Advisory Board
Ehab Ellabban
Born in Cairo, 1976, Ellabban leads a multifaceted career; a curator, cultural operator, and a sculptor whose creative practice comprises of contemporary sculpture often conceptualized for open space commissions. In Egypt Ellabban has curated 'STILL VALID, a Selection of Contemporary Egyptian Art Practices', Sharjah Art Gallery, AUC New Cairo, 2011, the 11th and 12th International Cairo Biennial, 2008- 2009, as well as several high profile group shows and culture events such as; 'Egypt Salon', 2008, 2009, and 2010; 'Faces', 2009; 'Stars of the Day' 2006; and the 1st Sculpture Salon, 2004. Since Ofok Gallery, Mahmoud Khalil Museum, Cairo, Egypt, came under his direction in 2005; he has organized a multitude of international exhibitions such as; a solo Exhibition for Spanish photographer Chema Madoz, 2007; 'Alf Leila We Leila', by Spanish artist, Sicilia, 2006; 'Contemporary Spanish Art Selections from Alicante', 2006; 'Italian Author's Book and Artist's Graphic', 2006; 'Contemporary Italian Art Exhibition', 2005 and 'Nuevas Tendencias Photografia', 2005. He has curated solo exhibitions by renowned Egyptian artists such as Menhatallah Helmy, 2005; Sobhy Guergues, 2007; Adam Henein, 2007; Salah Taher, 2008; Ahmed Nawar, 2009; Adel El Siwi, 2010; Farouk Hosni and Nazli Madkour, 2011. Internationally, Ellabban was Egypt's coordinator for "La Quatrième Pyramide", Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, 2008. He has also curated the shows at the Marrakesh Art Fair, Morocco, 2010, Menesart Fair, Beirut, Lebanon for Ward Culture & Art Center, 2011 and Palm Beach Art Fair for Syra Arts Foundation, USA, 2012. Most recently, he has curated the '25 Years of Arab Creativity' exhibition at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, 2012 and at Emirates Palace, ADMAF Abu Dhabi. Ellabban was also nominated as Art Advisor for the Arab Express exhibition at the Morai Museum in Tokyo. His current and future projects include: Architecture created by Sculptors, Describing Egypt, and the first Egyptian applied arts exhibition. Ellabban lives and works in Cairo, Egypt.
Martina Corgnati
Martina Corgnati is a Milan-based art historian, curator and critic. She holds the chair of History of Contemporary Art at Albertina Academy, Turin, Italy. Her curatorial practice included contemporary practices and artists from the Middle East in the past decade. She curated Gates of the Mediterranean, Rivoli, Turin, 2008, Arab and Italian Artists around the Mediterranean, Italian Cultural Institutes of Damascus, Beirut and Cairo, 2008, South-East: Mediterranean Encounters, Horcynus Orca Foundation, Messina, Italy, 2005. Martina Corgnati is author of over 20 books and 200 artists’ catalogues essays.

Rose Issa
Living in London, curator, art critic and author, Rose Issa specializes in visual arts and film from the Near East and North Africa. She has curated many film festivals and exhibitions of contemporary art together with: the Barbican Centre, Leighton House, Brunei Gallery (SOAS), the National Film Theatre and British Film Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Art / ica (London); Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (Spain), Beyeler Foundation (Switzerland), La Villette (Paris), Asia Society (New York), and ifa (Germany).  She has advised the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the Museum of Mankind, the Victoria & Albert Museum in their acquisition of contemporary art from the Middle East. She has been advisor to the London and Rotterdam Film Festivals on Arab and Iranian films for several years and organised many film seasons at the NFT, the Barbican and the ICA in London, and was a member of the Jury of National Pavilions at the 50th Venice Biennial.


Venetia Porter
Curator at The British Museum, responsible for the collection of Islamic art, in particular of the Arab World and Turkey as well as the collection of the modern and contemporary art of the Middle East, Venetia Porter was previously curator of Islamic coins in the Department of Coins and Medals. She studied Arabic and Islamic art at Oxford University and obtained her Ph.D on the medieval history and architecture of the Yemen from the University of Durham. Her particular areas of research and interest are Arabic inscriptions, amulets and seals, ceramics and contemporary Middle Eastern art which are the focus of her lectures and publications.  Current British Museum projects include Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East. New exhibition and book for Dubai, February 2008, Completion of publication of Arabic and Persian seals in the British Museum, Salcombe Cannon site, with Susan La Neice and others. Previous British Museum projects include; Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East. Exhibition at the British Museum May –September 2006. External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies; External examiner, University of Oxford Mst Islamic art, Committee member the Iraq school, Committee member Seminar for Arabian Studies, Fellow Royal Asiatic Society, Secretary Leigh Douglas Memorial Fund. Publications:  Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, Catalogue of the exhibition at the British Museum (British Museum Press London 2006), Mightier than the Sword, with Heba Salih Catalogue of the exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur 2004), ‘Inscriptions of Companions of the Prophet in the Merv oasis’ in Islamic Reflections Arabic Musings: Studies in Honour of Alan Jones, ed. R. Hoyland and P. Kennedy, (Oxford 2004). 'The architectural decoration' and with Y. al-Nasiri ‘The inscriptions’, in al-Radi, S. The 'Amiriya in Rada', Oxford Studies in Islamic Art XIII, 1998. Islamic Tiles, London, (British Museum Press 1995, reprinted most recently 2005).

Hazem Taha Hussein
Hazem Taha Hussein received his Bachelor in Graphic Design from the Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan University in 1983, later obtained his Masters in Graphic design in 1990; In 1993 obtained his diploma in Visual communications from FH Muenster, University of applied science, Germany: In 1997 Hussein received his Ph.D. in design philosophy and communications theories, Wuppertal University, Germany. Hussein's work consists of abstract, energetic forms painted with a limited palette of earth tones. He has studied and researched symbols and signs that are modes of communication from cave men, till graffiti in our modern times. His strokes that end in abstract lines, circles and many other simple forms are things we can easily relate to, due to their simplicity and naivety. Since the early 1980's, Hazem Taha Hussein has been working as an artist, designer and teacher of visual communications design. He has more than 80 products and public art projects in Africa, India and many other European and Arab Countries. He has been involved in Photomontage exhibitions in Cairo, Marseilles and Bonn, as well as painting exhibitions in Sweden and Spain. Amongst his solo exhibitions; Akhnaten Gallery and Espace Karim Francis in Cairo, Tour Haus Gallery and AWO Gallery in Germany, amongst other exhibitions and projects to this date.

Karin Adrian Von Roques
Karin Adrian von Roques studied History of Islamic and European art, Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelm University Bonn, Institute of Oriental Art. For the past ten years she has given a particular professional focus on modern and contemporary art from the Arab world. She was Consultant to Sotheby’s London for art from the Arab region and Iran. She advises on the development of public and private collection, including Deutsche Bank and Dolphin Energy. Her curatorial projects include: The Present out of the Past Millennia – Contemporary Art from Egypt, Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2007; Languages of the Desert – Contemporary Arab Art from the Gulf States“ Kunstmuseum Bonn, 2005, Institut du Monde Arabe Paris, 2006, Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, UAE, 2007, Galeria Metropolitana, Barcelona, Spain, 2007; Europe and the Islam, Pasinger Fabrik, München, Germany, 2006; Written Cosmos: Arabic Calligraphy and Literature Throughout The Centuries, Museum of Applied Arts in Frankfurt, 2005. She was museum director in Lugano Switzerland. Main focus of the program of the museum, with an active events program, was on Ethics and Intercultural Dialogue. She writes books and regularly contributions for newspapers and art magazines.