Artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim on representing the UAE at la Biennale di Venezia 2022

He is set to showcase the evolving art movement in the UAE with international audiences.

Veteran UAE artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim will represent the United Arab Emirates at la Biennale di Venezia 2022.


Over the coming months, Maya Allison, Executive Director The NYUAD Art Gallery and Chief Curator at NYU Abu Dhabi, and Mohamed will be working together to shape the exhibition and choose what will be shown. Team Yalla finds out more


First and foremost, what does it mean to you to be representing the UAE at this coveted exhibition?


Being chosen to represent the UAE at the La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) is an honour, and comes with a great responsibility. Through this exhibition, it is important for me to communicate my perspective not just as an artist, but also as an Emirati, representing my homeland. It is an opportunity to draw on the culture of the UAE and the identity of the community in the best possible way. I am filled with pride as I embark on this journey.


Please share your thoughts on the show being curated by Maya Allison


After I was appointed as the National Pavilion UAE’s artist for the upcoming exhibition, I had the enjoyable opportunity to select a curator I felt would best tell the story of my work on this incredibly prestigious platform. I chose Maya Allison, since we have previously worked alongside each other on several exhibitions and our collaborations are always productive as we often touch on similar ideas and thoughts. The similarities in each of our approaches makes for a smooth alignment of thought. Maya is a person who is intuitive and can read thoughts easily and clearly.

What overarching message will you be taking to la Biennale di Venezia 2022 through your work?


My exhibition at the National Pavilion UAE will represent UAE society and its culture more than representing myself as a person. I am trying to share with international audiences the evolving art movement in the UAE, in the light of developments the country has undergone. The country continues to evolve in many fields such as medicine and education, and art is no less important than these successes. Therefore, I want to present a clear picture of our rich cultural landscape using the discourse of Emirati art.


Maya, Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery and Chief Curator of New York University Abu Dhabi, describes you as “one of the most important artists working in the UAE today”. How would you describe yourself?


I am still learning from life, from my children and my grandchildren. I am a self-taught artist; the education and perception of practicing artistry and becoming an artist was a solo journey for me at first, then it incorporated others and other cultures. I am still in a state of continuous learning, but currently at least I can say that I find self-consolation in art. I have taken a journey from one place to another through the years, to reach a point of confidence about my location on the map of international artists.


Image source: National Pavilion UAE La Biennale Di Venezia. Augustine Paredes, Seeing Things

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