IRCICA in cooperation with Kuwait Centre for Islamic arts and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters

IRCICA in cooperation with Kuwait Centre for Islamic arts and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters

Jointly organised the
Kuwait International Exhibition on Islamic Arts and its Application on Metal Crafts,
Kuwait on 7-14 February 2016

In celebrating Kuwait as the Islamic Capital of Culture in the Muslim World, and under the High Patronage of His Highness the Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, The Research Centre for Islamic History, Arts and Culture (IRCICA) based in Istanbul, organized this week in cooperation with Kuwait Centre for Islamic arts and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters the Kuwait International Exhibition on Islamic Arts and its Application on Metal Crafts, Kuwait on 7-14 February 2016.

This International event gathered participation of 16 Innovators in all types and forms of Metal Handicrafts like, jewelry, swords, boxes, light objects, metal-repose, metal ornamentations on vase, jugs, plates, and many more, who hailed from different geographical places of the World: Algeria, Afghanistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Tataristan, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.  IRCICA also organized an exhibition of illumination of the works of Artisan Fatma Ozcay from Turkey along with works of her students.  The exhibition was in the form of pavilions of artisans and innovators forming a traditional heritage international Craft village where they displayed their works, tools, and techniques applied in the above mentioned handmade Metal products.

For many months of preparation, IRCICA worked very hard - sometimes days and nights to assure the selection of some of the innovators of Artisans from different regions of the Muslim World in various Metal craft topics.  It was not easy to approach such a wonderful group of Artisans who came from various regions to display the techniques of their works.  The exhibition witnessed the arrival of different categories of visitors especially during the first days who were keen to buy such wonderful pieces of Metal Handmade Products and to be more aware of the various types and works of the Artisans.

The interaction and the exchange of friendship, techniques, designs of various artisans from different places of the Muslim world along with the interaction also made with the visitors who came even from neighboring countries like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - were one of the main output of this international event.

The exhibition was organised within the IRCICA's long-term Craft Development Program which places emphasis on traditional handicrafts in the OIC Member States and tries to contribute to the revival, preservation and development of the handicrafts.

The exhibition was inaugurated by His Excellency Sheikh Salman Al Sabah Salem al-Hamoud al-Sabah, Minister of Information and the Minister of State for Youth in the State of Kuwait, H.E. the Minister Yakoub Al-Saneh, Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Dr. Halit Eren, Director General of IRCICA, Engineer Farid Imadi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, in addition to Engineer Ali al-Yoha, Secretary General of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature in the State of Kuwait.

Luckily, the exhibition witness the visit of a group of the diplomatic corps represented in Kuwait along with a number of distinguish personalities such as Sheikh Fahd Jaber Al-Ahmed and Sheikha Altaf Al-Sabah, Patron of Bait Al-Sadou.  Also a number of Ambassadors of the Muslim World in Kuwait visited the exhibition stands of their artisans interacting with them about the techniques and raw materials applied.

The exhibition witnessed during the first days the flow of many delegations along with groups of school students who were keen to learn more about such types of crafts and products.  It was a surprise for many artisans to see such a high level of awareness and attention shown by the visitors in real terms towards their products and the desire to acquire such wonderful pieces of work. 

The other surprise in this international event was the exchange of knowledge and experience among the artisans who came from different geographical places which pushed them to interact their experiences about the techniques of the work, raw materials and designs, which created an atmosphere of intimacy and desire in the approach for future cooperation in this field.

The event also witnessed a wide television coverage from different media institutions including the Kuwait Television in addition to local and regional newspapers who were keen to arrange daily interviews with the artisans and visitors to record the different impressions on this unique event.

Dr Halit Eren, Director General of IRCICA in his Address has pointed out the main role of IRCICA in organizing this international Exhibition on Islamic Arts and its application on Metal Crafts and gave a brief of the hard efforts made during the last few months in contacting the concerned handicrafts authorities in the OIC Member Countries in order to guarantee the participation of the unique artisans who are the innovators in the specific field of profession.  He praised the efforts made by Dr. Nezih Maruf during the past months in organizing and coordinating this International Exhibition with such a variety of innovative artisans from various regions of the Muslim World.

The Director General also gave a brief about the various joint cooperation made by IRCICA in collaboration with Kuwait Centre for Islamic Arts by mentioning the First International Exhibition on Handmade Prayer Carpets organized in Kuwait on 29 December 2013-9 January 2014 with participation of 12 pioneer artisans from 12 Member states who are active in the field of handmade weaving of prayer Carpets.

He also mentioned the Kuwait International Exhibition on Ceramic and Pottery organized in Kuwait on 4-15 January 2010 which was organized by IRCICA in cooperation with Kuwait Centre for Islamic Arts.  He added that all these activities were organized within the IRCICA Crafts Development Program which is considered as one of the important active projects of the Centre that worked for long years now to promote, develop and highlight the important role of Artisans in the Muslim World.

Dr. Eren gave a highlight of the various activities in the Centre in the field of research, scholarly events, highlighting the Production of specialised studies in the field of history, culture, arts, architecture and education that are related to Islamic civilization studies, translation of the Holly Qur'an along with the publication of the old copies available in main museums and libraries.  He gave also a brief about the important role of IRCICA in the field of Calligraphy: competitions, catalogues and training courses in Istanbul and many other places of the world; the exhibitions of Harameyin and Al Quds in many different cities around the world; The architectural workshops aiming to document, restore and preserve the Islamic architectural heritage of the Member countries and many more.

He also gave a brief of the other various activities of IRCICA as the first cultural research institution which provide opportunities for collaboration and cooperation between scholars, researchers, historians to conduct research and studies in various languages in the areas of Islamic History, Art and Culture, and contribute to maintaining the Islamic arts and culture among the peoples of the Islamic world, H.E. Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah in his opening Address stated that Kuwait believes in the role of arts and culture in preparing an enlightened generation who are capable of contributing to the progress and development of their homeland.

Sheikh Salman added the forum coincides with the Kuwait celebrating its selection as Capital of Islamic Culture 2016.  "The creative works of art on display at, and the activities of, the event sends a message about the grandeur of the Islamic civilization which impacted all aspects of our daily life," Sheikh Salman pointed out. "The exhibits shed light on the great aesthetic appeal of the Islamic civilization and the bright humanitarian aspect of noble and moderate Islam," he went on.

Sheikh Salman added that the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) shoulders a great responsibility for promoting public awareness, particularly among the young people, about the Islamic arts and civilization.

On his part, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Yaqoub Al Sanea said the forum contributes to the status of Kuwait as center of Islamic arts and the status of the Grand Mosque as one of the country's landmarks.

"Over the last seven years, the forum rose to prominence and became a global cultural beacon providing a networking opportunity for scholar and researchers in, and lovers of, the Islamic arts," the minister said. He added that the event is part of the efforts of the Ministry of Awqaf to promote Islamic culture and celebrate Kuwait selection as Capital of Islamic Culture this year.

In his address the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Mr. Farid Amadi pointed out that the Islamic arts played an important role which requires attention, adding that the Community partnership comes within the plans of the Ministry strategy as an important factor that will be activate with all the governmental and private sectors for its role in the fulfilment of aimed activities.

On his part, the Director of the Kuwait Centre for Islamic Arts Mr. Farid Ali confirmed that the cooperation established with the Crafts Development Program of IRCICA was very important in terms of the Organization of the Kuwait International Exhibition om Metal Crafts, Praising the efforts of IRCICA in providing a variety of innovative artisans who came from various geographic regions of the Islamic world and who brought with them a set of distinguished products that images different ranges in richness and quality of Metal handmade products.

The participating artisans were as follows:

Artisan Mounira Lallali, Paint Artist specialized in Métal repoussé. Born in Tunisia in 1952 and graduated from the National School of fine Arts of Algiers 1971.  Graduated from the Fine Arts school of Metz then Avignon (Decorative Arts) in France (1976). In 1984 she developed the technique of ''Métal repoussé'' by introducing several noble metals such as gold, silver, and renovated it by using colors and gold/ silver sheet.  She participated in many international festivals and exhibitions and received the first awards in such events among them: 1st Prize in the 2nd Tabriz international festival for Islamic Arts, Crafts and Creativity, IRAN (2015); 2nd Award in Muscat International Festival for Creativity and Innovation in Arts and Crafts (2012); Obtained the National Award of plastic arts, Algeria (1984).  Member of the National Union of Cultural Arts, Algeria since (1996). Among her participation: 2nd Tabriz International Festival for Islamic Arts, Crafts and Creativity, Tabriz, IRAN (2015); Muscat International Festival for Creativity and Innovation in Arts and Crafts, Muscat, OMAN (2012); The second International Muslim Artists Exhibition, New Orleans, USA (2008); The first International Muslim Artists Exhibition, New Orleans, USA (2007); The first International Symposium on Islam (Islam-Expo 2006), London, UK (2006); Algerian Cultural week in Libya, Tripoli (2001).

Artisan Zakaria Jafari, specialized in handmade metal products born in Ghazni, Afghanistan in 1993.  Challenging in an environment that facilitates him to utilize his knowledge where he diversify his expertise, competencies, skills and experiences for advancing his qualification, as well as, to facilitate his professional growth and development in this specific area of profession. Ongoing Bachelor of Graphic in Department of Fine Art Faculty of Kabul University, Kabul.  Between Mar 2003 and Dec 2010 he was involved in working in Metal handmade products and has participated in many exhibitions which were organized by ECOH and other organizations.

Artisan Tahany El Gendy, specialized in Jewelry and Silver works from Egypt.  Obtained a diploma in high studies (Graphic Sector) from College of Fine Arts, Cairo 2010.  Instructor of training courses in the field of Jewelry Accessories in many institutions as the Agha Khan in Egypt.  Conducted also a training course in training workshop in Dubai in 2015 on painting and design of jewelry.  Graphic Designer at many centers.  Participated in many local and international exhibitions such as: Pendik International Festival for Islamic Artisans, Turkey, 2015.

Artisan, Muhammad Afiffudin, Silver Works, Indonesia was born in 1977 and educated from the Faculty of Arts and the Arabic language.  He is specialized in the area of formulation and the formation of the handmade silver products, known as the unique design derived from the Indonesian heritage. Among the variety of his products: handmade swords, jewelry and and silver products used in decoration which carry the South East Asian forms of design.  Has participated in numerous international fairs such as Indonesia Expo organized in the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Artisan Naser Lotfi, Iran is one of the pioneers in the field of fine work on copper.  He is winner of the UNESCO Award for Excellence in the field of engraving on copper.  His products are full with innovation in design, form, ornamentation, techniques and the final touch as well.  He spent a long life period of time in the field of ornamentation on metal crafts.  He was also granted with the second Prize in the field of metal crafts of the Muscat International Award for Artisans for the year 2012 organized within the Muscat international Festival for Arts, Heritage and Creativity.  His age is 52 and he has 40 years experience in the field of engraving on copper.  Partiicpated in many different exhibitions in Spain, Italy, France, Algeria, Malaysia, Oman, Russia, Romania, Dubai.

Artisan Bolat Atraubaev, specialised in Golden and Silver Rings, Kazakhstan.  Born on October 4, 1972 in Kalynivka village, and graduated in 1994 from Faculty of Art of Aktobe Pedagogical Institute.  He is one of the best artisans in designing a colourful variety of rings which image the traditional heritage of Kazakhstan.  Member of the Union of Artists of the Republic of Kazakhstan; member of the Union of artisans of Kazakhstan.  At this time, he is director of the Aktobe regional museum "Rukhaniyat".  His works are in private collections and various institutions cities of Kazakhstan, Russia, France, Poland, China, Azerbaijan, etc.  Participant and winner of many international, national, regional and city exhibitions, competitions and workshops. Organized three solo exhibitions in 2003, 2006 and 2008.  Head of the studio arts and crafts «Sheber ART».  Creative biography starts since 1995. He manufactures silver jewelry in the traditional style.  Has a positive impact on the cultural life of the city and region. Promotes interest in traditional Kazakh arts. Actively engaged in social and creative activities.

Artisan Ghaleb Ghaleb is specialized in Copper works and jewelry from Tripoli, Lebanon.  He took the techniques of this profession from his Grandfather Abdul Rahman Ghaleb who established this craft in 1965.  He was professional in handmade jewelry products and then started to promote the copper works as well by producing plates which got folklore images, calligraphy writings and Islamic ornamentations with different sizes along with copper boxes that are gold plated.  His son Artisan Ghaleb was working with him who starts also to modernize this profession in a way that satisfies the taste of the modern society.  In the year 2012 after the death of his grandfather, Artisan Ghaleb established a new label called "Ghaleb Designs" in which he included the jewelry works including silver products like chains, rings and etc...  He participated in many exhibitions among them: Tripoli international Exhibition, 1997; Sidon Exhibition, 2001; Tripoli international Exhibition, 2003; Exhibition of Artisans of North Lebanon, 2012 and 2013.

Artisan Jaafar Ould Dah Ould Shamra, specialized in gold, silver and copper products, born in Gorgol in Mauritania in 1979.  He works in this field since long time.  He managed during this period to produce a variety of designs and innovations which represent Islamic forms and ornamentations found in the Mauritanian heritage and products.  He participated in many exhibitions in the field of handicraft industries.

Artisan Abdul Jalil Al Shaqrouni from Morocco is one of the pioneers in Metal Crafts born in 1945 in Meknes city in Morocco.  His products are full with innovation in design, form, ornamentation, techniques and the final touch as well. He has a long period of experience in the field of handmade metal craft products.  He was also granted with the First Prize of the Muscat International Award for Artisans for the year 2012 which was organized within the Muscat International Festival for Arts, Heritage and Creativity

Artisan Muhammad Rafique, specialized in engraving on Metal Works, Pakistan: The central and ancient city Multan of Pakistan is famous through the entire world for its arts and crafts. Metal Work is one of these arts. Its owes to hard work and a great skill. Muhammad Rafique got it inherited from his father. In metal work, copper, brass and silver are used. It is ancestral and family business of Muhammad Rafique. In the nineteenth century, Muhammad Hafiz Butt prepared very nice masterpieces through his brilliance and struggle. Later on Muhammad Rafique started this craft under the guardianship of his father in 1980 and in a very short period of time he elevated this art to the climax. His art is greatly appreciated regarding Multan Craft Bazar that has encouraged him a lot and enriched his power of creation.

Artisan Sharipov Dilmurod, specialized in jewelry, Tajikistan.  Taught craft jewelry in the National Artist College named by M. Olimov during the period from 2008 until 2012.  Participated in numerous national and International exhibitions among them: Silk festival and spices at Bukhara, Uzbekistan, May 2015; Spring Fair International Exhibition for Gifts, Moscow, March 2015; Handicrafts and Fashion Festival of the Republic of Tajikistan during the month of November 2014 and the Open Doors Day in the Academy of Artists in Tajikistan during the month of December 2012.

Artisan Shamsutdinov Airat is a famous Tatar jeweler from Kazan, Tataristan.  For more than 25 years Shamsutdinov Airat creates silver jewelry handmade in accordance with national traditions of Tatars, using ancient techniques such as gilding, chasing, filigree, granulation, inlaid with semi-precious stones, engraving, etc. Works of Shamsutdinov Airat exhibited many times at various art exhibitions in Moscow, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk.  Shamsutdinov Airat is a member of the Union of Artists of Russia since 2005, member of the House of People's Arts and Crafts of the Tatarstan Republic, the winner of the contest «Best Goods of the Republic of Tatarstan» 2008-2009, the winner of the exhibition of products of folk arts and crafts dedicated to the 1000th anniversary of city Kazan.  Shamsutdinov Airat works regularly used by the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan as gifts to the leaders of foreign delegations

Artisan Mohamed Lidarsa, Engraving on Copper, born in Tunis in 1965. He was trained to learn the techniques of engraving on copper at the Bazar of the Old Tunis (1984-1989).  Since 1990 he starts to produce a set of products that has artistic taste and design which attract Tunisian and foreign specialists.  In 2007 he starts to produce the Fawanees of the Australian Trade Mark called DIDO Design.  Between 2007 and 2008 he produced Fawanees and wall hangings for the summer residence of Sheikh Abdullah Ben Hamad Ben Saud Al Thani of Qatar. He participated in many international exhibitions among them the one organised by Arab Lomonde, Paris, 2010.

Artisan Ercan Tabakogly, son of Hasan Tabakoglu who is a filigree artisan and who represented Turkey in many international fairs.  His family of third generation maintains this profession with their over employees.  Artisan Ercan is one of the innovators in this field who win the Award of the Tabriz International Award for Innovation and Creativity in Handicrafts held in Tabriz in May 2015.  He participated in many international Exhibitions among them the Pendik International Festival for Artisans At Work held in Pendik, Istanbul during the years of 2012, 2013, and 2014.  He lives in Trabzon and has a workshop in Izmir.

Artisan Bobir Khasanov, Uzbekistan specialized in metal engraving and decoration born in Tashkent in 1971.  He worked in this profession with NPC "MUSSAVIR" Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  Between 1988 and 1994 he finished his Master Degree with Tashkent Polytechnic University.  He Took classes with the Master Artisans of Tashkent in the field of copper carving.  Between 2007 and 2015, he worked at the complex Hasti-Imom, madrasa "Barakhan".  Among his participation in various exhibitions: Exhibition organized at the Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Germany, 2002; Expo-2005, Japan in addition the Uzbekistan different exhibitions.

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