Stephen Richards Evans, Head of Private Bank for Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Americas, Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered Private Bank has announced that around 200 of its High Net Worth clients have confirmed to take part in the ‘Art for Sight’ charity auction at the Armani Hotel Dubai in Burj Khalifa on October 18, 2012. The auction aims to raise funds in support of “Seeing is Believing”, Standard Chartered’s global initiative that helps tackle avoidable blindness. To further raise awareness about ‘Seeing is Believing’ and coinciding with World Sight Day (October 11), the original art works will be exhibited at the Dubai Mall from October 11 to 14. Mall visitors may submit bids for the exhibited art works or offer donations to support ‘Seeing is Believing’.
The ‘Art for Sight’ charity auction features some of the most celebrated contemporary artists of the Middle Eastern and South Asian art scenes. The artists have contributed original works inspired by the notion of vision, sight and the efforts to prevent avoidable blindness.
Stephen Richards Evans, Head of Private Bank for Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Americas, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “It is harsh reality today that a person goes blind every five seconds, a child goes blind every minute and less than 10% of blind children are in schools. Our ‘Art for Sight’ initiative is an important way in which, together with our clients, we can make a huge difference to the lives of many of our fellow humans afflicted by blindness. We are truly and deeply grateful to the many talented artists who have dedicated their time and energy to producing such imaginative and exciting works on the themes of light and vision and for us to auction for the cause of curing blindness.”
The exhibition and auction will feature the works of several award-winning artists including painter, musician and performance artist Reza Derakshani; Shadia Alem, the distinguished self-taught artist who represented Saudi Arabia at the country’s inaugural pavilion at 54th Venice Biennale in 2011; Devrim Erbil, the Turkish artist who captured the international art community’s attention with his unique figurative and abstract painting style; Sacha Jafri, who is regarded as the pioneer of ‘Magical Realism’; and Maqbool Fida Hussain, considered one of the most renowned artists of India.
Standard Chartered is organising ‘Art for Sight’ in collaboration with Canvas, the premier magazine for art and culture from the Middle East and Arab world, and Christie’s, currently the world's largest art business and a fine arts auction house will be conducting the auction part of the initiative.
Standard Chartered in collaboration with the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the leading umbrella organisation for non-governmental organisations working in the field of eye-care, ‘Seeing is Believing’ has already raised over USD50 million for blindness initiatives and plans to raise a further USD50 million by 2020. As part of the Seeing is Believing program, Standard Chartered has pledged to match all donations to reach the target of USD 100 million.
Seeing is Believing is the single largest contributor to the development of ‘Vision 2020 – The Right to Sight’, a global campaign launched by the World Health Organisation and IAPB to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020.