Established in January 2023 by Amir Soleymani of Mondoir heralds a fresh artistic epoch in the UAE.

Located in Downtown, Dubai, its aim is to unify the mediums of physical and digital art by fostering a rich culture of expression and creativity. Envisioned to not only nourish a global community of digital artists but also to invigorate the dialogue between creators and their audiences, Mondoir acts as a creative catalyst. Through its distinctive amalgamation of experiences, tools, and systems, it provides artists with a platform to connect and collaborate.

In a free-wheeling chat with Emirates Man, Amir talks about bridging the gap, incorporating philanthropy and working at an intersection with technology under the realm of art.

What contributions have Mondoir made to the world of digital art so far?

We have made significant contributions to the world of digital art through many avenues such as:

● Improving Access – Through knowledge transfer by sharing resources such as smart contracts, information on how to use blockchain technology and supporting digital artists by collecting their works.

● Improving Discovery – By opening a gallery in Liverpool (Adelia), and hosting NFT Liverpool, we provided a platform for over 1500 digital artworks to be shown and curated by industry leaders such as Paris Hilton, Keith Grossman, Farokh, PAK, all free of charge and open to the public. The event trended on social media for over a month and provided a platform of discovery for several artists from around the world to have opportunities to be hired by brands, collected by collectors and showcased for the world to learn more about.

● Participating in the Digital Art Industry – I have curated a collection of over 2500 digital artworks and NFT art. This ‘put my money where my mouth is’ approach elevated the status of hundreds of artists, elevating their status from creator to collected artist and subsequently showcasing their work at the Mondoir and Adelia Galleries for the world to see. Also, my newly launched book, “The Art of Connectivity: Unveiling the Magic of NFTs”, lends further insight into my journey in the space to people worldwide and invites them to participate in one of the fastest-growing art spaces in history.
● I also played a critical role in bringing attention and giving fidelity to the space in the early days. There were no PFP projects at that time – it was just digital art. By spending money on artists and purchasing artwork, I drew the art world and also the technology world’s eyes to the scene which grew our audiences and got more people involved. This key moment was pivotal to giving digital artists the fidelity they warranted and set the space up to see growth over the next several years.

When and where did you get the idea to establish the Mondoir Art Gallery?

After NFT Liverpool at Adelia Art Gallery in 2022, I knew there was an appetite for participation in the space from several key players. With this in mind, I turned Mondoir into an organization and made Dubai my home base, paying homage to the progressive and innovative culture of advancing emerging technologies in the UAE, and opened the Mondoir Gallery in Downtown Dubai earlier this year.

How do you incorporate philanthropy and activism into your work?

NFTs are one of the most innovative mechanisms to use for philanthropy. The nature of blockchain technology enables a more direct connection between participants in goodwill causes because it eliminates intermediaries and reduces the overhead costs of executing these campaigns.

I think of philanthropy as a critical pillar of my existence. In my book, I talk about the level of detail and attention I pay to each artist as I curate my collection, and have been for the past five years. One of the key elements of this is choosing artists that stand for a narrative or represent something to me – and being able to actively try and elevate the status of female artists or showcase NFT for good campaigns has been part of my participation for years.


Founder Amir Soleymani

In what ways have your background and experience shaped you for this role in the art world?

By nature, I am a collector and a technologist. I have always been drawn to emerging technologies and understanding how they can empower people and creative expressions.

In my book, I talk at length about my experiences before entering the Web3 and NFT space. These shaped me profoundly both as a collector but also as an entrepreneur. Since diving into the NFT realm, I rely on these experiences to shape how I think about solving problems for the community. I am not a pedestrian. I like to first work backwards from my community and understand their pain points. This means I take time to involve myself at the ground level with what’s going on, actively participating in the scene.

What is Mondoir Ventures, and how does it operate at the intersection of art and technology?

At Mondoir, we believe that Web3 and blockchain represent the greatest opportunity for advancing humankind. The trust-less environment, foolproof provenance, and perpetual royalties schemas made possible through smart contracts can impact the operating space that artists, founders, collectors, communities and entrepreneurs know today.
I founded Mondoir Ventures this year to deliver experiences, develop tools and deploy systems to solve real-world problems and contribute to advancing Web3 adoption worldwide. Art is the language of creativity. Creativity is the catalyst of innovation. Innovation comes to life through technology.

Paris Hilton by Blake Kathryn

Can you elaborate on your dedication to supporting emerging artists and charity events in the digital art space?

I do this in a few ways. First, my team is developing products that specifically address the issue of discovery for artists. One of the most significant barriers to success is that many of the world’s artists find it challenging to be discovered or face obstacles imposed by institutions such as galleries and auction houses, i.e. getting a collector to notice them can be impossible. We want to solve this with novel tools that provide them with the upside of being part of a community of like-minded individuals whilst a well-designed product makes it easy for collectors to find them.
In addition, we have many initiatives to launch in the coming months to support artists and help further eliminate the barriers many face. We are working on novel ways to promote artists and causes through our gallery which operates out of one of the most prestigious locations in the Middle East.

How does your unique vision impact the communities you engage with through this gallery?

One of our key visions is to provide people with a hub to enter the Web3 and digital art space. The gallery is a physical space where knowledge transfer and a familiar introduction to one of the fastest-growing technology sectors occurs. It provides a platform for us and our partners to host events that provide people with tools and experiences to get them involved, learn how to engage with the space or learn about the opportunities it has provided for other artists.  It also gives us a mechanism to provide value for our community in innovative ways. For example, artists that use a directory. art is going to be featured in an upcoming exhibition at Mondoir Gallery, providing them with an amazing opportunity to be discovered by the public and collectors alike. Providing value streams for artists and participants in the art world is what we’re all about.
Our community is ever-growing. We see technology as a catalyst for collaboration and are still uncovering how we can work with people we never dreamed of. One example is our partnership with.ART domains, who will give our users a free “.art” domain name for a year on our premier product, directory. art. This unique collaboration with a domain registry has allowed us to offer additional utility to people using directory. art, in addition to the platform’s features, by letting them create a website for their art profile on their own .art domain.

“The Battle of Digital and Physical Art” by Tina Gavasheli

What are some examples of social justice causes that you advocate for?

Over the past few years, I have actively advocated for many causes, including the Stop Asian Hate campaign during COVID-19, the Choose Love initiative, supporting refugees and people fleeing crisis, and the ps752 collection, which raised funds to support the families of the victims of flight PS752, tragically shot down in Iran.
I also support emerging female artists, and I have done this by actively curating female artists for my collection. Most notably, I wanted to put female artists on the map by purchasing Paris Hilton and Blake Katheryn’s Genesis piece, which was the largest purchase of an NFT created by female artists at the time.

How do you aim to promote knowledge and introduce digital art to new communities through his gallery?

The most significant opportunity with Mondoir Gallery is to bring digital art to visitors. We are hosting numerous exhibitions to get the public to attend and experience the art for themselves. We have brought state-of-the-art displays to life by showcasing different styles of digital art that create an immersive experience for the gallery’s visitors.
Another way we use our gallery for good and knowledge transfer is through partnerships with local institutions to provide educational workshops and internships and offer our subject matter expertise to complement existing educational initiatives. Expanding the youth’s awareness of the different and ever-expanding outlets of creative expression possible with blockchain technology today will pay dividends tomorrow. The youth are the future, and the UAE has a rich history of being at the forefront of advancing the world’s most cutting-edge technologies – digital art will be no different.

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Images: Supplied by Mondoir