Océane Sailly

Founder, Hunna Art

Océane Sailly is the founder and director of Hunna Art, a nomadic art gallery representing contemporary female artists from or based in the Arabian Peninsula. Engaged in the politics of production and the creation of critical contributions from scholars and art professionals, Hunna Art aims to support artistic and intellectual circulations between the Arabian Peninsula and the rest of the world while championing women artists. In 2023, Sailly was appointed director of the Failaka Institute for Knowledge and Arts Research, a non-profit organization operating as a think tank and artistic production platform focused on ushering new narratives, forms of research, expressions, and experiments in response to contemporary global issues. Previously, Sailly co-founded Hors-Cadre, a contemporary art gallery focused on emerging French artists, and worked as a cultural officer in the Emirati-French Cultural Program – Dialogue with Louvre Abu Dhabi at the French Ministry of Culture/Institut français. 

Sailly is also an independent researcher who explores French cultural diplomacy, for which she has been awarded a three-year full doctoral scholarship from the Sorbonne Nouvelle and a two-year field scholarship from the French Research Centre of the Arabian Peninsula, and contemporary art in the Arabian Peninsula. Her research has been presented in numerous publications, conferences, and lectures, including at the American University of Kuwait, Centre Français de Recherche de la Péninsule Arabique, Institut Catholique de Paris, Institut de Recherche et d’études Méditerranée Moyen-Orient, Institut du Monde Arabe, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris VIII University, Sorbonne Paris University, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, among others. She is also part of a transnational research group led by Alain Quemin and Kathryn Brown on inequalities in the contemporary art world. In 2023, Sailly received the MIA Art Collection Award for her contribution to women artists’ visibility, support, and representation.