Bridging cultures and relations through art

SHARJAH - The Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) is hosting Ismail Al Rifai’s Solo Exhibition. The exhibition, which runs till November 25, is part of the “Lasting Impressions” programme of the Museum, an endeavour to host prominent regional artists.

By (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Sun 24 Oct 2010, 12:01 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:32 PM

Officially opened by Shaikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, founder of Barjeel Art Foundation, on Thursday, the exhibition includes 40 paintings for Ismail Al Rifai, who is regarded as one of the leading figures in Arab contemporary art in the region.

“Art plays a vital role in bridging cultures and enhancing cultural relations between the Arab nations and the rest of the world. Ismail Al Rifai’s solo exhibition highlights his career as an Arab artist living in the UAE and how his work has contributed to enriching the contemporary art scene regionally,” said Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Department.

“I’m honoured to be one the artists chosen to be part of the “Lasting Impressions” programme of Sharjah Art Museum.

The exhibition is a unique opportunity to showcase my experience and art works at a museum that has hosted important and wonderful artwork throughout the years,” said Ismail Al Rifai. “The exhibition will showcase 40 of my latest art works, which are an extension of ‘She and her Creators’, and ‘Recitation’. In this experiment, there are many developments and changes in the technique and content. The use of colours has become the least important, in favour of the real expressive value of the art work, as well as changes to the main element of the art work to serve the substance of the item and not its form,” added Al Rifai.

Hind bin Darwish, Curator of Sharjah Museum for Contemporary Arab Art said: “Ismail Al Rifai enjoys a remarkable cultural presence as a poet, a novelist, and an artist.

He presented an integrated project of creative components — from powerful visual narrative to the poetic and the specificity of graphics, in an experience which is an extension and development of his creative experience that gives him a unique identity and imprint.” Ismail Rifai is a fine artist and poet, born in Syria in 1967. A graduate in Fine Arts from Damascus University, Al Rifai has many solo exhibitions to his credit, including ‘Abstraction’ at Sharjah Art Gallery 2005, ‘She and her Creators’ at Sharjah Art Gallery 2009, and ‘Recitation’ in 2009.

Al Rifai participated in several Biennials and group art exhibitions. He has also been awarded several literary prizes, including the Syrian Fine Arts Union Award – Syria 2002, Ghanem Ghabbash Award of Short Story - Emirates Writer Union 2005, and Sharjah Second Award of Arabic creation for the novel ‘Adraj Atten’ in 2006.

He has also published a book of poems ‘Waed Ala Shafa muglaqa’ by Kanaan Publication House, Syria 2002.

The Sharjah Museums Department, established in 2006 by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, aims to promote the emirate’s rich legacy of arts, heritage and culture.

For more information on the Sharjah Museums Department, please visit the website

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