Art Sawa hosts the highly anticipated exhibition of Contemporary Egyptian Art in Dubai

Published May 17th, 2009 - 07:12 GMT

Under the joint patronage of H.E. Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development, UAE and the Guest of Honour, H.E. Farouk Hosny, Minister of Culture of Egypt the highly anticipated “14.05.09 –Undercurrent” exhibition of Contemporary Egyptian Art opens on Thursday 14th of May at Art Sawa. The exhibition is also supported by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

“14.05.09 –Undercurrent” showcases the works of a group of 29 selected Egyptian artists, both well-established and at the cutting-edge of the Egyptian art scene. The exhibition takes its inspiration from the city of Cairo, with its exuberant energy, continuously stretching boundaries, and complex social and economic environment. The artworks reflect the impact of all these dynamics on the art and culture of contemporary Egypt.

“14.05.09 – Undercurrent is a valuable contribution to the region’s artistic agenda, as it highlights a number of outstanding Egyptian artists,” said Amel B. Makkawi, Founder of Art Sawa in Dubai. “Hosting this exhibition in the UAE draws our two cultures together and closer. Both Dubai and Cairo’s growth demonstrate an impact and electric energy, although each originating in entirely different sources. One rooted in millennia of history and civilization, of human artistic expression dating back thousands of years, the other emanating from a small trading community that in a moment of great opportunity decided to stand up and be counted, to create a major 21st Century hub for commerce, finance, transportation, media, and arts.”



H.E. Abdul Rahman Al Owais commented ““This exhibition presents an excellent platform for Egyptian and Emirati artists to interact and share experiences and creative ideas, which further highlights the depth of the ever-growing relationship that has for centuries brought Egypt and the UAE together, especially in literary and artistic arenas.”

Hosting an art exhibition of this size and value in the UAE serves as recognition of the emergence of the country as an important contributor to contemporary art. The creative art works of artists from the Emirates are becoming a regional language understood by broad segments of the UAE’s citizens and residents, and have become an extraordinary ambassador for the country’s values, cultural heritage and creativity.

More than abstract works signed by artists, these pieces of art convey the culture, heritage and reality of the Egyptian society, further instilling the mission of art as means to bring cultures closer together, express sincere human feelings and elevate our perception and understanding of fine arts.

Through these wonderful pieces, the Egyptian artists try to describe the small details of the Egyptian culture, which visitors will surely enjoy. This is undoubtedly a great opportunity to learn more about the Egyptian school of contemporary arts. This is where the creative talents of Egyptian and Emirates artists meet and blend in great harmony that creates deeper understanding and credibility of the realities and distinct qualities of life in these two countries.

“This exhibition is an important initiative, one where both established and up-and-coming Egyptian artists display their work, in a generous gesture destined to propel the Arab art movement to the prospects it so deserves. I commend Art Sawa and this collective of artists for this endeavour,” H.E. Farouk Hosny added.

True to its vision which values the role of art as a universal language, and reflecting the artistic scene in the UAE, which has become a highly sought-after international destination for the arts, Art Sawa celebrates the occasion with its first publication featuring the artists and their artworks.

“14.05.09 – Undercurrent” boasts a collective body of work that is sure to impress. Life in Cairo with all its versatility and uniqueness is expressed by 29 Egyptian artists, including Ahmed Askalany, Ahmed El Shaer, Ahmed Nawar, Armen Agop, Atef Ahmed Ibrahim, Attiat Sayed, Ehab Ellaban, Eslam Zein, Essam Marouf, Fathi Afifi, George Azmy, Hanafy Mahmoud, Hanan El-Sheikh, Haytham Nawar, Hazem El Mestikawy, Hend Adnan, Howaida El Sebaee, Ibrahim El Dessouki, Khaled Sorour,  Maha Maamoun, Marwa Adel, Mohamed Abla, Mohamed Al Fayoumi, Mohamed Zayan, Mohsen Shaalan, Nagla Samir, Randa Shaath, Sobhi Guergues and Wael Darwesh.

The exhibition, the first of its kind in Dubai, has benefited from the support of leading companies including Algebra Capital, Egypt Air the exhibition’s official carrier, as well as Emirates Airlines and Contemporary Practices magazine, media partner on this occasion. It also enjoys the support of individuals such as Mr Abd El Raouf Samy, Chairman of Heliopolis Electric Company and Chairman of the Egyptian Business Board.

Art Sawa welcomes visitors to 14.05.09 – Undercurrent, in Al Quoz, Dubai, from May 14th to June 14th, 10 am to 7 pm.


About Art Sawa
Art Sawa is nestled within the vibrant atmosphere and industry of the Al Quoz district in Dubai, the legacy of a transformed light-drenched warehouse. Art Sawa, with its impressive roster of artists from the region, and 12,000 sq. ft of space, is one of the most important galleries in the region. It is a distinctive art platform, featuring artists from the Middle East, North Africa and neighboring countries.

‘Art Sawa’ translates to Art Together. The name carries our vision and aspiration that our space be a venue that facilitates and fosters interaction and dialogue and inspires through art, and through the passion for art shared by artists and the public across the Middle East.

Art Sawa realises its mission through the hosting of a series of innovative exhibitions, educational programmes and publications reflecting current issues and practices from the regional art scene. Encompassed within Art Sawa is a workshop space and a library that further support the educational platform and communicate the heart and soul of Art Sawa as the heartbeat and pulse of the community.
Art Sawa promotes world-class contemporary art to a global and regional audience.



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