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A series of conversations with collectors playing key roles in nurturing and driving the development of art scenes across the Global South (and beyond) and supporting the redistribution of cultural centers across the world. Conceptualised by Zain Mahjoub, sessions focused on emerging trends in both traditional and digital collecting across the region, and what it means to be an arts patron in a place that is developing and implementing new institutional models.

Presented in partnership with Dubai Collection.




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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


Julie Baumgardner is an arts and culture writer, editor and journalist who has spent nearly 15 years covering all aspects of the art world and market. Julie’s work has been published in Bloomberg, Cultured, Financial Times, New York Magazine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She’s been on the staff of Art + Auction and New York Magazine and was the editor-in-chief of The Baer Faxt. Find her at @juliewithab.

Charif Ben Romdane‘s collection is influenced by the diversity and the multiculturalism of his background. Born and raised in Paris, Charif has been living in Dubai for the past decade after starting his career in Finance in Sao Paulo and London. Growing up in a house filled with art, Charif developed a keen interest in art from a young age. With a particular focus on emerging and mid-career artists from Europe and the MENA region, Dubai was the ideal place to start a collection that would reflect this double culture. The discovery of the abstract works of the Austrian artist Bernhard Buhmann led him to meet Kourosh Nouri and Nadine Knotzer from Carbon 12 in Dubai. They have been key partners in the buildup and the development of his collection. Throughout the years, the collection has included names such as Andre Butzer, Do Ho Suh, Michael Sailstorfer, Olaf Breuning, Philip Mueller, Gil Heitor Cortesão and Anthony Akinbola. As a young and passionate art enthusiast, Charif has developed ties with other gallerists such as Selma Feriani who helped him develop the North African side of the collection with Tunisian contemporary artists such as Thameur Mejri, Jallel Gasteli and Amel Bennys. Charif also works with young and talented art advisors and curators such as Louis Blanc-Francard who is introducing him to many emerging and recently graduated artists. Charif Ben Romdane shares his passion with his wife Laura and together they are always looking for new artists to grow the collection.

Lucia Boscaini was born in Rome, educated with a background of classic studies and graduated in Economics. She spent her career in Marketing and Communication of top Italian companies. In 2001 Lucia joined Bulgari, where in 2014 she was appointed Bulgari Brand Curator. In her capacity she curated Bulgari Heritage Collection, exhibitions, publications, and artistic and cultural projects. She has recently moved to Dubai.

Caroline Bourgeois is currently senior curator at Pinault Collection, for which she formed a video section from 1998 to 2001. From 2004 to 2008, she was Artistic Director of Frac Ile-de-France—Le Plateau in Paris, where she curated collective shows (“Ralentir vite”, “Société Anonyme”) and monographic exhibitions (Loris Gréaud, Adel Abdessemed, Cao Fei). She also worked on contemporary art installations in public spaces in collaboration with artists Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, in Paris, and Pierre Huyghe, in Venice. The exchange between artists and the Pinault Collection continues at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, in monographic exhibitions—of Urs Fischer, Martial RAysse, Albert Oehlen, and Luc Tuymans, and exhibitions co-curated with Danh Vo, Muna El Fituri and Thomas Houseago, Marlene Dumas. She has curated other collective exhibitions for the Pinault Collection, including “Passage du temps” in Lille, “Qui a peur des artistes ?” in Dinard, “A triple tour” in Paris and “Debout !” in Rennes. Recently, she has completed a project with Danh Vo at the Bourse du Commerce.

AC is a Generative Art collector and a partner at 6529 Capital, where he runs the Generative Art desk. 6529 Capital is the largest NFT fund in the web3 space, stewarding some of the most important pieces in the burgeoning art and tech movement. AC can be found on twitter as @acthecollector.

Antonia Carver directs Art Jameel’s work across learning and the arts, and its new institutions – the Jameel Arts Centre, known as Dubai’s contemporary art museum (opened November 2018), and Hayy Jameel, a dynamic multidisciplinary home for the arts in Jeddah (opened December 2021). Based in the UAE since 2001, Antonia was previously Director of Art Dubai (2010-2016), and Editor/Projects Director at Bidoun (2004-2010). Antonia has written extensively on Middle Eastern art and film for international and regional publications; edited books and journals; advised and produced film festivals, exhibitions and educational initiatives. Prior to moving to the Gulf, Antonia was based in London, UK where she served a number of roles, including as an editor at Phaidon Press; in development and projects at the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva); and in publishing at G+B Arts International. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in Social Anthropology in 1994.

Amit Gupta is a creative thinker and curator in the field of architecture, design and art. He has worked over three decades with the motivation to break down barriers between creative disciplines and invented ways to encourage interdisciplinary debates, collaborations and practices. He founded STIR with the task of steering the discourse ahead in one direction – thinkNEXT. Put simply, the mantra is to probe deeper and go beyond what meets the eye. In order to democratise knowledge creation and dissemination alongside challenging the status quo, he set out a manifesto that makes STIR embrace inquiry, investigation and introspection. The platform strives to examine, explore and amplify creativity of courage, diversity, responsibility and respect, from all over the world. STIRworld.com is the content arm of STIR. A digital magazine set apart by its characteristic careful analysis and meticulous presentation. Publishing works, ideas and critique so as to recognise the changemakers and disruptors in the industry and across academia. It deep dives into the minds of the champions of the NEXT – designers, artists, architects and digital alchemists who have dared to create from a place of the future. To also dissect socio-political issues and the climate debate under the creative lens. The most recent addition to the STIR stable has been STIRpad.com – a destination for Galleries, Design & Art Studios and Brands to showcase their latest innovations, products, and news and connect with the creative community in a brand-new immersive way.

Fiorenzo Manganiello is a private collector and patron of young artists who, at only 30 years old, is already a visionary. As a business owner, professor and expert in the Blockchain Technology, and founder of Lian Foundation – partner of the United Nations of Geneva and the Geneva Red Cross – Fiorenzo, as young collector, sees that the exponential development of technology is transforming our world and its reflection can be found through art. Contemporary art, as the most remarkable transformation of our time, is the dimension in which our young collector navigates. His private collection is composed of NFTS and painting of not only renowned artists such as Oli Epp, Austin Lee and Alexander Gardner, but also of young emergent contemporary artists as Chloé Wise and Marja Djordjevic. Fiorenzo has an eye for artists playing around the evanescent boundary between the digital and physical worlds. All artists share a common dualism between the two realities, exploring movements and techniques confusing the human eye. Fiorenzo Manganiello, as ambassador of the new generation, patron of the young artists and business entrepreneur in the new technologies, for the edition of Art Dubai 2023, will share his vision on how art and new technologies can be intertwined.

Han Nefkens is a writer, art collector and patron of the arts based in Barcelona. In 2009 he established the Han Nefkens Foundation, a non-profit organisation that focuses on the production of video art, with the aim of connecting people through art across the world, collaborating with renowned international art institutions. The Foundation’s founding values have defined it from the beginning as an innovative and forward-thinking model: a production hub that oversees and promotes contemporary creation from the very first moments until the final presentation. Positioned as a platform for video artists to advance their careers, its main activity is to commission new works through its grants on an international level.

Nadya Wang is the Founder and Editor of Art & Market (A&M) and Fashion & Market (FAM). Through these pioneering platforms that strike a balance between the journalistic and the academic, she creates content together with a dedicated team that features practices and processes within the Southeast Asian art and fashion communities respectively. She is also the host of From A to Zig-Zag, a podcast spotlighting creative practices in the region. Nadya has been a full-time lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts since 2014. In 2022, she was awarded a PhD in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Qinwen Wang‘s adventures span from being an Artist to Web3 world. Her hybrid background forms mission-driven dedication to the progress and development of Technology and Art. She is the producer of the World’s first Crypto Art NFT Exhibition in UCCA Lab Beijing, and among one of the 19 Top NFT collectors to curate the Sotheby’s sale Natively Digital 1.2:The Collectors. Qinwen is also the curator and lecturer of Christie’s NFT101 course in Hong Kong and London. Her NFT portfolio includes SuperRare, BCA gallery, Artory, MetaDojo, Bit country and Yellow Heart.

Thierry Wasser spent his childhood and adolescence in Switzerland. From a young age, he developed a passion for herbs and enjoyed picking and drying them to create herb collections. Able to hone his sense of smell by spending so much time in nature, at the age of 20, Thierry Wasser started at Givaudan’s prestigious school in Geneva and trained to become a Perfumer. In 1987, Givaudan named him as a Fine Fragrance Perfumer in Paris. In 1993, Thierry Wasser joined Firmenich in New York, before eventually returning to Paris nine years later to work in its creation center. In 2007, he began collaborating with Guerlain on two of the fragrances in the House’s Haute Parfumerie Collection: Iris Ganache and Quand vient la pluie. His introduction to Jean-Paul Guerlain was to prove influential, as he learned the many production secrets behind Guerlain’s fragrances. In 2008, Thierry Wasser was named Guerlain Master Perfumer and thus became the fifth Perfumer in the House’s history. Thierry Wasser has imagined many of the House’s fragrant creations, including La Cologne du Parfumeur, L’Homme Idéal, Mon Guerlain and numerous new variations within the Aqua Allegoria and Haute Parfumerie Collections, as L’Art et La Matière last ones.

Teo Yang started his career traveling and working in many vibrant cities, such as Amsterdam. Berlin and L.A, designing luxury interiors for boutique hotels and homes. After many amazing years of learning and creating in these beautiful cities, he moved home to his beloved city Seoul. Focusing on translating Korean traditional heritage to modern language and understanding his own culture, Teo Yang’s project spans from museums to restoration residential projects. Teo Yang holds degrees from The Art Institute of Chicago, and studied Environmental Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. The studio is recently being featured in two Phaidon publications (By Design & Atlas of Interior Design), as well as being chosen in Year 2022- AD100 by Architectural Digest.