'Asil' Photo Exhibition of the Purebred Arabian Horse Opens at The Empty Quarter

Jordanian photographer’s poetic images show the lustrous beauty and elegance of this oldest and purest breed of horse

Under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, The Empty Quarter Fine Art Photography Gallery at the DIFC Gate Village announced the opening of “Asil” a photographic exhibition of the purebred Arabian horse by contemporary Jordanian artist Tariq Dajani. The show will be open for viewing until 16 October.

An exclusive collection of portraits of the Arabian horse, including large, almost life-like prints, have previously been exhibited in art galleries in Europe and the Middle East, will now be shown in the Gulf for the first time.

“Asil” is the Arabic word signifying purity, nobility and authenticity. The horses photographed vary from elegant champion show stallions, including those from HRH Princess Alia bint Al Hussein’s ‘Royal Jordanian Stud’, to athletic endurance horses from privately-owned desert stables.

Abdulla Hamad Bin Sougat, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Lifestyle Group, welcomed the exhibition, noting that it celebrates a vital part of Arab culture and heritage.

“The Dubai International Financial Centre provides a unique meeting place for people from across the globe, both as a leading international financial centre and, increasingly, as a significant centre of fine art in the region. The caliber of this exhibition and the efforts of The Empty Quarter to bring it here are an example of the DIFC’s growing art role. By hosting Dajani’s powerful and inspiring works on Arabian purebred horses, the gallery not only celebrates a major point of pride of the Arab world but also brings a fresh and nuanced study to a subject close to the hearts of many in the region,” Bin Sougat said.

The photographer’s distinctive style brings out the lustrous beauty and elegance of the Arabian horse. These poetic studies, resonating with charm, confidence and charisma, are unparalleled and unique in equestrian photography.

Speaking about this theme, Dajani said, “My choice to photograph the Arabian –the oldest and purest breed of horse – is a result of a lifelong fascination with these graceful creatures. I also wish to pay tribute to their importance in the history and culture of the Middle East and Islam.”

Increasingly recognised for their collectable potential, all prints are signed limited editions. Tariq Dajani’s work is owned by art lovers and collectors worldwide, including leading members of several Middle Eastern Royal families.

Born in England, Dajani spent his formative years moving between the Middle East and Europe, gaining an understanding and an appreciation of different cultures and traditions. He grew up with a strong interest in the arts, which subsequently led to a career in photography. Dajani returned to the Middle East in 2007 after living for many years in London and Stockholm, where he worked both as a commercial photographer and an artist.

Dajani’s work has been widely exhibited in Europe and the Middle East, both in solo and group shows, and has won several prestigious international photography awards.

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