“Spirit of Time”, written & Edited by Dr. Noha Farran, it includes a comprehensive Time line of the “Annual exhibition”and several Researches about the Art movement in UAE, and artists from different generations.

43 Years of founding
Emirates Fine Arts Society

Emirates Fine Arts Society’s annual exhibition continues to embody a collective historical memory of art, through which the different generations of art adjoin, and the visual arts and creative visions manifest, all under the kind guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of The Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

The annual exhibition represents a human and visual artistic discourse and introduces an opportunity for an open interpretation of the varied styles and concepts that approach the dialectic of time and space, and existence between the subjective and the objective for every artist. The 38th annual exhibition, curated by artists Abdul Raheem Salem and artist Mona Al Khaja, is seeking to bring the professional creative experience closer to the talented one. This artistic closeness and diversity provide a chance for the Society’s members to introduce different creative perceptions and diverse intellectual trends, in which each artist gets to speak about his own experience and style of art, and the committee thought fit to honor artists Obaid Suroor and Yousef Al Dwaik, and Chief Editor of Altashkeel magazine Dr. Noha Farran.

On that occasion, celebrating 43 years passing since the establishment of Emirates Fine Arts Society, thanks are due to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, for his constant support and kind patronage. Our sincerest thanks and gratitude are also due to His Excellency Abdullah Mohammed Al Owais / Chairman of Sharjah Department of Culture – Sharjah government, for his continuous support and patronage of the Society. We’d also like to extend our thanks to Sharjah Museums Authority for their kind hosting of the annual exhibition from 1996 until now.

Salem Al Juneibi
Chairman of Emirates Fine Arts Society

Spirit of Time

Dr. Noha Farran

Time has always been a subject of debate, in every epoch and in every culture, between those who deny the existence of time, and those who perceive it as the absolute constant truth. The concept of time swings between the past, the present, and the future, and has many terms; absolute time, relative time, geologic time, psychic time… etc., and there is no doubt that it is always evolving, often moving in separate invisible leaps. Time is a convoluted concept, but it is the present reference of past events, reserved in the memory, and since establishing the existence of current things around us occurs via visual perception, then the future of those things can only be via expectation. Hence, the truth of time is pinned on the soul, which remembers, perceives, and anticipates events, from which the concept of the annual exhibition “The Spirit of Time” was drawn upon, to represent art between the past, the present, and the future, while establishing the value of originality, contemporariness, and futuristic insight on the current state of visual arts.

The annual exhibition stood to witness the emergence and advancement of the art movement, as it reveals major aspects of the art and historical scene of the UAE. The exhibition proved its ability to support and highlight talents, and shedding the light on distinguished artworks locally and internationally, while also inspiring the upcoming generations of artists. This pioneering journey of supporting and sustaining creativity is continued with the generous support and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah. Here is a look at the last 42 years of holding and organizing the annual exhibition of Emirates Fine Arts Society in Sharjah.

Milestones and Varied Insights

The annual exhibition is the most prominent and important manifestation among the events and exhibitions organized by Emirates Fine Arts Society as it gathers a whole spectrum of art practices of different nationalities in one group display. This annual exhibition represents a major pillar through which we get to learn about the most important and prominent experiences, while allowing the audience of visual arts the chance to view a wide variety of artworks and different experiences.

The annual exhibition editions are never without milestones and distinguished artworks, plus the different debates, first about the way it is organized up until the nature of display and content. Yet there is no doubt that it provided an image that reflects the contemporary art landscape in the UAE and the state of visual arts, in which art pieces swing between varying concepts and different styles and practices, between modernism and postmodernism, so the easel paintings at times take center stage, and at others, the stage is taken by the artworks that rely on concept and trial. So the debate is then steered from the nature of these artworks and their value to the overall concept of art practice, which is a positive debate that is renewed from year to year, and the credit is attributed to the annual exhibition for igniting and framing it.

Spirit of Time

The title of the 38th edition of the annual exhibition “Spirit of Time” culminates a serious effort of attempting to find an answer for the current state of contemporary visual arts in the UAE between “The past, the present, and the future”, while shedding the light on the top transformations and challenges that face art amidst the external effects and the social, economic, and political factors, all at a time that is greatly fluctuating, every moment, with materialistic and civilized variations, such variations constitute a challenge for the artist to maintain his cultural heritage at one hand, while identifying with the occurring events and updates.

Artists Abdul Rahim Salem and Muna Al Khajah were chosen by the Society’s board to curate the art exhibition and categorize artworks. The choice was due to their stature as the vanguard of the modern and contemporary art scene, and as founders of the art movement in the UAE. The two have agreed to honor the artists Obaid Suroor (UAE) and Yousef Al Dwaik (Palestine), for the evident impact and the unique artistic mark they made in the Emirati fine arts movement.

“Spirit of Time”, written & Edited by Dr. Noha Farran, it includes a comprehensive Time line of the “Annual exhibition”and several Researches about the Art movement in UAE, and artists from different generations.

The annual exhibition is not only one of the longest-standing and most important art exhibitions in the UAE, but such a cultural manifestation and showcasing festival with a local theme that allows exploring the shifts that art movement in the UAE has witnessed. The objective of the exhibition revolves around contributing to the creative movement and enriching the art landscape. The exhibition is hence regarded as a memory of the art movement in the UAE, as well as its present and future.

Emirates Fine Arts Society, the longest-standing in the UAE, is a platform that specializes in art engagement, transculturation, and dialogue of civilizations among local, residing, and international citizens.

Chairman of Efas

Salem Al Juneibi is an Emirati visual artist, writer and curator based in Sharjah. He served as the President of the Emirates Fine Art Society for five years, from May 2018 to May 2023. Throughout his career, he has been actively involved in overseeing various exhibitions, art events, and art publications. Additionally, he has served on numerous jury committees.

Chief Editor | Website

Art historian, curator, visual artist, & editor-in-chief of Al-Tashkeel magazine. she holds a Ph.D. with distinction in "Art & Science of Arts," in addition to holding an MFA in Fine Arts and an MA in Philosophy of Art. She has numerous published books that provide documentation for Art in the Arab World.

“Al Tashkeel” Magazine

he first issue of “Al Tashkeel” Magazine was published back in 1984, four years after the formation of the Emirates Fine Arts Society. The fine arts movement was witnessing growth and gaining traction on all other artistic levels.