Aarav Verma and Mohamed Harib with FBMI at Warehouse421
FBMI is Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan humanitarian initiative.
FBMI, an Abu Dhabi-based program, in partnership with Tanweer Investments of Afghanistan, is dedicated to empowering Afghan women through the employment opportunities of carpet production, as well as providing healthcare and education to its workers.
The carpets produced through FBMI employs traditional crafting methods, operating strictly within Afghanistan. Wool from Afghan farmers, natural vegetables dyes and, of course, a local workforce (over 4,000 workers to date) are all pillars of the FBMI program.
FBMI enjoys fantastic collaborations with international and local designers such as Norma Kamali, Khalid Shafar and pop artist Maria Iqbal.
FBMI has received many awards amongst which the Humanitarian Award at Arab Woman Awards UAE 2014 and was granted an honouring Insignia in the category of Leading Emirati Project (Humanitarian) by H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak (Chairwomen of the General Women`s Union and Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood , the Honorary President of the UAE Red Crescent Authority).
The organization currently has four showrooms: in Kabul, London, Dubai on Jumeirah Beach Rd and in Abu Dhabi Yas Mall open to professionals as well as local consumers.
"Aarav Verma is a Child artist. So it would be unrealistic to expect his art to reflect something other than the thoughts and feelings natural to a young boy of eight. Indeed it is a joy to see his works full of spontaneity, bursting with colour and awakening us to fanciful forms that people a child’s world of freshness and wonder.
His paintings and sculptures are in no way precocious. They reflect the authentic moments of creativity that burst out of a child. And one can see his curious eyes seek out animal and insect forms, and even facial peculiarities of fellow human beings and portray them with a sense of discovery that clothes them in mystery. This way of looking at the world around one is characteristic of childhood and this exhibition showcases it.
If, however, we leave our analysis of his works at the level of content alone, we would be ignoring a major reason why we are exhibiting them. They reflect his remarkable capacity to use different formal criteria and harmonize them. One can see how from his earliest works, he uses line drawing and colour strokes masterfully to give his figures life and movement. This capacity to innovate and carry forward even breaks from tradition is the hall-mark of this young artist’s work.
He has a remarkable capacity to shift from linear black and white areas to colour in the same work and in balancing elements of two and three dimensionality on a two dimensional surface. Other works harmonize colour based forms with linear ones in a manner only a trained artist can. In yet other works he moves from drawing to sculpture or relief in a conscious manner like any artist would. It is this conscious breaking from one basis of expression to another, as well as his interest of moving from medium to medium and experimenting with them that gives him an authentic right to be seen and be judged as an artist.
At the same time, apart from his creative interests in harmonizing different techniques and media, one cannot ignore his communication of his child’s-eye view of art, as in a collage with bits of comic-images glued on to it, blending colour based shapes with elements of pop-art naturally only as a child artist can. The blend of these different journeys, and especially the harmony he is able to create from their variety as his integrated expression, makes his art different from children’s art that we see in general. Aarav is both a child and an artist. That is why his first exhibition makes the kind of statement that it does."
About Mohammed Harib
Mohammed Saeed Harib is a well-known Emirati animation director and Chairman of Lammtara Art Production. He created the highly popular animated TV series “FREEJ” which means ‘neighborhood’ in the Emirati dialect. The first season aired in 2006 and received rave reviews from viewers and critics alike, with Mohammed and “FREEJ” becoming cultural icons recognized across the region.
Mohammed studied General Arts and Animation at Northeastern University in Boston, before pursuing his dream to create the Middle East’s pioneering 3D animated series. After establishing Lammtara in 2005, he announced his first animation project “FREEJ”.
“FREEJ” was voted by viewers as the number one show of 2006, 2007 and 2008, and Mohammed won the Emerging UAE Talent Award at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2007. The first season of “FREEJ” also received the Special Country Award at the Hamburg Animation Awards in 2007 and Mohammed won the title of Young CEO of the Year in 2008 from CEO Middle East magazine. Mohammed has also been recognized as one of the World’s Most Influential Arabs from 2008 to 2012 by Arabian Business magazine.
In 2009, Mohammed directed the largest Arabic theatrical production in the Middle East, Freej Folklore, which celebrates Arab heritage, culture and traditions. The show was an official event of the Dubai Shopping Festival and ran in the Madinat Jumeirah Arena. The performance, comprised of seven acts, made reference to great historical figures such as Ibn Battuta and highlighted unique traditions such as pearl diving.
Mohammed’s was recently a creative consultant for “Cruel Summer” a project that featured Kanye West and Hayat Alfahad and which was launched in the Cannes Film Festival.
Mohamed Harib has recently worked on the Animated Feature “The Prophet” with Roger Allers: the director of “The Lion King” and actress Salma Hayek who is acting as a producer on the project alongside The Doha Fillm Institute.
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