Given the insight that we gained over the years, and given our shared, pre-existing passion for regional art, we knew we had to do something about it. After some discussion, we decided to establish a space where we would showcase the work of contemporary emerging Khaleeji (Gulf natives) and Gulf-based artists alongside more established names, and through which we also documented the art movement in the region; a space unlike any other we had come across.
The pandemic had pushed many of us to spend more time indoors, and that meant that art enthusiasts who were deprived of physical art events and exhibitions now looked for virtual and digital experiences. We realized then that a museum with a digital presence would not only be appreciated by artists, collectors and enthusiasts alike, but it would also ensure a wider exposure of our art and culture with visitors from around the world.
The rise of NFTs not only helps protect digital artists’ work, but also provides art lovers with a convenient option to collect art during a pandemic that has greatly restricted our movement. Today, digital artists from the Arab Gulf States, such as Mujahid Al Malki from Oman, whose work we are pleased to have exhibited in our museum in the past, is one of the emerging digital artists whose work is sold as an NFT through Foundation—an application that facilitates live auctions for NFTs.
Hence, our Khaleeji Art Museum—the first digital museum dedicated to exhibiting works by artists from and residing in the Arab Gulf States—was officially born in May 2020.
It has never been so easy to see artwork created by individuals across the globe. And, as initiatives like that of our museum and those that drive like-minded artists become more popular across the digital world, a more global approach to art collection is the next logical step.