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Culture initiative Public Art Abu Dhabi launched

ABU DHABI, March 23, 2023

Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has launched Public Art Abu Dhabi, a wide-reaching initiative that will further the emirate’s long legacy of investing in culture and embedding it in the fabric of society.

The initiative has launched with the unveiling of WAVE, a public digital media artwork by the artistic collective district, in Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation. Using an anamorphic illusion technique, the 2D installation recreates perpetually surging three-dimensional waves and was first showcased at COEX K-Pop Square, Seoul, South Korea.

Public Art Abu Dhabi’s programmes will reflect the emirate’s intrinsic cultural identity, anchoring a sense of belonging and fostering creativity. Integral to this initiative is its community engagement efforts. Acting as a catalyst for creativity and artistic expression in the public domain, Public Art Abu Dhabi will offer opportunities for everyone to engage with new cultural programming.

An investment of over AED128 million ($35 million) will be dedicated to the initiative annually, to support the emirate’s wider creative industries through public art.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi’s public art enriches lives by bringing art to every member of the community, inspiring a sense of civic pride, and advancing the capital’s creative legacy. The emirate has a proud tradition of public art, which we are now elevating with our ambitious Public Art Abu Dhabi initiatives.

“These will foster creativity, placemaking and cultural infrastructure and ensure that public art is integral to our emirate’s cultural identity, livability, and attractiveness to visitors. DCT Abu Dhabi’s promise is to promote, protect and progress the emirate and transform Abu Dhabi into a global centre for culture.”

Public Art Abu Dhabi will contribute toward the conservation of significant architectural and urban spaces, enhancing their historical, aesthetic, social, scientific, and technological value to the community. It will extend the ambitions of DCT Abu Dhabi’s Modern Heritage Conservation Initiative (MHCI), which identifies, safeguards, and maintains sites that narrate the country’s more recent past.

Public Art Abu Dhabi Biennial, opening in November 2024, will be led by Reem Fadda, Director of the Cultural Foundation and Abu Dhabi Cultural Programmes, and the independent curator Galit Eilat. The curators previously worked together between 2006 and 2009 co-curating the multifaceted and award-winning project Liminal Spaces in Palestine, Israel and Germany. Fadda and Eilat will bring their experience of working on projects involving a deep engagement with communities and art in the public domain to the first Public Art Abu Dhabi Biennial.

Other projects include Manar Abu Dhabi, a public art platform which features light art sculptures and installations in the archipelagos and mangroves of Abu Dhabi. Viewers will embark on an immersive water journey and discover the artworks from a fresh perspective.

The exhibition is set to connect the shores of different islands and celebrate Abu Dhabi’s natural beauty. The artworks will vary from light projections, sculptures and installations to performances, creating a surreal and magical outlook on the surrounding landscapes.

Public Art Abu Dhabi will further make its mark with a series of yearly direct commissions across the emirate's landmarks, including tunnels, roundabouts, bridges, parks etc. Engaging artists to create significant permanent or temporary contributions, the commissions will draw inspiration from the UAE capital’s distinctive traits and highlight its modern heritage and natural landscapes. – TradeArabia News Service




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