Creatives who revitalised Oman's art scene to represent country at Venice Biennale

The country's National Pavilion aims to celebrate those who are helping to inspire the next generation

From left, Adham Al Farsi, Ali Al Jabri, curator Alia Al Farsi, Essa Al Mufarji and Sarah Al Olaqi. Photo: National Pavilion of the Sultanate of Oman
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Oman is returning to the Venice Biennale for the second time. The country will be represented with a National Pavilion that will showcase the works of five Omani artists who have been praised for “revitalising” the country’s contemporary art scene.

The group exhibition, titled Malath – Haven, has been conceived to reflect on the biennial’s curatorial theme Foreigners Everywhere.

The artists involved include Ali Al Jabri, renowned for large-scale sculptures made of marble and wood; Essa Al Mufarji, known for his clay-based works, which vary in scale; artist and photographer Sarah Al Olaqi, who is also the founder of Muscat’s Cure8 Art Gallery; and Adham Al Farsi, who is known for interactive installations and has been a driving force in Oman’s cultural scene for almost three decades.

Malath – Haven will be curated by Alia Al Farsi who, in 2017, became the first Omani artist to participate in the biennial. Al Farsi's work will also be on display in the exhibition.

Al Farsi says that the artists selected have each made “noteworthy and commendable" contributions to their communities, "effectively revitalising the contemporary art scene" in Oman.

“Their impact extends beyond their artistic endeavours, serving as inspiration for new generations of artists,” she adds.

Sayyid Saeed Al Busaidi, commissioner and undersecretary for Oman’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth for Culture, says Oman's participation holds "significant importance within the framework of intercultural dialogue and human interaction diversity".

He adds that it offers Oman a unique opportunity to showcase its rich cultural heritage and artistic innovation on an international stage.

“Through participation, Oman contributes to fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation, promoting dialogue among diverse societies, and emphasising the interconnectedness of humanity through the universal language of art," he says.

Updated: March 29, 2024, 3:09 AM