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Abu Dhabi Art Exhibitions Expand to Kochi, India

Abu Dhabi Art Exhibitions Expand To Kochi, India

Discover Abu Dhabi Art’s landmark exhibitions in Kochi, India: Beyond Emerging Artists 2023 & Gateway: Maqam, featuring UAE’s top talents.

Abu Dhabi Art, under the esteemed Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, has announced an exciting expansion of its cultural footprint, with two landmark exhibitions debuting in Kochi, India. Scheduled from 12 July to 15 August 2024, these exhibitions mark a significant moment in the global art scene, bringing together diverse perspectives and artistic talents from the UAE and beyond.

Beyond Emerging Artists 2023: A Journey from Venice to Kochi

The acclaimed Beyond Emerging Artists 2023 exhibition, initially showcased during this year’s Venice Biennale, will now grace Kochi’s historic Durbar Hall. This platform celebrates the artistic endeavours of Almaha Jaralla, Samo Shalaby, and Latifa Saeed, spotlighting their innovative approaches and creative visions. Curated to foster cross-cultural dialogue, this exhibition promises to captivate audiences in Kochi following its successful reception in Venice.

Gateway: Maqam – Unveiling Hashel Al Lamki’s Artistic Vision

In a momentous first, the Kochi event will host the international premiere of Maqam, an exhibition curated by Dr. Venetia Porter. Maqam showcases the pioneering works of UAE artist Hashel Al Lamki, offering a profound exploration of his artistic journey and cultural influences. Presented annually as part of Abu Dhabi Art’s Gateway exhibition, Maqam epitomizes artistic excellence and the UAE’s commitment to fostering global artistic discourse.

Partnership with Rizq Art Initiative (RAi)

The Rizq Art Initiative (RAi), a pioneering artistic space in Abu Dhabi led by Shafeena Yusuff Ali and Meena Vari, facilitates these exhibitions. RAi serves as a cultural bridge between the Global South and the UAE, nurturing emerging and established artists. By partnering with Abu Dhabi Art, RAi amplifies the voices of artists from diverse backgrounds, enriching the global art landscape with vibrant narratives and innovative perspectives.

Abu Dhabi Art Exhibitions Expand To Kochi, India (1)

Cultural Fusion at Durbar Hall: A Historic Venue

The chosen venue, Durbar Hall in Kochi, adds historical significance to this cultural exchange. Once the princely court of the Maharaja of Kochi, this iconic venue has transformed into a contemporary art gallery, hosting prestigious events like the Kochi Biennale. Its rich heritage and state-of-the-art facilities provide an ideal backdrop for showcasing the dynamic artworks featured in Beyond Emerging Artists 2023 and Maqam.

RAi’s Vision and Impact

Meena Vari, Chief Curator and Creative Director at RAi, emphasizes the pivotal role of RAi in fostering cultural dialogue and artistic innovation. She underscores RAi’s commitment to integrating the unique perspectives of the Global South with the UAE’s cultural fabric, creating synergies that resonate internationally. This collaboration celebrates artistic diversity and reinforces the UAE’s position as a dynamic hub for inclusive cultural exchange.

Beyond Emerging Artists (BEA): Nurturing Emerging Talent

Since its inception in 2017, Abu Dhabi Art’s BEA programme has nurtured emerging artists in the UAE, offering a platform for creativity and growth. Three artists are selected each year to participate in a comprehensive mentorship programme, culminating in an exhibition at the prestigious Manarat Al Saadiyat. The 2023 edition, curated by Morad Montazami, highlights the evolution of contemporary art in the UAE, now reaching global audiences in Kochi.

Abu Dhabi Art Exhibitions Expand To Kochi, India (2)

Gateway Exhibition: Showcasing Artistic Diversity

Launched in 2016, Gateway is an annual testament to artistic diversity and curatorial excellence. Hosted at Manarat Al Saadiyat, this exhibition invites international curators to present unique perspectives on contemporary art. Dr Venetia Porter’s curation of Maqam exemplifies this approach, spotlighting Hashel Al Lamki’s visionary artworks and their resonance in global artistic narratives.

Dr. Venetia Porter on Maqam: Artistic Vision and Impact

Dr. Venetia Porter, curator of Maqam, expresses her enthusiasm for bringing Hashel Al Lamki’s profound artistic journey to Kochi. She highlights the significance of showcasing his thought-provoking artworks in a global context, underscoring their cultural and aesthetic impact. Maqam’s debut in Kochi promises to engage audiences with its beauty and depth, fostering a deeper appreciation for UAE’s contemporary artistic achievements.


In conclusion, Abu Dhabi Art’s expansion to Kochi represents a landmark moment in cultural diplomacy and artistic exchange. By collaborating with RAi and leveraging the historic venue of Durbar Hall, these exhibitions transcend geographical boundaries, fostering meaningful dialogues and mutual understanding through art. This initiative celebrates artistic excellence and reinforces the UAE’s commitment to global cultural enrichment.

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