Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Inaugurates Contemporary Art Exhibition at DIFC

Published January 28th, 2010 - 01:53 GMT

Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), attended the first in a new series of monthly events called Art Nights @ Gate Village, an initiative of DIFC Art and Culture, part of DIFC Lifestyle Group.  In the presence of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the DIFC, Sheikh Majid inaugurated an art exhibition entitled, ‘From Matisse to Warhol: Works on Paper by Modern Masters’, at the The Farjam Collection gallery at DIFC.

Taking place on every last Wednesday of the month, this innovative and interactive event involved 5 galleries, 2 boutiques and 1 of the fine dining outlets in the Gate Village. Initiated by DIFC Art and Culture, the event was also endorsed by Dubai Culture and had Brownbook as their media partner.

This collaborative evening aims to blur the traditional boundaries between art, fashion, film and design by combining them all in a contemporary urban space.  Set in the heart of the financial district, the Gate Village demonstrates an alternative side to the DIFC, encompassing ‘a concoction of high end cafes, restaurants, galleries and boutiques.’
Those that took part in this month’s event were: Galleries such as Artspace, Cuadro, Opera Gallery, The Empty Quarter and The Farjam Collection; Boutiques including Andrew Martin and Villa Moda; Fine dining restaurant Zuma.
Commenting on the launch, Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the DIFC said, “Over the past few years, Dubai has witnessed dramatic growth in the development of its arts and culture offerings, with the result that Dubai is not only a bridge linking East and West in the finance and banking sector but also in the sphere of culture and arts as well. We at the DIFC strongly believe that art can play a major role in stimulating new ideas and perspectives in business, and therefore, we continue to support a growing role for art within the financial services industry and community.”
Events Launched:
The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) were present at the event through their recently-launched ‘Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Award’ by creating a site-specific lounge in which visitors could learn more about the initiative.  It is the first award of its kind in the Arab world and has been conceived in recognition of those who have financially contributed, or contributed in-kind, towards the growth of the cultural sector in Dubai.
The Farjam Collection chose to open their eagerly awaited exhibition, ‘From Matisse to Warhol: Works on Paper by Modern Masters’.  The exhibition included works by some of the greatest Western artists of the 20th century, including Dali, Picasso and Chagall.  Exclusively, some of these exhibits had never been on display before.
Introducing the Spring/Summer collection by designers Meher and Riddhima was Villa Moda, the high-end fashion store.  In classic style and elegance they chose to hold ‘a trunk show’, which showcased the new design wear on models themselves. 

DC raised awareness of their recently launched ‘Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Award’ by creating a site-specific lounge in which visitors could learn about the initiative.  It is the first award of its kind in the Arab world and has been conceived in recognition of those who have financially contributed to the growth of art and culture in the region.

Live Events:

Presenting their contemporary approach towards food was renowned restaurant Zuma with a display of ‘the culinary arts’.  Involving creative food displays and a master Japanese chef, one could sample a range of gastronomic delights on offer.

Cuadro Gallery enticed their viewers with an art-film screening of “Universe of Keith Haring”, giving a rare insight into the iconic artist and including over 13 interviews with celebrities such as Madonna and Yoko Ono.  Directed by Christine Clausen, the film takes you through “an intimate exploration of the background and career of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.” 

As part of the event, two artists with contrasting practices demonstrated their skills in front of a live audience.  UBIK is known as an ‘urban underground artist’ using mixed-media and installation art, while Oliver Abi Rached uses the more traditional medium of charcoal in his portraiture.  

Combining ‘quirky yet stylish designs’ was UK brand Andrew Martin, that is known for their quality textiles and furnishing interior design.  Andrew Martin contributed to this cutting-edge event by displaying four of their most innovative design objects around the Gate Village; a wooden horse, a metal robot, an antique car and a sculpture of a diver.

Maitha Al Falasi, Acting Director, Art and Culture, DIFC Lifestyle Group said: “Art Nights aims to promote public appreciation and engagement with art and culture in Dubai while at the same time offer a platform for tapping synergies between art and other cultural disciplines like fashion, design and music. The Gate Village in DIFC, which has emerged as the hub of Dubai’s art and culture scene, offers the perfect space for creative interaction and cross-pollination between these disciplines. Through events such as Art Nights, we also seek to enrich the cultural life of the financial district as well as the larger community in Dubai.”

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