World Art Dubai, the region’s largest affordable contemporary retail art fair, is returning for its 2022 edition with an incredible roster of talented local and international established and emerging artists from 16 – 19 March at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
World Art Dubai embodies local culture and spirit through its features and is a vital platform for the nurturing of both international and regional talent. The event acts as an important platform for emerging artists attending their first fair, urban artists searching for a space to allow their creativity to flow, and established international artists flying in specifically to exhibit to the region’s diverse audience.
With more than 300 artists and galleries from over 50 countries displaying upwards of 4,000 pieces, the event sees a wide cross-section of disciplines come together under one roof including mixed media, fashion, music, dance, sustainability, digital art, photography, graffiti, sculptures and more. Supported by Dubai Culture, World Art Dubai is a key date in the emirate’s established cultural calendar, offering enthusiasts across the region direct and affordable access into the realms of art.
“World Art Dubai is now in its eighth edition and each year grows exponentially while adapting to global interests and trends. Underpinning our position as a highlight of Dubai’s annual art event scene, our theme this year is ‘Unplug Yourself’ which aims to provoke inspired thinking and the exploration of feelings which in turn enables visitors to engage in mind-opening experiences that only art can catalyse.,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President – Dubai World Trade Centre.
“The theme will be evident throughout the show, and we’re excited for visitors to experience our elevated but accessible fair, which continues our legacy of supporting the region’s brightest emerging artists as a key date in the MENA cultural calendar.”
NFTs will make their World Art Dubai debut in 2022 with an entire section dedicated to digital art. The zone will see talks by MENAtech, the largest Arabic Tech website in the Middle East and Crypto Sheikhs, the podcast dedicated to blockchain education, enabling visitors to learn all about the digital assets that are growing in popularity. While the topic itself may seem complex to those who aren’t in the know about all things digital, the zone will offer a place for both amateurs and experts to brush up on their understanding and make purchases, be it adding to a growing collection or their very first NFT.
First time installations include the incredible UNESCO’s Global Gate by Leon Löwentraut, where visitors can take a selfie with a replica of the largest mobile artwork in the world. Leaving a lasting first impression, the gateway will make up the entrance to the fair and consists of 17 unique motifs representing UNESCO’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Further aligning with World Art Dubai’s ‘Unplug Yourself’ theme, the gate is part of the #Art4GlobalGoals campaign which encourages connection and transformation.
An all-new display from creative duo, Sister Octopi, will see stunning transparent hanging pieces, as well as projects where visitors can add their personal contributions using wood and string.
Recognising one of its longest and largest sectors of the show since its launch edition in 2015, World Art Dubai has named Japan as its brand-new Around the World series. The partnership honours a Japanese presence that will include the Japan Pavilion, a space with 68 artists, an array of aesthetic live performances, workshops on calligraphy and the cherry blossom stamp, as well as a highly anticipated Kimono fashion show.
Professional interior designers, architects and regional art collectors can now take advantage of a VIP preview of the show, demonstrating World Art Dubai’s recognised status as a space for professionals to source creative pieces at accessible prices.
Top local and international artists
Artists exhibiting at World Art Dubai for the first time include photographer Jalal Abuthina, whose work is already displayed across hotels in the region; Ahsen Küçükçalık, a Turkish artist displaying her personal transformation-themed ‘ALCHEMY’ collection; and Cedric Dub, a contemporary artist specialising in abstract fluid art, whose work flourished during the pandemic.
Local artists include Hend Rashid, who will display her “Ocean Secrets” collection inspired by the Arabian Nights tale; Atiqa Kayed, whose works focus on UAE culture and heritage; and Raud Al Shamsi, a scientist and artist whose work focuses on classicism, symbolism, and abstract expressionism.
Sought-after galleries participating in the show include Atelier Art Gallery, which is representing five artists from Spain; ArtSmiley the UAE based online gallery whose artworks depict local culture, pop art, sculptures among others; and Nile Art Gallery, which is exhibiting Egyptian abstract modern paintings for the first time in Dubai.
Visitors can also enjoy work from Banksy which will be displayed by French gallery, Champop Galerie including The Grannies and Jake and Jill (police kids) with a limited run of prints available for purchase.
Popular Returning Features
Having been a central element of the show in recent years, Urban Art DXB is reaching new heights this year with brand new performances and competitions including break dancing and freestyle, a Voguing Dancefloor where dancers can enter in groups or solos, as well as a make-up extravaganza contest where budding cosmetic artists can demonstrate their creative skills.
Led by Ahmed Al Rashid, the incredible Kuwaiti street artist and art director, the expanded area will hold unique art displays for purchase, as well as live graffiti performances with masters of the spray can battling it out on a range of canvases, including for the first time a battle on real life-size mannequins. Visitors can get involved with the People’s Choice vote and will be presented with paddles scoring from 1-10 which they can use to award points to their favourite performances.
Robot art will also make a return following a successful launch in 2021 with AI Norn, a robot created by Russian data scientists Anna Mischenko and Nikolay Gavrilin that interprets and visitors’ personal images to create new artworks.
An exciting schedule of workshops is also set to entertain visitors with classes aimed at all ages, including a live sketching workshop, garment stitching, and a photography workshop by Nikon in a dedicated zone. All material is provided to participants, and anything created can be taken home.
Powerhouse quartet, Batool Jafri, Samar Kamel, Petra Kaltenbach and Ahmed al Rashid, will curate the 2022 show, ensuring visitors a smooth visual journey. The curators, all artists in their own right, will also exhibit their own work at the show including unique art on the human mind and soul from Batool, circus themed artworks from Samar, and NFT’s from Petra.