Dubai Culture Unveils the First International Retrospective of Abdulqader Al Rais at the Arab World Institute in Paris

Monday 03 September 2018
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage and literature, announced the first international retrospective of Emirati artist Abdulqader Al Rais. The exhibition will take place at the Institut du Monde Arabe (The Arab World Institute) in Paris and will be open to the public from 25th September till 21st October 2018.

The exhibition will provide a comprehensive display of over 50 artworks spanning from the 1960s until today. It will cover various periods in the artist’s career, from his time in Kuwait to his current life in Dubai. Considered one of the pioneers of contemporary art in the Arabian Gulf Region, Abdulqader Al Rais — born in Dubai in 1951 — played a pivotal role in enriching the nation’s arts scene.

Dubai Culture has scheduled a series of talks and workshops to take place during the opening week of the exhibition, hosted at the Arab World Institute in Paris, including a workshop held by Al Rais himself.  These activities will highlight the rich components of Dubai’s cultural life, with an emphasis on the Emirate’s vibrant contemporary arts scene. A delegation from the Authority will also conduct meetings with their French counterparts during the opening week.

His Excellency AbdulRahman bin Mohamed Al Owais, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Dubai Culture, commented: “This initiative is aligned with the ‘UAE Soft Power Council’ launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and its primary objective is to convey the country's history and culture abroad, where art exhibitions are considered as a source of inspiration and a way to convey a civilisation, culture, and society. By supporting the ‘2018 French-Emirati Cultural Dialogue’ and ‘Year of Zayed’ initiatives, we at Dubai Culture are committed to upholding the diplomatic legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan by strengthening our nation’s long-lasting friendship and close cultural ties with France. This complements the Authority’s ongoing efforts to build cultural cooperation as a means of promoting the arts and culture scene of Dubai internationally. Additionally, such an effort will broaden the understanding of the UAE’s culture around the world, and will consolidate relations with embassies at a regional and global level.”

His Excellency continued: “We are also proud to be organising Abdulqader Al Rais’ first international retrospective exhibition and providing a closer look into the exceptional career of one of our most gifted Emirati artists. It fulfils one of Dubai Culture’s strategic objectives to nurture, support and empower local talent by providing artists with global platforms to showcase their work. By activating Dubai’s cultural influence and introducing an international audience to one of our most celebrated artists, we are consolidating the Emirate’s reputation as a global and sustainable city for culture and art. This exhibition is being organised to honour our artist, who is truly one of the pioneers of contemporary art in the UAE, by promoting his modern and original style in international forums. Due to his creation of a collection of outstanding works that shed light on our original culture and civilization, the artist deserves all the support in recognition of his tremendous positive influence on enriching the UAE cultural landscape.”

His Excellency Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute in Paris, said: “Abdulqader Al Rais is a fantastic explorer of patterns, shapes and colours. Though he has never been exhibited in France, he is recognised in the UAE as a prominent artist and a source of inspiration for the new generation. The Arab World Institute will proudly host in September Al Rais’ full spectrum of work, going back to the 1960s, including his abstract, calligraphic and geometric pieces, as well as a special painting he made specifically for this exhibition.”  

Al Rais commented: “Throughout my career, I have devoted myself to strengthening the UAE’s creative scene and highlighting our rich culture by sharing my art with the world. The upcoming Paris retrospective is a major new milestone in this journey and I would like to express my gratitude to Dubai Culture for organising the exhibition at the Arab World Institute in Paris. I am particularly proud that the exhibition will take place during the ‘Year of Zayed’ and I hope it will be an opportunity for visitors to discover the unity, tolerance and multi-culturalism that he advocated through the arts.”

As part of its ongoing efforts to promote soft power, and through its relations with the embassies of brotherly countries, and through the UAE’s embassies in other global cities, Dubai Culture seeks to promote Dubai as a global centre for creativity, consolidating the UAE’s global reputation, and sharing Dubai’s thriving creative scene with the world.

Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and draw attention to the UAE’s rich heritage with a variety of initiatives that take place throughout the year. The Authority’s mandate is to build bridges of constructive dialogue between different civilisations and cultures through enriching initiatives that benefit the Emirate’s citizens, residents and visitors.

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