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Dubai embraces the arts of the contemporary world despite the challenges of “Corona” – our life – culture

Dubai affirms, in its cultural projects and initiatives, and its insistence on conquering challenges, that it is a global capital of culture in the world. At the time when the most important and prominent artistic and cultural events around the world were closed, the 14th edition of Art Dubai was launched yesterday, in the Dubai Financial Center. Within exceptional measures, tents were set up, divided into three halls, which attracted in their entirety contemporary works, and some paintings related to modern art, from the Arab and Western worlds. The exhibition, which is witnessing the participation of 50 galleries from more than 30 countries from around the world, is an overview of the arts of all kinds, whether two-dimensional, and even compositional and sculptures, while a new section was devoted to video works, where 20 photographic works were displayed at the Global Village Gate. This cultural event is considered the first of its kind on a global scale, which is held directly, and allows the public, artists and exhibitors to meet under one roof, within precautionary measures that ensure the safety of all.

Dubai takes the lead

The regional director of Art Dubai, Hala Khayat, told Emirates Today about this edition of the exhibition: “Building a special tent for the exhibition was a big challenge, especially since it is the first urban exhibition in the world after the Corona pandemic. No city has ever presented an exhibition. My presence to this moment, but Dubai is always ahead. ” Khayyat pointed out that the number of participating halls has reached 50 galleries from 31 countries, and the number of works exceeds 500 works of art, distributed between small paper works and the figures outside, as the exhibition presents all kinds of art, noting that the green space in the garden has been utilized. Eight sculptures and installations were placed abroad, along with another external project, which is short films, and these works consist of 20 video installations, in addition to an archival exhibition about the founding of the UAE, and the celebration of its 50th anniversary. She pointed out that there are three halls, with a focus on halls that celebrate the south of the world, because the Western world, which monopolizes art markets, does not focus on this type of art and in this region, so the trend has been towards it. Khayyat stressed that the exhibition serves the cultural project in the region, and that the diversity it brings in the nature of the existing works, cultures and nationalities serves the cultural face of the city.

Posts from the world

The exhibition holds many participants from around the world, including the participation of the “Addis Fine Art” gallery, and the founder of the hall, Masai, spoke about the works he presents, explaining that they chose to present the works of three artists, most of which are works bearing features of art in Ethiopia, and reflect the form of art, especially with faces. And the women in the paintings. He pointed out that his participation is the third in the exhibition, explaining that the current version bears a special character, especially as it comes after stopping the presentation of art exhibitions around the world, stressing that the selection of artists for the exhibition came through testing the local market, as the market was tested in the past with artists. Works that were met with great public approval were shown.

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Technical attention

Danda Yurylmak, from Circle Art Gallery, pointed out that she chose the works of the Egyptian Souad Abdel Rasoul and the Sudanese Salah El-Murr, noting that their works bear some similarity in spirit, or even the actual use of color by virtue of their marriage and their work in one studio, but with careful consideration of the special technology. Color mode there will be a bunch of variations. She noted that there is a difference in the artistic orientation, which is due to the method in drawing, especially the ideas presented in the works. As for presenting the works of one or two artists in participating in a large exhibition, she pointed out that it may carry some risk at the level of sale, so for the recipient it is better to see the works of one artist, to get to know his experience closely and understand the actual direction of the experience as a whole, while the gallery may face difficulty In selling the displayed works because the diversity attracts a larger audience. Danda confirmed that it was the first time that she participated in “Art Dubai” in the contemporary art department, explaining that her choice of artists came after studying the market and artists. The exhibition is distinguished, especially since it comes after a break from exhibitions, and everyone feels interested in attending and seeing the arts.

Contemporary art

As for Ariana Grosso from “Acca Project” Gallery, she introduced us to share the hall, indicating that they worked to focus on contemporary arts, especially from Africa. There are works by artists from Nigeria and Mozambique, including works that symbolize strength and are made of lead, iron and war tools. She pointed out that the story that the gallery seeks to tell, through the works, lies in finding a balance between compositional and color works, with great attention paid to the story that the paintings tell.

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Local market

The founder of Gallery Cousteau, Stefan Cousteau, confirmed that he chose to participate in a group of contemporary and modern works, and that the choice of works came through the experience in the local market, which was built through the presence of the hall in the Circal, explaining that no artist from the region attended, because he does not know about Area artists. And he considered that the current version, which is the first of its kind after the Corona pandemic, represents a distinct return for exhibitors to present new works in the art market, especially since the precautionary measures are distinguished, and are to conduct the Coronavirus swab before the start of the exhibition, and during the exhibition days, to ensure the safety of participants and visitors.

Emirati participations

The exhibition carries many Emirati works, including those presented by the artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, who represented the UAE during this period at the Venice Biennale, as well as the works of the artist Hussein Sharif, which vary between paintings, installation and sketches, as well as the work of the late artist Hassan Sharif, consisting of towels. Small reformatted, to capture the concept of consumption and quantity. On the other hand, the artist Shaikha Al Mazrouei presents a set of iron works, which she works on differently, especially as it gives the works the dry texture of the color, so it looks as if it is made of soft and non-solid materials.

Tents were erected and divided into three halls, which attracted all of the contemporary works.


Make an installation video.


Art gallery of the world.

An archival exhibition about the founding of the UAE, and the celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Aura Tailor:

“(The exhibition), with its work, its diversity and the nature of the participations, serves the cultural project in the region.”

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