Orientation trips
The Mondriaan Fund organises orientation trips for visual artists and mediators to Asia, Latin America and Africa since 2004. The trips are aimed at exchange and cooperation between visual art professionals.

United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah) & Pakistan (Karachi and Lahore)

The last two weeks of October 2019 a group of art professionals from Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands and Switzerland will visit the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai) and Pakistan (Karachi and Lahore). Starting October 22nd this blog will be updated by the participants.

The United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah)
Between East and West, the country has emerged as a global juncture for the arts. Many creative minds went to the UAE, collectors and museum professionals have followed, looking to discover art from the region. The 2000s marked a time of intense artistic and cultural development in the UAE. Following the establishment of economic free zones, Christie's opened in Dubai and hosted the first auction of modern and contemporary art in the Middle East in 2006. In 2009, the UAE became the first Gulf country to have a permanent pavilion at the Venice Biennial. November 2018, one of the United Arab Emirates' most ambitious projects to date, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, opened to the public. Influenced by the visions of their respective rulers and arts patrons, the UAE's three largest emirates have embraced the arts in different ways. Dubai has transformed into a center for commercial art, Abu Dhabi has invested in international, large-scale collaborations, and Sharjah has connected local creators to an international arts scene. Sharjah Biennial is a longstanding feature in the culture calendar. Established in 1993 this biennial has been instrumental to broadening the visual arts scene in the UAE. Considered a cultural pillar and one of the most prominent factors in the development of artistic awareness. The biennial itself has a flexible structure enabling the presentation of works of contemporary art and numerous professional arts programmes. Since 2003 when management of the event was taken over by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, Sharjah Biennial has evolved from a bi-annual cultural event into a prominent display of cultural and artistic production regarded highly across national and international art forums. From world-class museums, galleries and performance spaces, to leading regional festival and creative spaces for artists, the UAE has a lot to offer.

Pakistan (Karchi and Lahore)

Since the formation of the independent state, Pakistan has boasted a repertoire of artists, who adopt modernism as a metaphor for change and economic freedom. Artists have not only taken on styles that are popular in the US and Europe, but have also been experimenting with native traditions in their works of art. Evolving beyond its traditional mediums of miniaturists and calligraphers, the Pakistani contemporary art scene now boasts a multitude of established and upcoming artists whose work has attracted a great deal of international interest. The art industry in Pakistan is currently flourishing with artists from the country being selected for international shows and fairs. With the turn of the 21st century, the international art world is taking Pakistani artists seriously. Maybe owing to the catastrophe of 9/11 Pakistan turned into an important geo-political identity not only in terms of international agenda but also its artistic and aesthetic agenda. The media hype or exposure towards Pakistan post 9/11, paralleled with the change in the country's social and cultural policies, created a fertile ground for provocative contemporary socio-political art. Many artists from Pakistan like Imran Qureshi, Rashid Rana, Saira Wasim, Faiza Butt, RM Naeem, Naiza Khan and Aisha Khalid are now very well-known and internationally acclaimed. Karachi, at first glance, is not considered to be one of Pakistan’s most conventionally beautiful cities. Far from the picturesque green meadows and clear blue skies in Pakistan’s Northern regions, Karachi is an industrial hub and commercial megacity, overpopulated with almost 15 million inhabitants. But in recent decades, Karachi has revealed that -- underneath its dusty exterior -- this city is a breeding ground for flourishing, developing, nurturing and elevating contemporary art on a national scale. In 2017 Karachi introduced its first and largest public contemporary art show to the city for two weeks, the Karachi Biennale 2017. With no support from the State, private sponsors and patrons of the arts took it upon themselves to take contemporary art out onto the streets. In October 2019 the second edition will open called ‘Flight Interrupted: Eco-leaks from the Invasion Desk’.