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Curated By An Online Following: EMERGEAST's Like Exhibition
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Curated By An Online Following: EMERGEAST's Like Exhibition

Picture of Nikki Meftah
Updated: 12 December 2015
The Like pop up presented artworks by fifteen emerging Middle Eastern artists, including Azadeh Etebarian, Janet Hagobian, and Anas Homsi to name a few. Here we delve further into EMERGEAST’s first collective exhibition in London.
Courtesy of EMERGEAST
Courtesy of EMERGEAST

The opening night of the four-day pop up saw a full house with over 150 visitors — the demographic ranged from established collectors to industry specialists and curious creatives from London’s East End. Over half of the artworks found new homes on opening night, proving the marked enthusiasm from the crowd as the Like exhibition was specifically engineered to encourage young collectors and enthusiasts to engage in dialogue, inquire and acquire about the artworks at affordable prices.

'Memory' by Elham Etemadi | Courtesy of EMERGEAST
‘Memory’ by Elham Etemadi | Courtesy of EMERGEAST

‘Art is perceived as “expensive” as established collectors allocate funds for their collection — EMERGEAST has managed to open the doors for young and new collectors wanting to acquire art minus the large price tag. This also allows emerging artists to flourish internationally’ – Dana Awartani, Saudi Arabian Islamic artist

'Koons: Panini' by Nic Courdy | Courtesy of EMERGEAST
‘Koons: Panini’ by Nic Courdy | Courtesy of EMERGEAST

First of its kind, the Like exhibition was curated by EMERGEAST followers, as the fifteen artists who garnered the most clicks, hits and clicks were put on display. You liked it, you got it! Double taps transcended into reality as followers had the opportunity to view artworks by their favourite artists. Staying true to their digital identity, the EMERGEAST team encouraged their audience to interact with the artworks and truly contemplate their ‘Like,’ ultimately sticking their ‘Like’ to make their mark on their favourites. The exhibition, therefore, doubled as a thought-provoking installation to urge visitors to contemplate and consider their digital personas. Like brought forth a reinvention of the traditional exhibition by manifesting the digital realm in a physical space.

'Empty Roads' by Anas Homsi | Courtesy of EMERGEAST
‘Empty Roads’ by Anas Homsi | Courtesy of EMERGEAST

The EMERGEAST Like exhibition was a great opportunity for London-based collectors, both established and young, to discover emerging talent from the Middle East. The EMERGEAST following were left with no shortage of art forms and themes — from calligraphy to pop art, street art to digital compilations, the variety of artworks catered to a large and diverse audience. With four artists present at the opening night, visitors were inspired to interact with the artists and discuss the unique and avant-garde works in depth. ‘I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of the visiting audience, embracing and inquiring about my digital compilations,’ said Nic Courdy, exhibiting EMERGEAST artist present at Like.

Courtesy of EMERGEAST
Courtesy of EMERGEAST

As interest in Middle Eastern art flourishes, it is evident that London-based young collectors also want a slice of the cake. Hand in hand, young collectors and emerging artists are growing together under one umbrella. EMERGEAST’s pop up exhibition will see a second edition in the near future.

Artists exhibiting: Ibrahim Al Atiyah, Ghada Al Muhammedi, Nic Courdy, Hossein Edalatkhah, Azadeh Etebarian, Elham Etemadi, Amir Ershadi, Janet Hagobian, Keyvan Heydari, Anas Homsi, Monther Jawabreh, Siddiqa Juma, Manou Marzban, Mo Negm and Ali Shawwa.

For further information, please visit EMERGEAST’s website or email at info@emergeast.com

By Nikki Meftah & Dima AbdulKader