Following studio visits across Iraq, other meetings and much careful thinking, eleven Iraqi artists have been selected to participate in Welcome to Iraq, the official Pavilion of Iraq at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. The full list of participants was announced at a live press conference this morning at Art Dubai.

Artists whose work will feature in the Pavilion of Iraq are:

Mr Abdul Raheem Yassir (Born in Gammas, Qadisiyah, Iraq, in 1951. Lives and works in Baghdad, Iraq.)

Mr Akeel Khreef (Born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1979. Lives and works in Baghdad, Iraq.)

Mr Ali Samiaa (Born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1980. Lives and works in Baghdad, Iraq.)

Mr Bassim Al-Shaker (Born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1986. Lives and works in Baghdad, Iraq.)

Ms Cheeman Ismaeel (Born in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, in 1966. Lives and works in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.)

Ms Furat al Jamil (Born in Mainz, Germany, in 1965. Lives and works in Baghdad, Iraq.)

Mr Hareth Alhomaam (Born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1987. Lives and works in Baghdad, Iraq.)

Mr. Jamal Penjweny (Born in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan, in 1981. Lives and works in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan.)

Mr Kadhim Nwir (Born in Qadisiyah, Iraq, in 1967. Lives and works in Babylon, Iraq.)

WAMI (Mr Yaseen Wami, Mr Hashim Taeeh)

Mr Yaseen Wami (Born in Basra, Iraq, in 1973. Lives and works in Odessa, Ukraine.)

Mr Hashim Taeeh (Born in Basra, Iraq, in 1948. Lives and works in Basra, Iraq.)


Representing two generations and many regions of their country, these artists were selected to highlight the depth and breadth of artistic practice in modern day Iraq.

Curator Jonathan Watkins commented on this selection, saying:

“I was very inspired by meeting these artists, hearing their stories and seeing their work in situ. They will impress visitors to our pavilion with their extraordinary ingenuity, their tenacity and goodwill in the face of adversities that stain everyday life in Iraq. We are lucky to have them with us on a world stage, to have an opportunity to enjoy the cultural exchange of ideas that comes with it.’’

We are excited to introduce the following selected artists who will be showing their work as part of Welcome to Iraq. The rest of the artists will be introduced on this blog next week.