functions in preserving the Arabic culture, and praised the initiative of Dr Shaikh in patronising cultural functions.

The judging panel issued a statement disclosing that it has evaluated works of 117 artists from more than 25 countries, adding that it has been working in accordance with the plans set out by the biennial management to modernise the event.

They said the effect of art in symbolising the drama of humanity, adding that many works concentrated on the impact of time and the destiny of mankind.

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