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Wednesday 16 November 2011

New Cultural Identities | The Salsali Private Museum | Dubai

Exceptional numbers of contemporary art collectors are building private museums to display works that they currently store in warehouses. The latest in a long line of these museums is The Salsali Private Museum (SPM) where current exhibition SHOW OFF! features works from Ramin Salsali’s private collection by artists such as Jonathan Messe, Reza Derakshani, Max Sheler, Amir Hossein Zanjani and the specially commissioned A Door to Heaven and Hell from Philip Muller.

SPM aims to contribute to the UAE’s effervescent art scene by being the first space to enable the collaboration between local and international collectors, public, museums and foundations to exhibit a challenging exhibition programme.

Aesthetica caught up with founder of the SPM, Ramin Salsali to find out more about the project.

Where did the idea for the SPM come from?

I believe that art is a global tool for creating tolerance, peace and dialogue and is a natural and logical conclusion of the work of a group of people who support the development of Dubai as a hub for arts and culture in the UAE region. When I arrived in Dubai, I asked my friends, “where can I meet other art collectors?” Nobody could really answer as there was no platform as such. I have always wanted to create a space where local emerging, established and travelling collectors can meet each other and exchange ideas and views.

The museum is billed as private? Considering this, how will the space function for both collectors and the general public?

We have built a dedicated conference room which will provide space for art collectors to meet but all visitors will be able to view a rich programme of exhibitions through our collaborations with other art collectors, museums and foundations. I’m particularly excited about The Magic of Persia, a show which highlights the unique contribution of Persian culture to society which will open in the gallery in 2012.

Could you talk us through some of the key works in the inaugural exhibition?

Absolutely. The collection consists of artworks by Iranian, Middle Eastern and European artists. It’s so difficult to pick the key works because I am very passionate about the collection as a whole. SHOW OFF! features a new work by Reza Derakhshani and another by Philip Muller which visitors should not miss.

SHOW OFF! runs until 14 January 2012.


Courtesy The Salsali Private Museum
Photography by James Harvey


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