National Pavilion UAE - La Biennale di Venezia
The National Pavilion UAE – La Biennale di Venezia curates untold stories about the UAE’s arts and architecture and provides a high-profile platform for curatorial concepts that address critical international conversations from a distinctive local perspective.
For each annual edition of the Art and Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, one of the world’s most significant and rigorous cultural platforms, the National Pavilion UAE appoints and works with curators, artists and contributors to conceive, research and develop an exhibition and accompanying publication that advance and preserve understanding of the UAE’s cultural landscape.
Since 2009, its exhibitions have explored the nation’s cultural evolution from 20th century experimental artists to the diverse contemporary scene. In 2019, the National Pavilion UAE presented an acclaimed installation exploring geographic and psychological displacement from filmmaker Nujoom Alghanem, and in 2021, architects and curators Wael Al Awar and Kenichi Teramoto presented research into an innovative sustainable cement alternative inspired from salt minerals found in the UAE’s Sabkha heritage sites, was awarded the Golden Lion for best National Participation at La Biennale Architettura 2021.
In parallel with its exhibitions in Venice, the National Pavilion UAE engages with communities in the UAE to support the growth of the local cultural and creative industries, through public programming and professional opportunities. Alongside an extensive pool of artists, curators, researchers and partners who have contributed to its exhibitions over the years, the UAE’s Venice Internship program has provided training and hands-on experience to more than 190 interns, many of whom are now working successfully in cultural fields.
The National Pavilion UAE is an independent non-profit organization, initiated and commissioned by Dr. Lamees Hamdan from 2009 to 2013, and now commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth.
The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation is a private not-for-profit foundation committed to the cultivation of a more creative, connected and thriving UAE community. Based in Abu Dhabi, SHF oversees a diverse portfolio of not-for-profit programs and initiatives spanning the arts, culture, heritage, human development and early childhood development in the UAE and internationally. Underpinning the Foundation’s activities is a common ambition to invest in the knowledge and capabilities of the UAE people in order to support them to unlock their full potential.