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Manupriam Seth (Shanqoo)

Designer, Design Manager: Interior Design, Architecture, Landscape Design. Artist and Educationist


Founder and Chapter Head of Urban Sketchers Dubai 2015
Founder member of APID since 2002
Founder and curator of Sandscapes since 2009
Founder member of 'Kalangan' Fine Arts Society 2002

'Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life' -Pablo Picasso

I have been working to promote the virtues of creativity through art, design, music and all those creative fields which make our lives enriched and meaningful. Raised by an artist father and an art educationist, I have delved further into art, design, and management to realize creative projects at large scale. Some of the projects had a small and humble beginning and have grown to city level over a period of time.


On Urban Sketching
I was introduced to sketching at the early age of 4 when I used to sketch with my father, an art teacher and a renowned artist. As a child, I spent a lot of time sketching, often filling 60-page sketchbooks in a single day. My freehand visualizations and views helped me raise money for my studies in architecture. l have been sketching productively for my projects in architecture, landscape, and interior design ever since. It was around 2002 when I started to pursue on-location sketching and later came to know of Urban Sketching. My sketchbooks have captured my travels to several countries using a variety of media.
Sketches are one of my most useful tools at work where I envision various parts of a design in different stages. Whether it is a concept or a construction detail, sketching with pencil on paper is the best medium to convey such creative ideas. Besides work, I actively engage my family in the act of sketching as a means to record our experiences.
Having lived in Dubai for the past 25 years, I find that the city is a great source of inspiration. I have been driven to capture the city with its vibrant mix of cultures and nationalities. While earlier sketches were influenced by the overarching urban fabric that
envelops the city, I soon developed an eye that captures the candid nature of life and seemingly mundane details which are often missed by many. During my early years as an Urban Sketcher based in Dubai, I came across many local artists and designers who as avid sketchers were eager to have a community that fostered new avenues of production and presentation. This made me realize the necessity of having an Urban Sketchers Chapter in Dubai. It took me two years to prepare the groundwork for the launch of the group. It was worth the effort and wait.
Dubai is a gleaming example of new-age cities. It's a unique phenomenon with no precedent in history. Dubai has attracted people from all corners of the world. It has a rich and diverse mix of cultural hues and boasts a number of represented nationalities. Dubai's art scene has developed leaps and bounds in the last decade. With 'Art Dubai', a major art exposition, it has become a hub for many noted art galleries and dealers. Numerous independent art galleries and artist studios have cropped up in various parts of the town. Artists from the Middle East, Europe, south-east Asia, and other places exhibit their works with alacrity and add to the vibrancy of the scene. To many, it may appear to be tacky, swanky and self-indulgent, but it is unique. Just like the city of gold emerging out of the vast expanse of sand.
Urban sketching is a unique platform for all age groups to admire the environs of their communities. Through sketching on locations and sharing it with the world, the sketchers build a window into their world

On Sandscapes

Our family of four always wanted to do something for children with special needs. We had a humble start from the terrace of our home where we organized a small fair with art and music. This led to the concept of Sandscapes, an annual, day-long festival of art and music. It was founded in 2009 and has been a platform of emerging and established artists, musicians, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs for over 9 years. As an annual art and music festival held in the heart of Dubai, Sandscapes touches the hearts of over 3000 people every year, both young and old, to expand opportunities for collaboration and creation, and instill a sense of community and belonging. Through the efforts of numerous families and friends, we are able to leave a bigger impact each year by contributing over 15,000AED per festival to Mawaheb from Beautiful People, a studio for artists with special needs. Creativity touches and binds every heart on this planet. Individuals with special need have been successful in expressing themselves through art. Sandscapes aims at integrating them into society through art and music.

Solo Exhibitions
  • 'Living Lattice' Exhibition of Urban Sketches at Sikka Art Fair, Dubai. 2018

  • 'Living Lattice' Exhibition of Urban Sketches at World Architecture Conference, Dubai. 2018

  • 'SEASCAPES' Exhibition of paintings at INTARCH Gallery, Dubai. 2003

  • 'SEASCAPES' Exhibition of paintings at First Dubai Jazz Festival, Media City, Dubai. 2004


Art and Music Production

  • 'Seascapes' a collection 12 art prints and compilation of jazz music on CD. Produced in Dubai. 2004 


Group Exhibitions

  • Fabriano Acquarello, Fabriano. Annual Show. Member of UAE team of artists. 2019

  • Group exhibition of Urban sketches at Dubai Design Week, D3, Dubai. Nov 2019

  • 'Kharbashat' Group show of Urban Sketchers at Sikka Art Fair, Dubai. 2018

  • Annual Exhibition of Urban Sketchers Dubai at Fahidi Historic District. 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

  • Group show of urban sketches at Dubai Design Week at D3, Dubai Design District. 2016, 2017

  • Group show of urban sketches at 'RIPE' market at Zabeel Park, Dubai. 2016



Several commissions for private and corporate clients in UAE, USA, UK, Canada, and India. These largely include paintings, murals, Urban Sketches, and drawings.


Public grants and Scholarships

  • National Cultural Talent Search Scholarship for Painting 1983-1990

  • National Talent Search Scholarship for Architecture 1985-1990

  • GATE Scholarship for pursuing Graduate studies in Architecture with specialization in Urban Design. 1990-1992

  • Scholarship from SPICMACAY, Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth under Guru-Shishya Parampara to study classical dance “ Chhau “ from Pandit Gopal Dubey at Saraikella, Bihar.1987



  • Art residency at KEVALA Foundation, Chikmaglur, India. Summer 2015

  • Dance and Art residency at Chau Kala Kendra, Saraikella, Bihar, India. Summer of 1988.



  • 2002: Third Prize: Winsor and Newton On the Spot Water Color Competition, Dubai

  • 2009 'Best European' Custom Bike, Dubai Bike Week, Dubai

  • 2010 'Best Royal Enfield in World' Centenary Celebration for Royal Enfield, India

  • 2011 'Best European' Custom Bike, Dubai Bike Week, Dubai

  • 2012 'Best European' Custom Bike, Dubai Bike Week, Dubai


Art Programs

  • 'Kalangan' Indian Fine Arts Society in UAE. Painting program with the members 2002-2004


Short films/Documentaries on art, education, and architecture.

Worked as an assistant producer for the AVRC for special films related to design and architecture and allied fields. Educational short films produced for University Grants Commission for the countrywide telecast. 1990


  • Impressions on learning Architecture – 19 Min. Contribution: Scriptwriting, photography, commentary, and graphics.

  • Techniques of Architectural Sketching – 21 Min. Contribution: Subject visualization, research, script, photography, animation, graphics, and commentary.

  • Hauz Khas – Transformations in the urban village –23 Min – Contribution: Script, photography and production assistance.

  • Indian Architecture at the crossroads – 20 min Contribution: Photography, Graphics, and production assistance.

  • Bahai Temple –25 min. Contributions: Graphics and production assistance.

  • Challenges of the Ocean: 17 Min – Contributions: Graphics and production assistance.

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