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ART DUBAI COLLECTOR TALKS 2024



Art Dubai Collector Talks is a series of conversations featuring individual and institutional collectors driving cultural shifts in emerging epicentres, each shedding light on the unique forces, strategies and passions shaping the global arts and culture. 

Art Dubai Collector Talks are presented in partnership with Dubai Collection.



PROGRAMME SCHEDULE


ART DUBAI, A.R.M. MAJLIS, FORT ISLAND


4:00-5:00pm

COLLECTING BEYOND BORDERS: DYNAMICS AND DIVERSITY IN ART COLLECTION PRACTICES ACROSS THE GLOBAL SOUTH
Co-founder and President, Samdani Art Foundation Nadia Samdani MBE, Founder of NESR ART Foundation Hiba Safieddine Nesr. Moderated by Founder and Editor-in-Chief STIR Amit Gupta.

Uncover the multifaceted stories of collectors who navigate the intersection of local and global, grappling with questions of identity, representation and cultural heritage – shining a light on diverse voices that make up the global artistic landscape. This conversation also examines the role these collectors play in shaping the perception of art from emerging cultural epicentres on the international stage.



ART DUBAI, A.R.M. MAJLIS, FORT ISLAND


3:00-4:00pm

HARMONY IN PATRONAGE: NURTURING ARTS ECOSYSTEMS
Founder, Mysk Nisreen Bajis, Collector Richard Haykel. Moderated by Varun Kaji.

An exploration into the intricate relationships between arts patrons and arts organisations that delves into the crucial role these patrons play in sustaining and enriching vibrant ecosystems of artistic expression. Examining how collaboration helps establish support systems for the production and dissemination of art, and drawing on contemporary case studies, this conversation uncovers the various dimensions of these dynamic partnerships from a regional perspective.




ART DUBAI, A.R.M. MAJLIS, FORT ISLAND


3:00-4:00pm

BEYOND THE PRIVATE VAULT: THE EVOLUTION OF COLLECTING
Collector Mohammed Afkhami, Chairman – Hero Enterprise and THE BRIJ, Founder and Patron – Serendipity Arts Foundation Sunil Kant Munjal. Moderated by Editor, Apollo Edward Behrens.

Join us for a conversation unpacking the trajectory from private collecting towards institutional legacy in the Middle East and South Asia with patrons who have established their mark in private collecting and shifted their focus towards institution building. This panel aims to address the arising question: what happens to personal collecting efforts in light of this focus shift, in geographical regions where there is still more room for both?



CONTRIBUTORS’ BIOGRAPHIES

Mohammed Afkhami is the founder and Managing Partner of Magenta Capital Services, which acts as an advisor in capital placement to private equity, real estate and infrastructure firms on capital placement in the Gulf Region, Brunei and Malaysia. Mohammed is also founder and Managing Partner of MA Partners DMCC, a Middle East based commodities consultancy and Vice Chairman of London Strategic Land. Mohammed is a founder member of the British Museum and co-chair of the Guggenheim Museum Middle East and North African art acquisition committees, a member of the David Rockefeller Council at MOMA New York,an advisory board of Art Dubai, and a patron friend of both the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Agha Khan Museum.


Nisreen Bajis is an active member of the art community in Abu Dhabi. Formerly a practicing lawyer (both in Australia and in the UAE) she now focuses on the visual and culinary arts and is the founder of Mysk, an innovative and home grown concept cafe, bakery and flower shop, which is located on the NYUAD campus. In addition to her role on the Advisory Circle of The NYUAD Art Gallery, she is a keystone member of Friends of Abu Dhabi Art, and a member of the NYUAD Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Circle.


Edward Behrens is the editor of Apollo, the international art magazine.


Amit Gupta is the founder and editor-in-chief of STIR – an award-winning global media house and curatorial agency fostering innovation in art, architecture, and design. A creative thinker, curator, and entrepreneur, Amit has launched pioneering initiatives that propel the creative discourse with a motivation to facilitate intersections across creative disciplines and geographies.


Richard Haykel is the chairman of Haykel Hospital. The hospital is a multidisciplinary care giving institution, it is located on the periphery of Tripoli and specializes in state of the art medical technology. He also has several interests in diverse companies ranging from internet/telecommunications, startups, and real estate development.


Varun Kaji, an acclaimed art collector, curator, and advisor, based between New York City and Mumbai, is the founder of VL Art Advisory, an esteemed global consultancy catering to a high-profile clientele. Varun’s trailblazing collaborations with The Invisible Collection, AJIO Luxe to name a few focus on championing South Asian artists worldwide, enriching galleries, and fostering impactful cultural exchanges. By partnering with such esteemed institutions, Varun aims to catalyze dialogues, spark innovation and extend the reach of South Asian artists and craftsmen onto a global stage.


Nadia Samdani MBE is the Co-Founder and President of the Samdani Foundation. The foundation supports contemporary artists in Bangladesh and South Asia. Nadia also serves as the Director of the Dhaka Art Summit, which has completed six successful editions under her leadership. She serves as an advisor to many international art institutions around the world.


Sunil Kant Munjal is a second-generation member of the family that founded the Hero Group, India’s premier automotive manufacturing group that has evolved from being the world’s largest bicycle-maker to the largest two-wheeler maker. He is now the Chairman of Hero Enterprise, with interests in insurance distribution, steel-making, real estate, corporate training and an active Investment Office. Mr Munjal has set up the Serendipity Arts Foundation which aims to revive patronage in the arts and make all art-forms accessible to people through a large multi-disciplinary Arts Festival and various other means. He is also the President of the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam which supports performing arts across North India.


Hiba S. Nesr is the founder of NESR ART Foundation, supporting and championing artists from Angola and beyond. As Webcor Group’s Sustainability Director, her initiatives encompass education, hunger relief, and women’s empowerment, showcasing her profound dedication to fostering empowerment and sustainable development.


ART DUBAI, A.R.M HOLDING MAJLIS, MADINAT JUMEIRAH


2:15-3:00pm

LUXURY RETAIL AND ART
Thierry Wasser, Lucia Boscaini and Caroline Bourgeois
Moderated by Amit Gupta
As the world of art broadens its borders, luxury retail and art collaborations have been a natural outcome. This panel brought together leading representatives across the luxury retail and art worlds to discuss their involvement with the arts, how their affiliations and practices incorporate art, and the role that plays in the DNA of the organisations they represent.




3:00-4:00pm

BUILDING A COLLECTING COMMUNITY
Nissreen Darawish, Muna Al Gurg
Moderated by Edward Behrens
This panel brought together UAE-based collectors to discuss their collecting journeys and practices over the years, how those have shifted in light of a growing cultural infrastructure, and the role they play in building collecting communities.




4:00-5:00pm

FROM COLLECTOR TO PATRON: SUPPORTING ARTISTIC PRODUCTION IN THE REGION AND BEYOND
Antonia Carver and Han Nefkens
This conversation explored forms of art patronage that support new media art and in specific video art, particularly in/for a region implementing new institutional models and cultural infrastructure. The talk highlighted new initiatives and patronage efforts with collectors engaged in impactful art endeavours, with a focus on the role of commissioning private institutions in supporting the production and exhibition of digital and video art. The conversation brought together Han Nefkens, collector and founder of the Han Nefkens Foundation, which supports emerging international video artists through awards, production grants and mentorship grants, and Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel.




ART DUBAI, A.R.M HOLDING MAJLIS, MADINAT JUMEIRAH


4:00-5:00pm

COLLECTING IN A SHIFTING GLOBAL CULTURAL MAP
Teo Yang and Charif Ben Romdane
Hosted by Nadya Wang
The role collecting and collectors are playing in shifting arts and culture landscapes, as well as in the redistribution of global cultural centres. This panel brought light on new collecting emerging in the Global South, the impact these new collectors had on the cities/geographies they’re based in, and the effect of these practices in the larger global conversation around diversity and inclusion of art from beyond traditional western-led geographical scopes.




5:00-6:00pm

ARE YOU STILL COLLECTING DIGITAL ART IN THE CRYPTO WINTER?
Qinweng Wang, Fiorenzo Manganiello, AC from 6529
Moderated by Julie Baumgardner
What does it mean to be a collector of digital art today? In what is being dubbed as the ‘crypto winter’, the panelists discussed if it still makes sense to acquire digital works. Collectors Qinwen Wang and Fiorenzo Manganiello talked about where digital art sits during such a precarious time, the history of digital art (delineating digital art and NFTs), and their own involvement with it.