Abu Dhabi, UAE: One week left for art enthusiasts and explorers of Abu Dhabi’s art scene to visit Portrait of a Nation II: Beyond Narratives in Manarat Al Saadiyat. Organised by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) in conjunction with the 19th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival (ADF), held under the theme Crafting the Emirates State of Mind: Creation, Innovation and Joy, Portrait of a Nation II: Beyond Narratives highlights the innovation and collaboration that shaped the UAE’s visual art landscape over the past 50 years, focusing on the people, histories and stories of a rich and multifaceted homegrown creative scene.

Since its inauguration by HE Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of State on 20th January 2022, the exhibition saw a remarkable turnout with visitors from different walks of life coming to see the inspiring exhibition and to attend the events that were organised within it. Dignitaries, art critiques, media influencers and other guests explored the half a century journey of art practice in the UAE through an exhaustive presentation of multimedia artworks, oral testimonies, archival material and ephemera.

Curated by Maya El Khalil with Co-curator Roxane Zand, POAN II features more than 100 key artworks, including 15 special commissions, covering the work of over 62 pivotal artists, ranging from founders of the Emirati art scene to today’s emerging generation.

The exhibition leads visitors on a tour through the nation’s art scene, sparking new conversations inspired by five essential themes: Reclaiming/Reimaging Home looks at the early days in the places artists called home and explores their wider sense of belonging. In Shifting Landscapes, home yields ground to its opposite, and artists must negotiate both stability and transformation, authenticity and modernism. Configurations of Togetherness examines the spaces that draw people together and the relationships that transcend cultural difference to embrace diversity. Reclaiming/Reimaging Language looks to the mediums of communication that make togetherness possible. Last but not least, Shifting Sociality addresses changing social modes, including consumerism, custom and the organising structures of time and travel.

The exhibition also mounts a tribute to Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose legacy with the Emirates began over 40 years ago and flourished over the years through collaborations with ADMAF until after Christos passing on May 31, 2020.

The 19th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival 2022 is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan and is supported by lead partner Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) and energy partner GS Energy. Abu Dhabi Festival 2022 encompasses over 1,000 participating artists from around the world to present more than 300 performances and events. The 19th edition will also include two world tours and 17 world premieres.

The 2022 Abu Dhabi Festival programme is part of the contribution that the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation makes to the UAE capital’s designation as a UNESCO City of Music.

For more information on Abu Dhabi Festival’s upcoming events, please visit: https://abudhabifestival.ae, and find the Festival on: Facebook (abudhabifestival), Twitter (@abudhabi_fest) and Instagram (@abudhabifestival).

Under the Patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohamed Al Nahyan


Abu Dhabi Festival

Founded in 2004, the first Abu Dhabi Festival was held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the then Minister of Information and Culture (currently the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation). The Festival was generously granted the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces from 2007 to 2011.

Abu Dhabi Festival is the festival of “Bilad Al Khayr”, the land of blessings, the land of Zayed. The Festival embraces the values of dialogue, tolerance, respect and peace. 

Crafting the Emirates State of Mind: Creation, Innovation and Joy has its roots from the spirit of Bilad Al Khayr, as the annual Festival commissions, produces, preserves and presents the greatest works of music and art to create rich cultural experiences in the UAE and beyond.

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF)

Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) was established in 1996 as one of the earliest cultural foundations in the Gulf region and Arab World.  ADMAF supports the sustainability and creativity of the cultural industry and contributes to enriching Abu Dhabi as a Cultural beacon.

About Mubadala

Mubadala Investment Company — a sovereign investor — manages a diverse business portfolio around the world, to generate sustainable financial returns for its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi.

Today, Mubadala is a AED 894 billion ($243.4 billion) business that spans six continents with interests across multiple sectors and asset classes. Supporting efforts towards establishing a comprehensive, diversified economy in the UAE as well as a global one, Mubadala employs its rich multi-sectoral experience along with its long-term international partnerships to enhance profitability and promote sustainable growth.

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, Mubadala also has offices in London, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, New York, San Francisco and Beijing.

Further information on Mubadala can be found on the company’s official website, www.mubadala.com

For further information, please contact:
Eman Hussain
Hattlan Media
Susan Al-Saidi
Hattlan Media