Abu Dhabi Festival explores gestures of light in visual arts exhibition

Press release
Published March 19th, 2012 - 10:08 GMT

Abu Dhabi Festival’s Visual Arts exhibition was inaugurated today at the Ghaf Gallery in Abu Dhabi. Featuring the work of renowned artist-calligrapher Hassan Massoudy, the exhibition entitled ‘Gestures of Light’ is making its regional premiere as part of the Festival’s visual art programme.

Now in its ninth edition, the Abu Dhabi Festival’s visual arts offering includes the ‘Ways of Seeing’ initiative. ‘Ways of Seeing’ enables students and members of the public to explore, discuss and learn about Massoudy, specially commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Festival. Iraqi-born Massoudy will hold a workshop for local students that will explore his work and inspiration. Meanwhile, artist-led exhibition tours will ensure the public have the opportunity to discover more.

The Abu Dhabi Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. Her Excellency Mrs. Hoda I Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Festival said: “Each year, the Abu Dhabi Festival aims to offer people the opportunity to explore different art forms and discover new forms of artistic interpretation. Including visual arts in the program is central to this aim.”

“We are honoured to welcome calligrapher Hassan Massoudy to the Festival to exhibit this year. His unique ability to combine the traditional with the contemporary makes him one of the pre-eminent artists in the Arab World today. I hope that as many people as possible take the opportunity to tour the exhibition and participate in the programme through ‘Ways of Seeing’ to explore his work in detail,” added H.E. Mrs. Kanoo.

Gestures of Light:

True to the Abu Dhabi Festival’s theme for 2012 ‘Connecting Cultures’, Massoudy’s works bridge the divide between West and East. ‘Gestures of Light’ highlights the synthesis between Massoudy’s principal influences and contrasting sources, which create an inspired fusion of tradition and modernity. The exhibition comprises a selection that juxtaposes the signature calligraphic works, for which Massoudy is best known, with a set of never-before-exhibited paintings on canvas.

Hassan Massoudy said: “I was extremely honored to be invited to Abu Dhabi Festival 2012 to exhibit my work. I have been hosting exhibitions in the West for more than 40-years but this is the first time I have had such a large exhibition in an Arab country. For this reason, I would like to extend my thanks to the organisers of the Abu Dhabi Festival, who offered me this unique opportunity to interact with art lovers in Abu Dhabi.”

“The exhibition contains influences from both East and West. The techniques I use infuse Islamic traditions with those of western art, whilst the calligraphy I create is inspired from elements of both Eastern and Western poetry. As Rabindranath Tagore’s saying goes “The East and West are ever in search of each other, and must eventually meet”, added Massoudy.

Background Information

Abu Dhabi Festival

Abu Dhabi Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. The Festival is the UAE's foremost celebration of art and culture bringing together the greatest musicians, performers and artists from both the East and West in the heart of the United Arab Emirates. It seeks to reflect the determination of the capital to take the lead in cultural understanding.

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