This year, the theme of the exhibition was ‘Legacies’ which explored the nearly 50-year-old Bahraini contemporary art scene and its foundation in the Kingdom’s rich art heritage. 

Kaneka Subberwal, Fairs and Programme Director of ArtBAB 2019, earlier said: “The art fair’s 2019 edition would be an exciting amalgam of Bahraini art and cutting-edge trends discussed during the conference. This year, in a first for the region, ArtBAB will take visitors beyond the canvases of the gifted artists of Bahrain and the gallerists who bring some of the famous contemporary artworks to showcase at the fair and take them not just across borders but across time-frames too.”

At the same time, the exhibition is pushing boundaries and offers visitors a truly multi-layered and multi-dimensional experience through exposure to a Virtual Reality Corner that allows exploration of some of the world’s leading private museums and a diverse Speaker’s Programme that will bring together art foundations, cultural districts and museums with fintech, blockchain, AI and VR specialists.

In its effort to decode the intersection between art, culture, and technology, ArtBAB 2019 hosted an impressive array of speakers through a series of panel discussions, debates, and interviews. 

Another major impactful move from ArtBAB 2019 was the redefining of Bahrain’s rich crafts heritage through a contemporary design input. Visitors viewed large modern installations of Bahraini crafts seen from a fresh perspective and explore chic, contemporary modernized Bahraini crafts that will take to the world a new portrait of Bahrain as a country which is open to contemporary thought and where the timeless old traditions adapt to new thought without losing their essence.

This fourth edition of ArtBAB was aiming to reinforce Bahrain’s position in the Gulf as a regional arts hub, inspiring entrepreneurship, art education, and local skills development.