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Seminar Programmes

Speaker Profiles



Founder of Agial Art Gallery and Leading Expert in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art.

Saleh Barakat A leading expert in Contemporary Arab art, Saleh Barakat founded Agial Art Gallery in 1990 in Beirut. Barakat actively participates in building some major collections of Modern and Contemporary Arab art. He curated several pan-Arab exhibitions, including the IXth Francophone Summit in Beirut and the 2003 World Bank Summit in Dubai, and recently he co-curated the first national pavilion for Lebanon at the 52nd Venice Biennale. Barakat serves on the steering committee of the Arts Centre at the American University of Beirut and is a founding member of the Kinda Foundation, which is dedicated to the promotion of Contemporary Arab artistic expression. He was nominated as a Yale World Fellow in 2006 and in October 2007, delivered a lecture ‘Similar and Different: Perspectives from the Modern art of the Arab world’ at Princeton University and the Metropolitan Museum of New York.


Museum and Heritage Curator, Van Cleef & Arpels.

Catherine Cariou Catherine Cariou graduated from the Faculty of Law and History at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. After working in various auction houses in the French capital, she joined Van Cleef & Arpels in 2000 as Heritage Director. Her mission is to enrich the Van Cleef & Arpels private collection, which charts the company’s historic, artistic and technical evolution. The Van Cleef & Arpels collection consists of 400 jewellery items, time pieces and fashion accessories that date back to 1906. Housed at 22 Place Vendôme, selected objects from the collection are frequently displayed in prestigious museums, galleries and foundations, so that connoisseurs and jewellery lovers around the world may enjoy the imagination and beauty of Van Cleef & Arpels.


Brand Manager for the Middle East, A. Lange & Söhne.

Sukaiyna Gokal Sukaiyna Gokal grew up in London, England and Geneva, Switzerland and has more recently lived in cities such as Hong Kong, Paris and Dubai. Following a similarly globetrotting career in the maritime industry, in 2004 Sukaiyna joined the luxury watch brand A Lange & Söhne, which is based in Glashütte near Dresden, Germany. Responsible for Sales, Marketing and PR for the Middle East Region, she is also overseeing the brand’s entry into India, the newest market for A Lange & Söhne.


Head of the A. Lange & Söhne Akademie.

Joanna Gribben Joanna Gribben joined the German luxury watch brand A. Lange & Söhne in 2001 after collecting first experiences at DaimlerChrysler. Since 2005 she has created the Lange Akademie, a new concept to train Lange retailer staff. Since then, approximately 200 people have successfully become Ambassadors of the brand. This entails a three day programme taking place in Glashütte, including a detailed manufactory tour, lessons about the specialities and technical features of Lange watches, historic pocket watches and details of the manufacturing processes.


International Business Development Director, Christie’s.

Paul Hewitt Since 2001, Paul Hewitt has overseen an 80-strong business development team spanning 15 European countries. Tireless and energetic and with extensive knowledge and experience of the auction business, its sales categories and regional markets, Paul joined Christie’s in 1999 as European and Asian Marketing Director. Prior to joining the world’s leading auction house, he was based in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan and held key senior positions with the LVMH Group, Moet Hennessy Asia and Riche Monde.


Chief Executive, The Fine Art Fund.

Philip Hoffman Philip Hoffman spent over a decade working for Christie’s, one of the two leading auction houses in the international art market, which he joined from KPMG. During his time at Christie’s he managed the European Old Masters Division and went on to run part of Christie’s highly regarded Fine Art dealing operation. At 33, he became the youngest member of the Christie’s International Management Board. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant after taking a degree in economics at York University, UK.


Curator, Art Critic, Author and specialist in the visual arts and film of the Near East and North Africa.

Rose Issa For the last 20 years Rose Issa has been curating film festivals and exhibitions on Contemporary arts from the Arab world and Iran in collaboration with private and public institutions, such as Channel 4 Television; The Brunei Gallery (SOAS), The National Film Theatre and British Film Institute (NFT & BFI); The Berlinale - International Berlin Film Festival (2003-2006); Parc de la Villette Paris; and Asia House in New York. She has advised major institutions on their acquisition of Contemporary artworks from the Middle East -such as The British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK; The Smithsonian Institution and the World Bank in Washington DC, USA; Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, Holland; and The National Gallery of Jordan. She was an advisor to the London, Rotterdam, and the Berlinale film festivals. Issa was a member of the Jury of National Pavilions at the 50th Biennial of Venice (June 2003); a jury member for the Mondriaan Foundation (2006); and has written several books and essays on Iranian and Arab Contemporary arts.


Head of Operations & Client Relations, The Fine Art Fund.

William Lawrie Ruth Johnson was educated at Durham University where she earned a degree in European Studies with a focus on German and Spanish. She recently qualified as a Company Secretary and is now a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. Johnson has been working with Philip Hoffman for over five years since the inception of Fine Art Management Services Ltd, and was instrumental in developing and structuring The Fine Art Fund. She specializes in fund administration, investor relations and marketing.


Specialist in Modern and Contemporary Arab and Iranian Art, Christie’s.

William Lawrie Having studied History of Art at Edinburgh University, UK, William Lawrie joined Christie’s Islamic Art Department in London in 2004 and established the permanent category of Contemporary Arab and Iranian art on the Christie's auction calendar. Having staged an exhibition of Islamic Art to mark the opening of the Christie’s Dubai office in April 2005, the auction house’s first sale in the UAE was held in May 2006, and was followed by two record-breaking sales in February 2007 and October 2007.


Senior Director London, Director of the Jewellery Department London & Head of Jewellery Sales Dubai, Christie’s.

David Warren David Warren began his career with Christie’s in 1978. In 1991, he was re-located to Hong Kong where he developed Christie’s Asian jewellery operations. Today, Hong Kong is one of Christie’s most important jewellery centres with annual sales of around $75 million. Warren has achieved many world record prices at auction including among which the sale of the 42.92carats Tereschenko blue diamond for $4,508,000 (world record price for a blue diamond). Christie’s first auction of Contemporary Jewels and watches in Dubai on 31st January 2007 was organised by Warren realising $11.8 million and successfully opened a very significant new market. A respected authority on gems and jewellery, David Warren has written many articles, including a chapter in The Encyclopaedia of World Antiques (Acropolis, 1991), and has lectured extensively in South East Asia, South America, Europe the UK and the Channel Islands.


Founder of Waterhouse & Dodd and Art Advisor.

Ray Waterhouse In 1987, Waterhouse started his own art dealership with Jonathan Dodd, Waterhouse & Dodd. The gallery now exhibits at many of the major art fairs, including New York, Maastricht, Palm Beach, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In 1995, he founded the art advisory company Fine Art Brokers to help existing clients buy and sell paintings that were out of the specialist fields of his gallery. This has now developed into an international business with offices in London, Paris and New York, and Ray now devotes the majority of his time to being an art consultant. One of his recent successes was buying a Matisse for a client in 2000 for US $7.5 million and advising on its sale for a world record US $21.5 million in 2007. Waterhouse has written widely on the subject of art collecting, and has presented many talks on investing in art in the UK, US and Asia, including Art Basel and to clients of Merrill Lynch, UBS, Goldman Sachs, and at The Asian Family Office Forum.

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