(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) An artist's ultimate destination has been either London, New York and Paris but experts say the trend is changing and lesser known cities are slowly emerging as new generation cultural hubs.
According toBBC , Sharjah features in the list of five cities besides Mexico City, Belgrade, Dakar and Bangkok, that are grabbing artists' attention from world over with their thriving local creative scene. Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, the youngest daughter of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has brought new life to Sharjah's arts scene.
Trained at Slade School in London, she is an artist and curator herself and took over the biennial 16 years ago.
Sustainability and conscious design are the city's trump cards, and Sharjah aims to eliminate landfill by 2020. The city is creating a reputation as the place in the UAE for creativity and a cutting-edge cultural agenda with events such as the Sharjah Biennial for contemporary arts, a newly launched graphic-design biennial, and the Islamic Arts Festival.
The Sharjah Art Foundation, led by Hoor Al Qasimi, is a hub for contemporary art in the region. Activities including the Biennial, a film festival, funding for local and international artist residencies, an experimental film festival, artist studios and the Al Noor art island.
The highly Instagrammable Rain Room, an experiential artwork by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, became part of the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection in 2018, and was the first of a series of artist-designed permanent spaces planned for Sharjah.
Al Rawi - a newly opened bookshop, restaurant and creative space designed by Pallavi Dean - has become a stylish hub for the city's design community.
Academic, Richard Florida, in his 2017 book - The New Urban Crisis - argued that the big international art cities had become victims of their own success, with huge inequality reaching its peaks, perversely, in the most liberal and creative areas. While, the international art map is changing, and a new generation of cultural hubs is emerging, well away from global financial centres, property developers and blue-chip art dealers.