First exhibition of “Arab art” in Japan

The Mori Museum of contemporary art in Japan host’s the country’s first ever exhibition of art from the Arab world. The exhibition, titled Arab Express, offers a survey of contemporary Arab art presented through three themes considered most relevant to artistic contexts and cultural politics in the Arab world.

These themes, which organise the exhibition into three discrete sections, are “Everyday Life and Environment”; “The Image of Arab: Gaze from Outside, Voices from Inside”; and “Memories and Records, Histories and the Future”.

Arab Express comprises works by 34 artists from ten Arab countries, including Iraq and Oman in the East, Egypt in the West, and the Arabian Peninsula. Arab countries in north Africa have been excluded from the exhibition ostensibly to avoid any repetition of material presented in 2006 when the Mori Museum hosted the mega-exhibition Africa Remix, curated by Simon Njami.

Participating artists include Akram Zaatari of the Arab Image Collective, Ahmed Basiony, Zena el Khalil, Ahmed Basiony, Zena el Khalil and Maha Maamoun.