|20 March, 2018

Art Dubai returns with themes of diversity, technology

Through Virtual Reality (VR), visitors can view the development of Arab cities

Image used for illustrative purpose- Art Dubai 2014

Image used for illustrative purpose- Art Dubai 2014

Dubai Tourism

Starting Wednesday, Dubai residents and visitors will get a special treat when visiting Madinat Jumeirah, seeing it transform into colorful galleries of contemporary art.

The 12th edition of Art Dubai opened its doors to the public on Wednesday, featuring 105 galleries from 48 counties across its modern halls.

Visitors to the event will see a variety of exhibitors from all over the world and premier a new gallery section, alongside a wealth of programming and talks around art.


Myrna Ayad, fair director of Art Dubai, said the highlight of this year's thought-provoking pieces is their diversity. "This year, there's work from Iceland, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Ghana for the first time." Ayad added that the programming for the exhibition this year is diverse, reflecting the technological development and its impact on the Middle East art scene.

Through Virtual Reality, visitors can view the development of five decades in five Arab cities of Egypt's Cairo, Iraq's Baghdad, Morocco's Casablanca and Sudan's Khartoum. Supported by Misk Art Institute, the museum-quality exhibition, That Feverish Leap into the Fierceness of Life presents over 75 artworks by some of the leading members of five modernist artist groups and schools.

Reframe Saudi, a Virtual Reality documentary film will allow visitors to explore Saudi Arabia by visiting the studios of contemporary artists virtually and become witness to the vivid profusion of cultural narratives shaping life in the changing Kingdom. Directed by Matteo Lonardi and produced by CULTURUNNERS, the regional preview of Reframe Saudi at Art Dubai preempts the international launch of the final film at the World VRForum in June 2018.

For children, The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program returns for its 6th edition, featuring Japanese-Australian Artist Hiromi Tangoas the lead-artist, who will work with children throughout the week as part of her pro-ject Healing Garden.

Will automation, AI impact the art scene?

Through Art Dubai, visitors will get to experience installations that require an app on their smartphones to be able to comprehend them. An artwork from Japan features interactive gigantic screens where people get recog-nised by a program.

Pablo del Val, artistic director, Art Dubai, said there will come a moment where people can access art anywhere from home. "Virtual reality will make everything in the art scene possible," said del Val.

Technology allows artists to take people to the scene where their art or subject takes place, hence, making the message strong. However, as far as automation goes, Ayad said nothing will replace the human potential.

"We wonder how far automation can go into arts and take over the hu-man touch. It's something interesting that we will soon get to explore," said Ayad.

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