x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

A show of solidarity for India and Pakistan

Twenty Indian and Pakistani artists are coming together in Dubai this weekend to promote harmony through a three-day cultural festival.

Dnyanakshar, an acrylic painting, will be among the pieces on display at the show.
Dnyanakshar, an acrylic painting, will be among the pieces on display at the show.

MF Husian, the 94-year-old Indian artist who relinquished his passport for Qatari citizenship following a backlash from right-wing Hindu extremists in his homeland, will be the chief guest at the Hues of Harmony exhibition at the InterContinental Hotel, in Dubai's Festival City.

"Despite years of unsettlement between the two countries, art is a means to open dialogue and promote unity amongst mankind," said Jyoti Karmali, the exhibition's director. "Indian and Pakistani art is becoming increasingly visible at art exhibitions across the globe. "Many people do not realise the strong inter-connection between the two cultures, and how this is portrayed in the artwork of both Indian and Pakistani artists alike."

The exhibition will have a private opening on Saturday featuring a performance by the artists Fahim Hamid Ali from Pakistan and Achyut Palav from India, who will create two works to the beats of Sufi music. The two paintings will then be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to The Children's Hope Foundation, a Dubai charity for impoverished children. On Sunday and Monday, the exhibition will be open to the public for free from noon until 10pm.

"We mustn't build borders, we are neighbours," said Zainab Mirza, a 25-year-old Indian abstract artist who lives in Dubai. The exhibition marks her debut show. "It's just the politics that have caused this drift. "The border divides us, but culturally we follow the same things." She will be selling her work starting from Dh4,000 to Dh25,000. @Email:asafdar@thenational.ae