SHARJAH, UAE – SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 | Maraya Art Centre is excited to announce its participation in an exchange programme between India and the UAE. This is Maraya Art Centre’s first exchange programme with India and it’s first collaboration with the Kochi Biennale Foundation, host of the largest and longest contemporary art biennale in South East Asia

Delighted to be supporting the project initiated by Mo Reda as an independent curator, and Riyas Komu of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, Maraya Art Centre is participating as the local UAE partner. Mo Reda will direct and curate the project which begins in September 2016 and culminates in an exhibition during the Kochi-Muziris Biennale of 2016-2017. Emirati artist, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, has been selected by Maraya Art Centre as the artist-in-residence while the project curator and the Kochi Biennale Foundation have jointly selected Mohammed Kazem.

Both Ibrahim and Kazem along with project curator Mo Reda will undergo a residency in preparation for the exhibition that will be part of the upcoming Kochi-Muziris Biennale. The exhibition will be unveiled during the biennale as part of the Kochi Biennale Foundation Residency and exchange programme.

The project seeks to reflect a new methodology of cultural and artistic dialogue between the regions while guarding the authenticity and autonomy of each participating artist in their practice process. “We’re thrilled to be supporting this initiative and hope that this will be the start of a new exchange between the two regions and an exciting new take on curatorial practice of interregional collaborations” said Giuseppe Moscatello, Director of Maraya Art Centre. “Our aim is to continue to support the professional development of artists both locally and internationally while expanding the cultural exchanges between artistic disciplines”1mo_reda_0-1-1

Mo Reda commented: “I am very happy that this independent initiative has received the trust and support of both the Kochi Biennale Foundation and Maraya Art Centre. Both institutions are leaders in the regions where they are based and also internationally. To receive such generous support from such institutions is a gesture of confidence and trust in curatorial discourse of independent curatorial practice and will mean a lot to future generations of curators. I am very happy and pleased to see this project materialise with Kochi Biennale Foundation and Maraya Art Centre.”

In early 2017, two prominent artists from India will partake in a residency hosted by Maraya Art Centre. The residency will conclude with an exhibition in the UAE curated by Mo Reda that brings together the works of all four artists that participated in the residency exchanges.

The four-stage project begins with a curator and artists-in-residence programme in Kochi starting in September 2016.

About Maraya Art Centre

Established in 2006, Maraya Art Centre is a three-storey non-profit creative space located in Sharjah, UAE. Since its inception, Maraya has offered the public an innovative exhibitions programme, showcasing the work of leading Middle Eastern and international artists. The centre also boasts multi-media facilities, a video archive, an art library and a regular public programme of workshops and events designed by its in-house team and guest curators. Outside of the main building, Maraya also has several public park art sites within its local vicinity that feature interactive projects and sculptures.

About The Kochi Biennale Foundation

The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) is a non-profit charitable trust engaged in promoting art & culture and educational activities in India; primary amongst them the hosting of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. KBF works around the year to strengthen contemporary art infrastructure and to broaden public access to art across India.

The Kochi Biennale Foundation is also engaged in the conservation of heritage properties and monuments and the upliftment of traditional forms of art and culture.

KBF was founded in 2010 by artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu.

About Mo Reda

Mo Reda (Mohamed Reda) is a Kuwait born Dutch artist and curator of Persian, Kurdish, and Russian heritage. Reda graduated from HKU Academy of the Arts Utrecht in 2006 specialising in performance art, installation, and drawing. His graduation project was awarded a prize for Best Monumental Work and he has received several national grants and a museum exhibition at the Armando Museum in 2009. In the same year Reda joined Zinaplatform, a theatre company under the artist leadership of internationally renowned artist and director Adelheid Roosen.

Reda returned to the Gulf in 2011/2012 for the first time since his departure in 1993 to collaborate with the Al-Riwaq Art Space (Bahrain) to curate and produce an open-air public festival Alwan 338 and a group show. In 2012/13, he collaborated with Albareh Gallery (Bahrain) to produce a needs-based artist leadership program and several highly-focused solo and group exhibitions with local artists. He also worked with Makkan Art Space (Amman, Jordan) and CAP (Kuwait) to produce several new projects based on performance art.

Reda is currently curating the first Middle East-focused exhibition at the Santa Cruz De La Sierra Biennale in Bolivia

debuting in September 2016. The exhibition is in collaboration with the Barjeel Foundation.

About Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim

Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim (1962) was born in Khorfakkan, UAE. He carries a degree in Psychology from Al Ain University, and completed a residency at Le Consortium Art Centre in Dijon, France. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Sharjah Biennial in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2007, the 2009 Venice Biennale, the Kunstmuseum Bonn in 2005, the Sharjah Art Museum in 1996 and 2005, the Dhaka Biennial in 1993 and 2002, Germany’s Ludwig Forum in 2002, the 2000 Havana Biennial, the 1998 Cairo Biennial, the Institut du Monde Arabe in 1998, Sittard Art Center in the Netherlands in 1995, and Moscow’s 1990 Exhibition of the Emirates Fine Art Society in the Soviet Union.

Mohammed Ibrahim received the First Prize for Sculpture at the Sharjah Biennial in 2001 and 1999. His work is in significant collections, including Qatar’s Arab Museum of Modern Art, the Sharjah Art Museum and Sittard Art Center in the Netherlands