In line with its efforts to support all sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain and increase their contribution to the national economy, Tamkeen emphasised the importance of fostering the arts sector, one of the many promising sectors in the kingdom.
The ongoing support provided by Tamkeen to the sector is an assertion of the contribution and potential of arts and culture in what has become known globally as the “creative economy” or “creative industries”. From facilitating cultural exchange to growing the tourism industry, the sector has the potential to create new job opportunities and initiate art-based businesses to aid in economic diversification and more.
Sustainability of economic growth is strongly dependent on innovation, and the arts sector being a key springboard for innovation. Hence the sector represents one of the fields that can capture and galvanise creative energies within a cultural, social and developmental framework that helps build the creative and economic landscape, as well as opening up new channels of communication with external partners to introduce the local culture and arts as well as to facilitate exchange of new ideas and experiences and best practices.
A number of Bahraini artists commended Tamkeen’s support of the art initiatives, among them Taibah Faraj who said that she benefited immensely from Art Bahrain Across Borders (ArtBAB) Initiative.
"This initiative helped me not only reach a wider audience, but also personally grow as an artist because each international exhibition, whether held in a museum or an art gallery, is like a condensed art course of new knowledge and experiences. I am grateful to Tamkeen for their support and trust they have in us as international ambassadors of the Kingdom of Bahrain,” Faraj remarked.
For her part, said artist Faika Al-Hassan stated, “ArtBAB is a very important platform for Bahrain and its artists to highlight the Kingdom of Bahrain on the global stage. It also made it easy for artists to be present in exhibitions and countries where it would have been difficult otherwise.”
Al-Hassan went on to express her wishes for the programme to continue because that art is an integral component of culture and that people’s level of awareness is measured through the lens of its culture. She applauded the level of organisation of the programme and support given which led to numerous success stories and widespread interest of global audiences in international exhibitions.
Another artist that was supported through this opportunity provided by Tamkeen also highlighted how the Bahraini fine arts scene was promoted on international platforms through several prominent exhibitions which offered a large number of Bahraini artists the opportunity to showcase their works globally in places such as Paris, India and Singapore. He went on to say Bahraini artists deserve to exhibit their work to international audiences and show the cultural face of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
As part of its support of the art movement in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Tamkeen launched the ArtBAB initiative in 2016 to facilitate and enhance cooperation between Bahraini artists and renowned names in this sector, as well as support their participation in prestigious international exhibitions to promote exchange of experiences and enable them to sell their creative outputs.
To date, Bahraini artists have sold over BD 605,000 worth of artworks with the help of the ArtBAB initiative. This includes the participation of 29 Bahraini artists in an exhibition held in London in 2016 which achieved total sales of BD 50,000. 2017 saw a total of 37 artists participate in exhibitions in Moscow, India, England and Bahrain with total sales reaching in excess of BD 105,000. This was followed in 2018 with 43 participations in India, Paris and Bahrain which achieved over BD 148,000 in total sales.
In addition, Tamkeen conducts regular meetings and consultations with Bahraini artists and representatives of the art landscape in the Kingdom to discuss potential development opportunities to meet the growth targets of this sector and enhance its competitiveness internationally.