An exhibition that showcases civilisational culture in Bahrain from the 5,000-year-old Dilmun era up to the present day is being held at the Bahrain Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The third and final exhibition is being held under the theme ‘Narrating Histories’.

The event that will continue until next month features art works inspired by the artefacts discovered in various regions of Bahrain.

“These pieces tell stories of ancient civilisations, represent historical records written in the ancient Sumerian language, the drawings and abstract shapes of legends and tales that survived through time and reached us in the modern day, forming a lively aspect of Bahraini cultural identity,” a Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca) spokesperson said in a statement yesterday (Feb 14).

The first part of this exhibition is an installation artwork called ‘Fleeting’ by Bahraini artist and designer Hala Kaiksow exploring the contextualisation of time into cloth.

According to Baca, it took the artist 344 hours of handiwork as slow stitches are quilted by hand and it is hung on the roof of the pavilion.

The installation features two colours: Indigo, a natural plant pigment dating back to ancient Mesopotamia, and a warm grey colour.

These colours gained importance in the installation work as they reflect the relationship between land and sea that characterises the kingdom of Bahrain, added the statement.


In the second part of the exhibition, artist Nathaly Jung showcases her work under the title ‘The Dilmun Cabinet of Curiosities: Interwoven Stories’.

It is composed of a series of installations within a larger installation, made of diverse objects illustrating four separate narratives based upon the ancient Dilmun era believed to be modern-day Bahrain.

The artist collaborated with many artisans and designers in Bahrain to create these works inspired by four stories, namely, ‘The Story of Enki and Ninhursag’, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’, ‘The Story of Ilí-ippašra and his Daughter’, and ‘The Story of Tiamat’.

“Each story is presented in an embroidered image as the woven elements showcase the different skills and craftsmanship of textile and weaving arts rooted in Bahrain,” said the statement.

Bahrain’s National Pavilion under the broader theme of ‘Density Weaves Opportunity’ will remain at the expo until March 31.

The space has hosted two previous exhibitions exploring the kingdom’s maritime and weaving heritage.

Swiss engineer Christian Kerres was commissioned to design the pavilion in co-operation with Wanders Werner Falasi Consulting Architects.

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