Art Dubai


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Art Dubai

  1. 1. January - March | 2008 1
  2. 2. Banking & Brokerage | Financial Markets | Islamic Finance | Professional Service Providers | Re-insurance & Captives | Wealth Management Your Gateway to Growth January - March | 2008 1
  3. 3. FORM LONDON | ART + DESIGN MODERN + CONTEMPORARY 28 FEB - 2 MAR 2008 OLYMPIA Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Ahmed R. Abou Naja Creative Director Marwa R. Abou Naja Design Editor & Photographer Al Zahraa Sulaiman Editorial Assistant Afreen Ahmad Guest Editor Laura Trelford Marketing Executive Mark Hartnett Art Consultant - UAE Rawan Muwahid Editorial Consultant – Doha Mohammad Nabil Suleiman Editorial Consultant – USA Maher Sami quot;Collidonthusquot; resin, steel, brass. life-size. Coverpage | Jitish Kallat Published by ‘Collidonthus’ (2007) is a life-size recreation of an accident-hit car with simulated bones as if it were the re-structured remains of some prehistoric specie. Much of Kallat’s work responds to his bustling home city of Mumbai. The sculpture, somewhat grotesque, burlesque and arabesque in equal measure is rendered as a victim; shattered in the crossfire of a sectarian riot or the abandoned carcass of a discarded automobile in the fast- changing, strife-ridden Indian streetscape. Image courtesy of the artist and Albion Gallery, London. Tickets: 0871 231 0820 LONDON’S ONLY MODERN + CONTEMPORARY ART + DESIGN EXHIBITION See, buy and celebrate 20th and 21st Century Art, Design, Photography and Sculpture Soura Magazine | Special Edition 2 January - March | 2008 3
  4. 4. CONTENTS Introductory 08 statements 28 Participating Galleries 08 Art Projects Educational 28 Initiatives International 08 Curators in Dubai 28 Other local exhibitions Soura Magazine | Special Edition 4 January - March | 2008 5
  5. 5. Art Dubai Monday 18:00 - midnight START Charity Fundraiser, Timetable takes 17 March 2008 at the DIFC place every March at Tuesday 19:00 – 22:00 Patrons Preview the Madinat Arena. As 18 March 2008 the first contemporary art Wednesday 10:30 - 18:30 Global Art Forum fair in Dubai, the Fair has 19 March 2008 14:00 – 17:00 17:00 - 22:00 Vernissage Preview become a cornerstone for the rapidly growing Thursday 10:30 - 19:30 Global Art Forum 20 March 2008 12:00 - 20:00 Public Day art community of the Friday 10:30 - 18:30 Global Art Forum Middle East. 21 March 2 2008 12:00 - 20:00 Public Day (Iranian New Year) The 2008 fair will host Saturday 11:00 – 17:00 Public Day nearly seventy galleries 22 March 2008 from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, North and South America, North Africa and Australia. Dates: 19th - 22nd March 2007 Venue: Madinat Jumeriah, Dubai Soura Magazine | Special Edition 6 January - March | 2008 7
  6. 6. Art has boundless potential – it can create a world that hardly exists and then make you believe in it. It can capture and keep different cultures within and provide historical insights into a civilization past. Today, Soura joins hands with ‘Art Dubai’, to ring in a festival of art and commemorate this fantastic platform that will bring together EMIRATES PALACE artists from all over the world. We, at Soura, feel honored to publish the official magazine for ‘Art Dubai’ and let you delve into all the NOVEMBER 17 - 20, 2008 wonderful pieces of the art world. Soura has always followed photography and art closely. In fact in our latest issue, our selected artists seek to merge the two. But then, we have believed all along that photography is, indeed, a form of art. We do not seek fame or fortune; we only hope to be able to bring forth art in entirety; so that we, along with ‘Art Dubai’, are able to highlight the many worlds, the many cultures and the many faces of art, converging in our very own city of Dubai. Coming to you in a year which marks the second anniversary of the ascension of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, we thus, pay tribute to the visions of Sheikh Maktoum - his visions of creating a modern and magnificent Dubai. Amidst this atmosphere of celebrations, ‘Art Dubai’ and Soura seek to create an amalgamation of international talent and local skill and vow to leave you with a brilliant perspective of both. Ahmed Abou Naja Publisher of Soura Magazine Soura Magazine | Special Edition 8 January - March | 2008 9
  7. 7. I am delighted that Soura are a media partner for Art Dubai, they are a key new arts publication for the region and a very important vehicle for the growing number of talented photographers based here. We look forward to welcoming them to the fair and thank them for working with us on presenting this supplement. Anyone who visited Art Basel Miami this December will understand the concept of chronic art fatigue. Art Dubai seeks to offer both residents and visitors to the city this spring a taster of such an experience. The art scene in Dubai has developed at an expediential rate over the past year with new artists and curators coming to town and is proving it can become a seriously considered global art city. The fair itself will be substantially bigger, with galleries from across the world, many returning and many experiencing Dubai for the first time. There is a significant growth in Middle Eastern talent represented by these galleries, and that will be supported by a plethora of other art projects, videos and events. The Global Art Forum will take place over three days for the second time with a programme of talks and discussions tackling current pertinent issues within the contemporary art world. The new Art Park will entice visitors underground while ‘Desperately Seeking Paradise’ will retain people’s attention on the water terraces surrounding Fort Island. At a time when the international art world is looking to the Middle East, Art Dubai gives the city of Dubai a platform to demonstrate the wealth of local talent as well as welcoming globally recognized artists, curators, critics and collectors. We welcome you to a week of total art emersion! Laura Trelford Education & Project Manager, Art Dubai Soura Magazine | Special Edition 10 January - March | 2008 11
  8. 8. John Martin Fair Director Art Dubai was the first international contemporary art fair in the Middle East. It sets itself apart by its international diversity whilst always seeking to maintain the highest curatorial and commercial standards. Whilst we acknowledge the importance of all forms of contemporary art, Art Dubai seeks out innovative and experimental work rather than traditional art forms. As such it follows the accepted practice and standards of most major international contemporary art galleries, foundations, fairs and public institutions working in the field of modern art. Art Dubai’s selection committee work to ensure the quality, independence and credibility of Art Dubai, and the fair seeks to be relevant within the region, as well as internationally. Art Dubai will seek ways to present contemporary art in an open and accessible, primarily enjoyable and secondly instructional. Most importantly, it has to be fun! We look forward to welcoming you to Art Dubai 2008. Art Dubai was founded by John Martin and Benedict Floyd and is run by a team in two offices, London and Dubai. Soura Magazine | Special Edition 12 January - March | 2008 13
  9. 9. In a city whose landscape is forever changing, there is a new and welcome buzzword in Dubai: Art. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment in which this trend was unleashed, but for anybody familiar with Dubai this development has been dramatic. We are now fortunate to live in a city that not only offers beaches and luxury hotels, but also is home to international auction houses, a wealth of local art galleries, art magazines and, of course, a first class contemporary art fair. The foundations necessary for a city to lay claim to having a serious international art scene are being laid and over the next few years we will see how the local corporate world joins hands with this emerging local art scene. Historically corporate institutions have played a big role in supporting and becoming patrons of the arts: whether by building their own art collections, setting up foundations or sponsoring the arts, corporations are an essential player in promoting a thriving arts culture. Indeed we have already seen this in Dubai with the DIFC supporting the Fair. My role as the Managing Director of at Art Dubai has been to engage with the local corporate community, both the local companies and international firms, and to encourage them to get involved in the promotion of Dubai’s art scene. My discussions have resulted in the exchange of so many exciting ideas that it seemed that the most obvious next step would be to provide a platform to share these discussions with the public: and so the conference on Art & Patronage in the Business Age was born. Taking place on the 16-17 of March at the DIFC as part of the Global Art Forum, this conference brings together top international corporate collectors and patrons to talk about their experiences in the art world. It will make fascinating listening for businesses in Dubai, both for those who are already supporting the arts and those who are just curious to see what being an art patron is all about. These discussions aim to inspire, and it will be interesting to see over the next few years which companies emerge as true supporters of the arts and culture in Dubai. Asmaa Al-Shabibi Managing Director, Art Dubai Soura Magazine | Special Edition 14 January - March | 2008 15
  10. 10. Introductory statements The Honorary Patron of Art Dubai is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai. Visiting the art fair in March 2007 with John Martin through art. Art is an international integral to our vision. We firmly believe language that appeals equally to that Dubai can become a truly global diverse people. centre for art – and that the DIFC can play an integral role in that process. Art Dubai is not just a display of art Indeed. The DIFC art strategy is to pieces that is held for a couple of establish itself as both an international days once a year. It is an on-going and regional presence – collecting, process that takes place throughout displaying and promoting artists from the year in an ever-expanding cycle. this region and across the world. For example, the planning of the next event begins right after the current We are expanding the DIFC District, one is over. That includes a marketing the area immediately surrounding our and promotional campaign which financial centre, to publicly display aims to introduce the public to Art works of art from both the DIFC’s Dubai and what is new in it. What art own collection and regional and means and what is available in the international galleries. We’ve been market and who is new and which busy – and will be busier still in the work is in demand. It also highlights months to come. While such change trends and fashions increasing the will not occur overnight, I am confident visibility of both local and regional that we will realise our ambition over art. Works bought at Art Dubai or as time. Indeed, we have already begun The Islamic world has always a result of it benefit the buyers who the process of reaching out and appreciated art in all its forms and may have acquired works of art for communicating the universal value of in recent months there has been a pleasure or as an investment. the experience of art. resurgence of interest in contemporary art, not only in Dubai, but across the During the inaugural Gulf Art Fair, we The DIFC has a two-pronged region. This, I believe, is due in part received 9,000 visitors over the three approach in encouraging local to the growing recognition of some days it ran. We are pleased that some artists with their practice. The first is excellent artists that we have among 1,500 of them came from overseas. to identify promising talent and to us as well as the awareness generated We had works from 41 galleries and evaluate the work to see if it is world amongst the art-loving public through collective sales during the event had class. Once that is done, we bring that visiting art galleries as well as the efforts stood at US $9-11 million, a significant artist’s work to the public eye through of the Dubai International Financial figure for a first-time event of its kind exhibiting the work at the DIFC District Centre through initiatives such as Art in the Arab World. It also raised US as well as at the various art fairs and Dubai and its own collection. $500,000 in support of START – a project exhibitions. The DIFC also adds to its that funds children’s art workshops own collection, thus helping raise Since the inception of the DIFC in late in underprivileged areas in the the value of the works of local and 2004, we have had a clear desire to region. It had some 40 journalists from regional artists. promote the arts of the region in the abroad in addition to the 100 from region and the world. As DIFC bridges the region. Our target is to surpass all Art Dubai is very important to us. the East and the West and serves as these achievements. Art Dubai 2008 is It is an expression of the cultural the gateway to the financial world already double the size with seventy philosophy of the DIFC and as such to people in forty-two countries, we international galleries confirming is themed to promote Dubai and the additionally aim to be the gateway participation. We are paying special DIFC in all its aspects as a hub for art for art. Art Dubai, a DIFC subsidiary, attention to the galleries and artists – a meeting point of the Occident has been very successful. The DIFC from the region, South and Central and the Orient. As the DIFC brings has a significant art collection of its Asia and the Far East to ensure that together and promotes financial own, and has long considered the this truly global event serves as an union across the globe, Art Dubai collection, display and promotion of important showcase for contemporary and other art initiatives of DIFC aim regional and contemporary art as art to the world. to promote cultural understanding Soura Magazine | Special Edition 16 January - March | 2008 17
  11. 11. Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of DIFC and Chairman of Art Dubai visits the DIFC Gulf Art Fair Soura Magazine | Special Edition 18
  12. 12. Introductory statements Patricia Millns presented an art project at the first Art Dubai to tremendous Representative from the Board of Patrons: acclaim, and continues to be a pivotal figure in the growing art scene Princess Alia Al-Senussi speaks about stemming from Dubai. Laura Trelford asked her some questions: her experiences in Dubai LT Was it a success? LT You have been living and working as to find sophisticated collections and critics; Furthermore, I had to consider what for instance, I love the work of artists like artists and works to introduce and what an artist in the Middle East for many years. PM I think so. It brought some of the top Mariko Mori, the Campanas, Mark Bradford impact they would have on the public. I Why have you found yourself spending the and David Adjaye—although much of wanted to emphasize that contemporary galleries in the world here. It brought top majority of your time in Dubai recently? my taste is influenced by the contact I art need not be intimidating and also artists that showed international projects . It PM I have spent a lot of time here with have with these remarkable individuals. that even “difficult” pieces were open to allowed people who lived here to see some People are interested in art in the Middle interpretation, discussion and analysis for of the best galleries in the world right in their Arab artists over the past twenty-five years East but there must be significant acts of anyone who attended the fair. It bodes own city. The Global Art Forum brought and was an early member of the Emirates patronage and collecting surrounding well for the future that people expressed critical analysis and open discussion and this Fine Art Society. Recently with the growth this discourse. such interest in the art at the fair. has been followed by the Thinking Cloud of Dubai and the international interest in Princess Alia Al Senussi with Yasmin Alireza that you have formed. The international this major hub, art has been thriving- it is a Many of the galleries such as Albion Artists that are particularly significant After months of anxiety, hope and high gallery directors who came here brought a natural progression. Art auctions, the DIFC were successful with works from a wide to contemporary art in the Middle East expectations, one could never know what high buying group of people in that saw the Gulf Art Fair (now known as Art Dubai) the geographic range of artists such as are, of course, the obvious choices of the outcome would be but the inaugural local galleries and local artists. These were growth of galleries, art forums, international Shilpa Gupta, Kader Attia and Kristian Kader Attia, Walid Raad/The Atlas Group, DIFC Gulf Art Fair was inspirational. The good connections for the future besides quality art magazines and national Ryokan (however this was due by- and Mona Hatoum among others, but, entire region, not just the Gulf, feels the initial financial rewards. The international collections being built has all brought a and-large to non-local collectors) and also, I believe a real effort needs to be energized in terms of its commitment to press reports brought Dubai to the world art wider range of art and new media to some of their other bodies of work made to expand the collecting base contemporary art and architecture. I am markets attention. Dubai. It is very exciting and stimulating to will be shown as well as some new to support non-Arab/Iranian artists and a frequent visitor to Dubai, going about be a part of this. I am also involved in art LT What do you hope it will achieve during artists presented at the second fair. I non-traditional techniques. twice a year for the last eight years and I developmentand dubaiis the place. am excited for the 2008 edition of Art have never seen such a lively arts scene the next five years? LT What did Art Dubai bring to the region? Dubai and, of course, I am looking Collecting in general must NOT be seen among gallerists, collectors and institutions PM Next years gallery list is even bigger forward to all of the events surrounding as solely a regional exercise. Of course, as in the past year, which I almost wholly PM A whole different way of looking it--art fair veterans know sometimes special attention must be paid to Arab, attribute to the Gulf Art Fair. As a member and some great new galleries. The the most fun to be had, and the most Iranian and Turkish artists as well as to of the Board of Patrons of the fair, standard is high. i believe it will only and thinking about art in Dubai and for information to be found, is at the ancient art forms such as calligraphy, but I have had the opportunity to watch this develop and grow. I believe it will the Dubai looking at itself as an art market parties. I am particularly excited for artists and designers (and styles) from evolution. Although the region is still in the international fair for the region and the and being seen as an art market... the return of the Al-Madad dinner and around the world must be incorporated early stages of private and institutional Middle East will be seen as a valid area for an international art market. It was a Canvas and Bidoun events, as well as, into collections and museum shows--only collecting, there is great potential. I say this art and art collectors come to and buy. quantum leap for art for the region. of course, the Albion opening night in this manner will Dubai and the rest of the not just as a board member, but also as a party at Trilogy. Middle East be taken seriously as an area director of the Albion Gallery of London. “Wall and Ghost Haifa” Kader Attia Albion Gallery Soura Magazine | Special Edition 20 January - March | 2008 21
  13. 13. Introductory statements “ Contemporary art is proving to be one of the most powerful and durable of international languages. — Jan Dalley, Financial Times Arts Editor “ This fair offers the chance for people to experience global art practices first hand whilst providing much needed support for the emerging regional arts scene — Charles Asprey, Curator & Collector “ Dubai has become the region’s art-trading hub. The culmination of all this interest will make the DIFC Gulf Art Fair one of the biggest contemporary art events in the region. — CNN Traveller “ Everyone agrees that Dubai is one of the most exciting places to be right now. And Art Dubai is one of the first great art initiatives. An art fair, as we have seen in Miami, along with several other key elements can act as an important instigator in the development of a cultural climate. — Dana Farouki, Member of Executive Committee, Art Dubai. Soura Magazine | Special Edition 22 January - March | 2008 23
  14. 14. Introductory statements Selection Committee the contemporary – stimulating our work was a real surprise. A few months later we putting together this new fair. The idea was were quite astonished when some Arab Mario Cristiani, Maurizio Rigillo The seventy galleries have been to invite the galleries that can best help collectors came to San Gimignano & Lorenzo Fiaschi chosen from over four hundred to present and bring in Dubai what seems to visit the gallery, that is extremely rare Galleria Continua, San Gimignano applications by a Selection interesting and pertinent in the Western and a sign of progression. -Beijing Committee who met in Continua, Art World and, conversely, to show what Andrée Sfeir-Semler Director, Sfeir- San Gimignano in Summer 2007. seems interesting and pertinent in that Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany & The committee is made up of world over to Europe and USA. Beirut, Lebanon also a member of the Gallery Directors who participated selection committee comments: in DIFC Gulf Art Fair (now known We wanted the galleries which support art as Art Dubai) and span the globe. and artists in their country and abroad, with a dynamic and open-minded approach. In terms of selection, we have chosen The most exciting element of this Lorenzo Fiaschi, Director of Continua in terms of quality the best from the adventure is this new field of exchanges applications we got. I am personally very hosted this most important of meetings: and encounters that we have opened. happy that John did not make it too big. The future of this fair is to develop not only The fair has to concentrate on our part I was on the Cologne Art Fair a new market, but also new avenues of of the world, this is the strength of the fair Committee for four years, and the FIAC collaboration and projects that bring the but has at the same time to maintain Selection Committee for five years so Occident and Orient closer together. top quality, so we did not open doors to I was delighted to host the Selection Galleria Continua has a particular interest everybody as it wouldn’t have the level Committee for Art Dubai in San in acting as a bridge for ideas, facilitating we wanted it to have. It is an important Gimignano this summer. It was intended to mutual understanding between different learning process for galleries; particularly be a sociable occasion to bring different cultures. Showing Western art in Dubai for those in the region who I hope will grow personalities together in a tranquil small Main Entrance, Galleria Continua, us is a first step to creating a cultural bridge. over the next few years and become San Gimignano, Kendell Geers, town in the Tuscan countryside which House of Spirits 2005 In my opinion, the first fair went very well, it the standard required for admission. perfectly combined the ancient and Akram Zaatari, Studio Sherazade, 2006, Courtesy of Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamberg, Beirut’ Soura Magazine | Special Edition 24 January - March | 2008 25
  15. 15. Participating Galleries Kalfayan Galleries Athens / Thessaloniki 100 Tonson Gallery Bangkok Kamel Mennour Paris Agial Art Gallery Beirut Kashya Hildebrand Zurich Aicon Gallery London / New York Kukje Gallery Seoul Aidan Gallery Moscow Le Violon Bleu Tunis / London Albareh Art Gallery Bahrain Lio Malca New York Albion London MAM Mario Mauroner Vienna Artspace Dubai Max Lang New York Atassi Gallery Damascus October Gallery London Baudoin Lebon Paris OREDARIA Arti Contemporanee B21 Dubai Rome Ben Brown Fine Arts London Produzentengalerie Hamburg Hamburg Bolsa de Arte Porto Alegre PYO Gallery Seoul Bonni Benrubi New York RHYS Gallery Boston Cais Gallery Seoul Rossi + Rossi London Chemould Prescott Road Mumbai Sakshi Gallery Mumbai Christine König Vienna Salomon Contemporary Continua San Gimignano / Beijing East Hampton Contrasts Gallery Shanghai SCAI The Bathhouse Tokyo Diana Lowenstein Miami Silk Road Gallery Tehran Distrito Cu4tro Madrid Sundaram Tagore New York Filomena Soares Lisbon SUN Gallery & Gallery SUN Gabriele Senn Galerie Vienna contemporary Seoul Galerie Chantal Crousel Paris The Third Line Dubai 19-22 March 2008 Galerie El Marsa Tunis TORCH GALLERY Amsterdam Galerie Enriço Navarra Paris Madinat Jumeirah Townhouse Gallery Cairo Galeria Enrique Guerrero Vacio 9 Madrid Dubai Mexico City VONDERBANK Artgalleries Berlin Galerie Forsblom Helsinki Walsh Gallery Chicago Galerie Krinzinger Vienna Yvon Lambert Paris / New York Galerie Michael Schultz Berlin / Seoul / Beijing Galerie Sfeir-Semler Hamburg / Beirut Galerie Tanit Munich Galerie Thomas Munich Galerie Volker Diehl Berlin Galleria Mario Sequeira Braga Galeria Millan São Paulo Galleries Direct Sydney Galerist Istanbul Gallery Espace New Delhi Giorgio Persano Turin Green Art Gallery Dubai Green Cardamom London Grosvenor Vadehra London / New Delhi Hrair Sarkissian, Untitled, 2007, lamda print, 100 x 150 cm, Courtesy of Kalfayan Galleries, Athens-Thessaloniki Horrach Moyà Mallorca Soura Magazine | Special Edition 26 January - March | 2008 27
  16. 16. Participating Galleries A TASTER OF NEW GALLERIES AT ART DUBAI 2008 Kalfayan Galleries Athens – Thessaloniki, Greece Hrair Sarkissian Kukje Gallery Seoul, South Korea Yeondoo Jung October Gallery London Kenji Yoshida Inochi To Heiwa (Life and Peace) Galleria Millan Sao Paolo, Brasil Anna Maria Maiolino 101 Tonson Gallery Bangkok, Thailand Chatchai Puipia Soura Magazine | Special Edition 28 January - March | 2008 29
  17. 17. Participating Galleries Gloria Petyarre, Bush Medicine Leaves, acrylic on Belgiun linen. Galleries Direct from New South Wales, Australia will exhibit their world class collection of Australian and contemporary aboriginal art at Art Dubai 2008. One such artist is Naata Nungurrayi, The gallery sources the most unique and who is famous for her bold expressive captivating Australian artworks from art works with richly textured surfaces across the vast landscape, including and strong radiance attracting contemporary aboriginal dot paintings, buyers from around the globe. Naata beautiful oil painted landscapes, is from the Pintupi Language group expressionistic portraits and intriguing located in Kintore, and is one of the photographic compositions. leading senior elders of the Kintore In recent years Indigenous art has women’s artist movement. Her art grown in popularity in Australia and is works are associated with women’s gaining recognition worldwide in Europe, concerns and Women’s Law (Tingari America and Asia. Cycle). She paints traditional designs depicting sacred women’s sites and Indigenous desert art is art made by the women performing sacred women’s native Australians from the remote desert ceremonies in the Kintore area as well areas of Australia. The artworks are as the designs that they paint on their visually captivating, and the pieces have bodies when performing ceremonies. been carefully constructed with a deep spiritual and cultural significance to both Aboriginal art has come of age the artist and the particular community. in Australia, and according to the To the unknowing viewer, the pieces Australian Art Sales Digest, between appear like optical themed artworks, 1993 to 2006 Aboriginal art sales at made up of a series of non-descript auction have seen a compound annual shapes composed with thousands of growth rate of 34.1%. In addition to minute coloured dots. Often the shapes the enticing visual properties, many consist of concentric circles, rippling lines, investors and art collectors are and varied bold colours. However delving realising these pieces also hold strong behind the immediate appearance investment potential. reveals a deep symbolism embedded within each motif. Each shape Galleries Direct will also feature some symbolically represents an element from intriguing photographic pieces by the artists’ community including native Australian photographer Maree animals, tracks, campsites, human Azzopardi. Maree has a long list of figures, or waterholes and more. achievements and her thoughtful compositions are highly sought after The symbols are decipherable by internationally. Azzopardi’s creative members of the community, galleries flair has gained her recognition from and expert art collectors. Occasionally successful international artists, and she the entire art work may represent what has exhibited alongside some of the some see as a bird’s eye view of the best in the industry including Cindy landscape, a space - with a spiritual Sherman, Annie Leibovitz (United dimension attached, or an object with States of America), and Tracey spiritual significance. The primary function Moffatt (Australia). of most Indigenous art is to record important elements of the native history, landscape, objects, animals, people For more information email and culture to ensure the history is visually documented and passed or visit on to future generations. Naata Nungurrayi, Rock holes at Marrapiti, Maree Azzopardi, Shadow - The Man Alone synthetic polymers on linen Soura Magazine | Special Edition 30 January - March | 2008 31
  18. 18. Participating Galleries Rossi & Rossi has been active in the field of Oriental art for over thirty years, based in central London. They will bring the Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso to Dubai in March. skill. It records the past and makes Gonkar was born in Lhasa, Tibet, and it transportable and usable in the studied fine art at the Central Arts present, particularly in the “emergency” Academy in Bejing, China and at conditions of uprootedness. The artist Central St Martins and the Chelsea needs only these tools to function, School of Design in London, UK is whether in Lhasa or London. Gonkar the founder of the Sweet Tea House has said that the only “Tibetan” element (London) the first gallery in Europe in his work is the shape of the Buddha, devoted to showcasing contemporary which reveals his training in traditional Tibetan Art. His work has been Buddhist painting, in which figures and exhibited in London, Oxford, Zurich, deities are carefully mapped on a grid Helsinki, Karlsruhe, New Delhi, New York, to achieve preset idealized proportions. Washington, Boulder, Los Angeles and This meticulous measurement can be Atlanta. He has been a recipient of seen in the two pieces attached; LA the Leverhulme Fellowship in 2003 as Confidential and Puzzle Buddha. an Artist-in-Residence at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford as well as fellow at In Puzzle Buddha he takes this precision the library of Tibetan Works & Archive, further by having the piece build Dharamsala, India for traditional Tibetan into an enormous crossword puzzle, painting studies. Gonkar currently lives complete with clues, combing western and works in London. and eastern sensibilities and building a piece of significant intellectual Gonkar Gyatso’s journeys and shifts importance which reflects present in culture and environments are geo-political situation. He himself reflected in his work and his ability as says “I would take what I know of an artist to translate these shifts and Buddhism, and compare it with what make them universally understood. I know about Western culture - the His different garb in his My Identity many interpretations Buddhism has series of photographically generated gone through depending on fashion self portraits, presents the different and trends”. We can see this in LA chapters of his personal history; a Confidential where he references traditional Tibetan painter, a maker of global consumerism and titles it after Maoist imagery, a refugee follower of one of his favourite films. For Gonkar the Dalai Lama and finally a Western Gyatso the Buddha icon is the tool for artist in a modern studio. The My exploration of his own art, which also Identity series encapsulate a recurring becomes a reflection on modern life preoccupation for Gyatso: how to and the inner and outer journeys of all communicate with those who do of us. The many different elements to not share your history or language. his oeuvre - installation, photography, Gonkar’s answer is to challenge and stickers work, drawings - show Gonkar’s explain through his art. A telling detail enormous versatility and dynamism as in the My Identity series summarize his an artist of our times. argument. The wooden box that recurs in each image represents the tools For more information email of the artist trade: brushes, pigments and most important knowledge and Soura Magazine | Special Edition 32 January - March | 2008 33
  19. 19. Bird’s Eye View: New Beijing 9, 2007 | Weng Fen Participating Galleries Walsh Gallery will be coming Julie Walsh, owner of Walsh Gallery, felt it was only natural to bring the gallery to Art Dubai 2008, since to the Middle East for the very contemporary Asian art has such a global appeal. All first time in 2008. the artists that are featured in the gallery are leaders in their field and are internationally recognized due to Walsh’s interest and help. Walsh Gallery is known for displaying artworks in innovative ways, working with new media and working with performance artists from Asia, which will all be featured in Art Dubai 2008. Walsh believes that artists from Asia are focusing more and more on the use of technology in contemporary art. She said, “I did put together a panel discussion on art and technology in Asia in 2004. I’ve felt for a long time that artists in China, India, and Korea have been making some of the most challenging new media art. With the rapid changes of reconstruction and urbanization around them, many Chinese artists in particular felt the need to record what was happening to them. Photography and new media were incorporated into their art practices in favor of more traditional mediums. Meanwhile, Korea has been the most wired country in the world for sometime. The video art from this country reflects the type of technological vitality that is so much a part of everyone’s lifestyle. India has some great new media artists that are always challenging the medium. I am quite excited to bring Ravinder Reddy, Walsh Gallery a sampling of the best works by the most well known artists from these countries,” Walsh Gallery usually features young artists, but for most of them, their careers have already taken off. Ravinder Reddy, one of the young sculptors Walsh deals with, will be coming to Art Dubai 2008. Reddy creates monumental sized women’s heads and figures, which are based on inner fortitude. Reddy’s inspiration comes from Egyptian and African sculpture, but most importantly, from the women “Beautiful New World” Photographs by Weng Fen he sees every day on the streets in his home town in India. The women he creates are contemporary divine beings, which have a sense of timelessness to “Dual Paintings” by Yang Qian them. “He uses contemporary materials like fiberglass to create his sculptures, although the sculpture entitled “Radha”, which will be shown in Art Dubai 15 March - 19 April 2008 2008, is covered in gold leaf and paint. “Radha” has most recently traveled to Shanghai where she was in Shanghai Contemporary,” Walsh said. For more information email The Jam Jar | St. 17a Al Quoz, P.O Box 27554, Dubai T: 04 3417303 | E: | Studio . Gallery . Consulting . Events Soura Magazine | Special Edition 34 January - March | 2008 35
  20. 20. Participating Galleries I have been stopping over in Dubai over the last We are an international arts organisation. When ten years and have seen it transform beyond most organisations in London or New York say recognition in that time. It now holds its own as an that, what they really mean is that they work international business hub, and is a destination in Green Cardomom are taking a with Euro-American artists, or in other words they its own right. For Dubai to become a truly global work around the Atlantic Ocean. But our version stand at Art Dubai and in addition art city It needs to have a number of ingredients: of international is focused on the Indian Ocean. a culture of producing, viewing, discussing and And it is that view of the world that you will find will present some projects in and buying art; a critical mass of good galleries and reflected in our programme. serious collectors; and a public art infrastructure around the art fair, including in the that underpins the market and the audience. By Art Park. Hammad Nasar gave the infrastructure I mean the institutions—academia, exhibition spaces, publications—and the people following thoughts about Dubai (artists, curators, academics, critics, writers) to make these institutions more than just empty buildings. and their participation. Top: Unbearable lightness of being From observing Dubai’s burgeoning gallery scene, Khalil Chrishtee being involved in the last Sharjah Biennial and Bottom: Mahbub Shah noting Abu Dhabi’s ambitions, it is clear that the UAE as a whole has many of the components in place. It also has a location of strategic importance, with deep connections to South and Central Asia In God We Trust, Mohammed Zeeshan and the wider Middle East. So it is ideally located to explore a different slice of the art world. What Mohammed Zeeshan will take time is for infrastructure to develop and for Ambiguity rules in the work of Zeeshan the right caliber of people to populate it. But Dubai Muhammad Zeeshan. Working in contemporary has shown the world this ability to act on vision and Pakistani miniature painting, video and drawing, create the right conditions to find or grow the right he has been described as an observer who ingredients. It is unlikely to push out London or New voices his thoughts only after some reflection. This York in the next five to ten years. But there are not considered approach lends a certain richness to too many other cities that are beyond Dubai’s long- his manipulation of subjects that could otherwise term ambitions. be heavily politicised. Weapons and animals are amongst the symbols used to touch on these areas, Art Dubai offers an opportunity to showcase the though often disguised or camouflaged. Rodents artists we work with to an international audience, appear delicately treated with silver leaf; birds one that will bring different expectations and are wrapped in white cloth (but does this bind or ways of seeing than what we might come across protect?) In tackling themes such as masculinity, in London or Lahore. It will be valuable to get this dominance and local and international violence, fresh response to the work. Green Cardamom, of he injects beauty into what could be a stark which I am a co-founder, is an arts organisation repertoire of images. that combines the talents and experiences of many individuals: Anna Sloan in the US is an Zeeshan started his career as a commercial academic teaching and researching both cinema painter, seeking to appease his family Islamic Art and Contemporary art history at the and society. In making the shift to edgier themes University of Michigan; Leyla Fakhr is a London- and media he has faced criticism in his home based Iranian curator, who also works with Tate country for “adulterating” the true miniaturist style. Britain and carries out independent projects in This description jars. Despite the often difficult Iran; Nada Raza has organised shows in Dubai subject matter he chooses, there is a gentleness (with the Third Line gallery) and was one of the and concern for beauty that pervades this work co-founders of Quintessentially Art (a London and is quietly silencing critics. Coming from art advisory company); Louise Sunderland has Lahore, the ‘Heart of Pakistan’, Zeeshan borrows worked on education projects with the Tate and imagery from Pakistani television and advertising. the Whitechapel galleries; Vipul Sangoi runs his own Links to international politics are made, design and photography practice; Kaif Ghaznavi but implicitly. This means the work is of local is a Lahore-based artist, lecturer and curator, and concern – and global relevance. co-founder Anita Dawood has edited a number of publications in the UK, Switzerland and Pakistan. For more information visit: The whole team informs the projects we take on. Soura Magazine | Special Edition 36 January - March | 2008 37
  21. 21. Art Projects Tarek Zaki Townhouse Gallery - Cairo Art Dubai helds an event in Cairo in November 2007 in collaboration with the Townhouse Gallery. The director of Townhouse came to the first art fair in Dubai as a speaker at the Global Art Forum and aslo brought Lara Baladi’s Roba Vecchia which was displayed outside the DIFC. For Art Dubai 2008 Townhouse returns with a project by Tarek Zaki. Tarek Zaki, born in 1975, graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, Cairo with a BA in Graphics, in 1998. As well as his solo exhibitions Tarek has participated in several group exhibitions and residencies in Egyptand abroad in Switzerland, New York, Amsterdam amongst others. Zaki creates objects that are not specific to any certain age. “By sculpting objects of the everyday life, he positions the spectator as an archaeologist from the future, looking at remains of the present.” He transforms records of the present into found objects of the future. “‘Monument X’” is dismantled pieces. Sections of columns, plinths, arches and sculpted body parts made of plaster and cement are deliberately cut and grouped. Viewing the monument, it is not clear if the monument is being restored or deconstructed. How the whole monument should look like or what it represents stays ambiguous. Some parts are even missing and it is left to the viewers’ imagination to complete the whole picture”, Tarek Zaki. For further information about Townhouse and its activities, visit: Soura Magazine | Special Edition 38 January - March | 2008 39