Artisans Across Borders

The Kingdom of Bahrain is home to numerous crafts and arts.

‘Artisans Across Borders’ an initiative led by ArtBAB Fairs and Programs director Kaneka Subberwal, recognizes the potential of Bahrain’s artistic talent and aims to elevate Bahrain’s arts and crafts into luxury acquisitions that will be sought after in branded stores across the world.

To achieve this, Kaneka Subberwal has brought in global fashion mogul JJ Valaya to curate the project. The design guru and luxury fashion icon aims to work closely with the nation’s craftspeople and impress upon them a contemporary designer touch.

Valaya says he believes that for craft to stay relevant, it has to step into the realm of modernity. Bahrain’s craftspeople, he believes, need to be nourished with radical vision and ideas. 

The project involves craftspeople from the Jasra Handicrafts Centre, Capital Mall, and the Manama Handicrafts Centre.

The project not only pertains to the resuscitation of handicrafts in the kingdom but also to display a contemporary portrait of Bahrain, one where, in JJ Valaya’s own words, “timeless crafts meld with millennial sensibilities”.

The project leverages the increasing organic growth of ArtBAB to construct this commercial identity without compromising the quality of the art itself. 

The initiative will unfold in three parts:

First, an Artisanal Room which will feature dramatic masterpieces with their origins in Bahraini crafts.

Second, a portfolio of stylish commercial interpretation of Bahraini craft pieces.

And third, a book of Bahrain that will encompass various angles of Bahrain’s’ architecture, history, portraiture, cityscapes, and ‘persona’.

Held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeekha bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa, wife of the King of Bahrain and a keen supporter of the Kingdom’s cultural heritage, along with their strategic partner Tamkeen, the project will assume its first appearance at the ArtBAB 2019.