Ruya commissioned the National Pavilion of Iraq for the 55th Venice Biennale. The exhibition, Welcome to Iraq, was the first to present Iraqi artists living and working in Iraq at an international art platform. Curator Jonathan Watkins, director of the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, and Ruya chairman Tamara Chalabi toured the country, visiting artists in their studios. The 11 artists who participated in the exhibition were also invited for the opening week of the show, where they drew new ideas from the international art scene as well as the city’s rich heritage. Thanks to this widely acclaimed exhibition, many of the artists were invited to present their work in leading global galleries, fairs and festivals.

A diary of Tamara Chalabi and Jonathan Watkins’ trip was published on the Ruya journal, and is available below.

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