eclectic but not random
a page to stimulate, enrich, challenge and entertain

Eclectic International spotlights topical regional and international arts events in or relating to Africa, Asia and the Middle East. An editorial choice, the approach is eclectic, non-purist and an invitation to explore further. On a changing basis, it includes exhibitions, collections and collectors, artists and their art, photography, performing arts, galleries and symposia.

If you would like to see an event or theme spotlighted,
contact Hilary

London events may be found in Inside Scoop.




Marrakech Bienniale 2016
Marrakech, February 24 – May 8; ‘Not New Now’. Under the curatorship of Reem Fadda, this 6th Edition continues the Bienniale’s ‘mission to build bridges between cultures through the arts’. Multidisciplinary, MB6 draws in artists and their work from the Arab world, Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa.


L’Atelier Art Competition 2015
Johannesburg, 2015 saw South Africa’s most prestigious art competition rolled out to four additional countries – Zambia, Botswana, Ghana and Kenya. Very well received, with plans to extend further, Barclays Africa L’Atelier Competition and its awards inspire and promote young and emerging artists. A 30 Year L’Atelier Commemorative Book is going to press.




Beirut Art Fair 2015
Beirut, September 17 – 20; Virtual/Reality. Curator Pascale Odille presents an exhibition through varied virtualisation models designed to ‘de-stabilise the visitors’ senses’ and question digital art. Collections include photography, contemporary design and monumental sculptures alongside roundtable program maintain the Beirut Art Fair’s ME.NA.SA. (Middle East, North Africa, South and South East Asia) vision and international artistic links.


Art Dubai 2016
Dubai, March 16 – 19; the 10th edition of Art Dubai looks forward to continuing its prominence in the contemporary arts communities of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, together with an expanding international reach, which in 2015 introduced exhibitors from Eastern Europe and Australia. The Abraaj Group Art Prize recently announced its 2016 and 2017 jury of leading curators including Hans Ulrich Obrist and chaired by Dana Farouki.

Saadiyat Cultural District 2016
Abu Dhabi – Saadiyat Island, The Zayed National Museum is scheduled to open in 2016, commencing the completion of five museums up until 2018. This natural island off the Abu Dhabi coast will present the Zayed National Museum, Louvre AbuDhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Performing Arts Centre and Maritime Museum each with their own design and concept.

The Zayed National Museum, designed by award-winning Foster &Partners, is ’inspired by the dynamic of flight and the feathers of a falcon’. Falconry, a multivalent theme of the Museum, reflects a personal passion and iconic national symbol honouiring the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in his vision for the unified Emirates and their cultural heritage.

Each ‘feather’, rising dramatically up to 125 metres, will contain a gallery space; located on the water front, the Museum is set in landscaped gardens. The architectural aesthetic optimises natural light and ventilation using sophisticated construction and materials ‘to create an exemplar of sustainable design’.




Mountain Echoes Literary Festival
Thimpu, August 19 – 22; . Curator Namita Goahale. this 6th edition brought together writers, poets, visual artists, curators, film critics and commentators from diverse geographies and sectors, within the region and internationally. Literary dialogue was accompanied by music events, art exhibitions and film screenings. An initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation, in association with Siyahi, a literary agency and sponsored by the Rajastan government, the Festival aims to enhance cultural, educational, scientific and technical inter-action.


Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art
Hyderabad, September 17, 2015; Book Launch. Rajasthani Paintings (by Milo C. Beach, Catherine Glynn, Jagdish Mittal, John Seyller, Andrew Topsfield) and Rajasthani Drawings (by Andrew Topsfield and Jagdish Mittal). This outstanding collection, particularly rich in miniature paintings, many unique, celebrates its two latest publications at an event honoured with a presentation from Shri Jagdish Mittal, now in his 90th year. The books feature many works previously unpublished, high quality reproductions with analyses and insights from leading scholars. The Museum represents over forty years of collecting by India’s pre-eminent art historian Jagdish Mittal and his wife, Kamla.


Lahore Bienniale 2016
Lahore, In 2014, under the Chairmanship of Osman Waheed, the Lahore Bienniale Foundation was formed with a vision to deepen engagement between the public and the arts and bring the arts into mainstream national discourse. The Pakistan arts community includes internationally renowned names but this multi-disciplinary project is pioneering art in public spaces, experimental and research-oriented approaches. Sponsored by Habib Bank Limited, the Foundation is run by a team of high profile artists, curators and art-lovers. Showing until October 2015, and a highlight of the 56th Venice Bienniale, is a collaborative venture between Rashid Rana and the Lahore Bienniale Foundation: My East is Your West, simultaneously connecting audiences in Venice with audiences in Liberty Market, Lahore.


All information and citations are believed to be accurate at the time of writing but no responsibility for errors whatsoever, is accepted.