The NFT MENA Exhibit 2022 to bring blockchain-based art to Bahrain

    11 Feb 2022

    The NFT MENA Exhibit 2022, the first-ever art fair in the Middle East highlighting how artists can use blockchain-based NFT technology in their work, is set to take place in the kingdom next month, ahead of the Bahrain Gulf Air Grand Prix.

    The fair will take place from March 16 to 18 at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain. It will feature local artists, international marketplaces, and plenty of workshops to educate the uninitiated about creating and marketing their own NFT.

    Dar Alfann Gallery chairman and one of the organizers for the exhibition, Abdulrahman Almokla, told GulfWeekly:

    “The exhibition, which will hopefully go on to become an annual event, will provide a platform for much-needed conversations about a decentralized future and the next phases of the Internet, as we begin to consider blockchain and its many facets and assets and try to come to terms with a new frontier – one that merges the worlds of technology, art, culture and the economy.”

    “The main purpose of this event is educational. We want to showcase the possibilities that NFTs can offer and what it could mean for artists, investors, business owners, gallerists, and more,” he added.

    Artists worldwide integrate NFTs to offer digital art connoisseurs unforgeable additions to their collections.

    “This is a very important avenue for art that the world is following right now, and I believe it could be massive,” claimed Shaikh Rashid bin Khalifa bin Hamad Al Khalifa, National Arts Council chairman, adding: “Of course, it’s a new technology, and many of us are not aware of how exactly it works. I think we should remain open-minded.”

    The NFT MENA Exhibit 2022 will be organized jointly by the Rashid Al Khalifa Art Foundation and Dar Alfann Gallery.

    Alongside art pieces from top NFT marketplaces, there will be workshops and panel discussions to educate and inform investors and creatives of all skill levels.

    Artists see the emerging technology like Leena Al Ayoobi as a creative outlet that can change dynamics in the art world and usher in new opportunities in terms of investment and global markets.

    “We have been minting NFTs of my art in the last year, and we are experimenting with different ‘phygital’ layers we can add to NFTs – these could further amplify the awareness and reach of Bahrain’s art around the world,” explained Abdulrahman, who helped his wife Leena to bring her art into the NFT space.

    During the exhibition, marketplaces like NFT BAZL will explain step-by-step the process of getting artwork on the blockchain, in addition to talks, live minting, and auctioning alongside workshops by NFT experts, NFT markets, and crypto-exchange representatives, as well as educational sessions for artists and NFT enthusiasts.

    Adnan Al Ahmad and toymaker Abdulla BinHindi are also set to exhibit their creations at the art fair. Abdulla was one of the first Bahraini artists to turn their artwork, the well-known Karak Monster, into an NFT. His most recent ‘phygital’ creation, Gilgamesh the Immortal, is currently exhibiting at the Bahrain Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai.

    An NFT related to the toy is being auctioned on Rarible, and the winner will receive a physical toy in addition to the NFT.

    Recently, Dubai’s Theatre of Digital Art and Generative Gallery has organized an exhibition of immersive digital art of seven modern artists around the world in Dubai. The event, held till February 2022, is featured by non-fungible tokens (NFTs) exposition and sales.


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