Building a platform for the arts in Iraq and cultural bridges with the world

InvisibleBeauty-Website

Invisible Beauty An exhibition of five Iraqi artists at the 56th Venice Biennale

RUYA announces Iraq Pavilion artists and Ai Weiwei collaboration at Art Dubai

RUYA hosted a talk on art in Iraq at Art Dubai last week, to announce the artists selected for the National Pavilion of Iraq at the 56th Venice Biennale and as well as shed light on the state of the arts in Iraq today. Curator Philippe Van Cauteren introduced the theme of this year’s Pavilion,…
3rdi_wafaabilal_01

Wafaa Bilal on drones, the Hudson River and why art should agitate.

Wafaa Bilal is a New York-based Iraqi artist, working with mixed media from installations to photography and digital arts. His project Virtual Jihadi (2008) recreated first person shooters that the US army used to train their staff. He talks to Ruya about his days as a student in Baghdad, life as an artist in New York, and…

Panel Discussion: Art, conflict and Iraq at the 56th Venice Biennale

“When a conflict is prolonged, local people become isolated from the outside world, and their true lives and images become obscure in the eyes of the outsiders. Conflict itself rather than their suffering is presented to the world. (…) One of the objectives of cultural exchange is to protect such people against psychological and cultural…
Untitled, 2014. Image courtesy of Hashim Taeeh.

“Making do and getting by”: Basra-based painter Hashim Taeeh

Hashim Taeeh (b.1948, Basra) is a painter based in Basra. His cardboard sculptures, in collaboration with the artist Yasseen Wami, were part of Welcome to Iraq, the Iraq Pavilion exhibition at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.  The modest material and basic, minimalist style they prefer are entirely at odds with a popular taste in…
Rahim al Haj

Maqams on the Digeridoo: Oud player and composer Rahim al Haj

Rahim al Haj is a composer and Oud player based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Born and raised in Baghdad, he studied at the Institute of Music under Munir Bashir, and toured the world as part of the Baghdad Ensemble before fleeing Iraq in 1991. He speaks to RUYA about his early career as a musician and how he fuses the…
Resized2

“A half-finished Iraqi flag”: Baghdad-based photographer Ayman al-Amiri

Ayman al-Amiri (b. 1995, Baghdad) is well known among young photographers and filmmakers in Baghdad. He was 8 years old when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, and his photographs reflect daily life after the conflict.  Ayman’s work has been presented at international film festivals in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and New York and appears in RUYA’s Welcome to Iraq…
DSC_9773

Curating the Iraq Pavilion: Q&A with Philippe Van Cauteren

In November 2014, Philippe Van Cauteren, curator of the Iraq Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, travelled to Baghdad with RUYA’s chairman Tamara Chalabi. There, they met artists in their studios, and visited the city’s cultural institutions and galleries. As well as mentoring the artists, RUYA hosted a day long symposium on international contemporary art…

RUYA holds symposium in Baghdad on contemporary art.

RUYA hosted a day long symposium on contemporary art in Baghdad last week, open to artists and intellectuals from across the country. Curator Philippe Van Cauteren, who RUYA brought to Baghdad to meet artists and visit the city’s cultural institutions, gave a presentation on the current international state of contemporary art. ‘We took advantage of…
Loading...