Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival

The annual Islamic Arts Festival began in 1998 under the supervision and organisation of the Directorate of Art in the Department of Culture and Information, with the intention of exhibiting various kinds of traditional and contemporary Islamic arts. 
Over its consecutive editions, the Festival was able to display different vibrant styles of Islamic Art through a selection of art projects illustrating the authenticity of Islamic Art and its ability to keep up with current artistic changes.
The Festival is one of the most renowned Islamic Art events in the region, and its events include local and international exhibitions, intellectual programmes, and interactive activities.
Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival 
Athar (Impact)
Things seldom occur without a visible impact or effect being discerned; even the smallest things can leave an impact, just like the soft breeze passing gently through the petals of a flower. Indeed, according to the laws of nature, every action has a particular impact, no matter how insignificant it is.
Having an impact is an inevitable fact that is associated with work, and the nature of the measure clearly indicates whether it is going to have a long-lasting impact. It may have lasting implications, one era after another, or on the contrary, its impact may, unfortunately, vanish immediately after the action.
Such influences are known to occupy a distinct status within the human cultural and historical context.
In fact, the resulting impact might represent some knowledge, through which we can understand the circumstances surrounding the event, or through which we can identify the era and the related human culture that it was in. Therefore, the ultimate value and importance of a particular impact are revealed, especially when it is related to any act of creativity.
Artwork, in itself, has an impact, and it indicates a moment of creative engagement, which continues to be evoked through the existence and the representation of the artwork. However, the more values the artwork encompasses, the more the sustainability of its impact is attained, and therefore, the more it is recognised within the human civilisation. Such everlasting impact declares the moment of creativity that evokes artists to produce extraordinary, visual, innovative representations so that through time, their effects are continuously enhanced and emphasised. Since its very beginnings to its contemporary manifestations, the formative impact related to the various fields of Islamic art in addition to its cultural and intellectual impact has motivated the vision and imagination of many contemporary artists by urging them to investigate the various Islamic art visual effects within their modern practices. Especially, taking into account that Islamic art is known for its clear and notable impact on different human cultures that have already witnessed it throughout history, its rise, its development from many sources, and its expansion. Among its most significant impacts, Islamic art with its various fields has strongly influenced the world's sense of beauty and seems to occur in modern global visual performances increasingly.
In fact, from the 19th century, and based on Islamic art's principles and visual temptations, Western artists have mostly explored and applied Eastern visual styles within their visual research, and this was the first Eastern impact on modern and contemporary visual arts. For several centuries, Islamic art was inevitably present in many orientalists' paintings who were greatly enticed by the allure of the Orient. Figures of the public life appearing in orientalists' paintings, and the perspective of the place "employed as a background and topic of the painting" have clearly revealed Islamic art through imposing its principal elements like Islamic architecture, illumination, miniatures, floral ornamentation, along with other practical related fields and styles that are known for their massive visual influence which highlighted the spiritual, aesthetic, and creative values of the content.
We believe that the accurate visual representation related to the various fields of Islamic art has played a relatively significant role in the global art scene.
Hereafter, we pose some questions around the proposed theme of SIAF:
- Within the proposed theme of Athar (Impact), what impact does the artist intend to leave during the festival?
- Based on the artwork's intended impact, how can contemporary artwork approach between the East and the West?
- According to the above introduction, is it possible to create new and contemporary visual images with specific functions?
- Based on the idea that Islamic art resembled the mirror of various cultures, how can the artist relate to this idea, according to the concept of "Impact"?
- How does the artist recognise the cultural impact of Islamic art?
- In general, what are the influences of Islamic art on formative art?
- The artist can adapt any method, and use various mediums within his/her artwork.
- The artist is required to provide a comprehensive, visual study or research for the artworks or projects.
Directorate of Cultural Affairs. 


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