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UAE: Five selfie spaces appear in Sharjah as Islamic art festival begins – News

KT Photos: SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Friday, December 15, 2023, 12:12 pm

Last update: Friday, December 15, 2023, 10:26 p.m.

Looking to spice up your Instagram feed? Among hundreds of places in the UAE, the House of Wisdom in Sharjah promises to captivate and enchant you with some new attractions.

As part of the Sharjah Islamic Art Festival, this unique venue has become one of the hotspots for residents eager to take selfies with incredible installations and creative masterpieces by artists from around the world.

The festival began on December 13 and will run until January 21.

The venue has become a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and a canvas for artists from around the world to showcase their talents and imaginative creations.

Al Isharat

Upon entering the venue’s campus, Al Isharaat greets you. It’s a cool piece of art by artist Aleksandra Olszewska from Poland. A large sculpture with lines and angles, creates captivating patterns. The artist used steel mesh to create it, making it balanced and elegant, but there’s more.

The shapes of the artwork represent the connection between the things we can see and the things we cannot. It’s like a reminder of how important shapes and patterns are in Arabic culture. As the sun sets, the artwork creates interesting shadows, shares secrets, and makes us think about art, knowledge, and our feelings.

Aleksandra lives in Dubai and loves to be inspired by Arabian themes and the beautiful desert.

power of one

The highlight of the festival is ‘Power of One’, an installation by US-based Choi + Shine Studio. It is an immersive work of art that takes viewers on a unique exploration of the human essence. The installation, composed of lacy geometric shapes suspended over dark water, transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.

As viewers interact with the installation, they actively become a part of it, symbolizing the recognition of one’s power to bring about change.

Artists Jin Choi and Thomas Shine bring their expertise in architecture to create this meditative journey.

Mewa by ToyStudio

‘Mewa’, created by UK-based Toystudio, is a pavilion made of wooden ribs and special panels with holes. It is constructed from a series of wooden CNC ribs oriented around a central point. The ribs are covered with mashrabiya-style panels, perforated with geometric patterns.

The circle is broken or incomplete as it represents the journey that people take in their lives to achieve perfection and how in Islam they believe that only God is perfect, therefore the incomplete circle highlights that we are not perfect.

The patterns of the panels are like those of mosques, connecting the pavilion with the theme of the manifestations, which represent divinity. It is a modern version of Islamic art and architecture. The design of the pavilion creates cool shadows and protects you from the sun.

Mewa is a contemporary interpretation of Islamic art and architecture and is a visually stunning and thought-provoking installation that explores the concept of manifestations in Islamic art.

dandelion project

Enter the enchanting world of Japanese artist Ryotaro Muramatsu’s ‘Project Dandelion’. It is an initiative that sows seeds of connection and peace worldwide.

The project, started in 2020, has reached more than 50 cities: a global garden of hope through the positive touch of technology. The artist wants art to connect people to peace around the world. Thanks to Muramatsu’s clever use of technology, these wishes become matching flowers, uniting us beyond online disagreements.

Muramatsuis, the founder of Naked, inc., brings a wealth of experience to his craft. Film director and teacher, his creative endeavors encompass performance, local revitalization, and traditional Japanese arts.

Manifestations of the soul.

Kuwaiti artist Jassim Al Nasrallah may seem disconcerting when talking about the invisible soul and its appearance. The artwork ‘Manifestations of the Soul’ is about understanding oneself during worship.

The Arabic phrase that translates as “And the soul shone with light, exuding a beauty similar to the moon” is written in a way that makes you reflect on its meaning. Jassim wants people to interact with the artwork, inviting them to think about their own souls and discover deep ideas within themselves.

Jassim is an expert in traditional Arabic calligraphy, bringing a modern touch to Islamic arts. He learned calligraphy at an early age and his work reflects a mix of tradition and contemporary spirit. He has designed the mural for the Kuwait Opera House.

He hopes to make Arabic calligraphy part of global art and has contributed to major projects, including the National Museum of Qatar.

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