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04 March 2024

In Abu Dhabi, sculpture takes the form of performance art

Lotus by Japan's Masahiro Hasegawa who will be participating at Adiss. (SUPPLIED)

By Staff Writer

For the first time Abu Dhabi, audiences will have a first-hand look at the tremendous effort that goes into creating sculptures, which are among the most ancient artistic techniques.

The Abu Dhabi International Sculpture Symposium (Adiss), which begins on Thursday and runs until April 7, will feature the works of 17 world-renowned contemporary artists, who will be residing in Abu Dhabi for the duration of the symposium.

The six-week event has been organised by Zayed University in collaboration with Salwa Zeidan Gallery.

The finished works will then go on public display all over Abu Dhabi city. By adding 17 monumental pieces to the city, the initiative will elevate public awareness of art in general.

"The objective of the symposium is to initiate artistic and cultural co-operation between artists of different backgrounds, and promote the UAE as a new meeting place for artistic and cultural creativity. In its inaugural run, Adiss will open its doors to the world under the theme of "Bridging Societies through the Language of Art" and will bring together 17 sculptors from around the world to reveal their creativity on site from the heart of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi," said Dr Sulaiman Al Jassim, Vice-President of Zayed University.

Abeer Al Mutawa, Community Services Advisor of Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, said the initiative was in line with the body's main strategy of affirming Abu Dhabi's position as a truly modern city and boost the Emirate's ambitions of building a global reputation as a top destination for the arts.

Salwa Zeidan, Director of the Selwa Zeidan Gallery, said the idea has been in development for over two years now.

"The aim here is to have Adiss take on the form of a performing art event, an open sculpture studio involving participation of both artists and the public. Art is for everybody, not only for connoisseurs and art critics," she said at an event to launch the symposium.

"When we first made the announcement, we received an overwhelming response of more than 400 applicants from different corners of the globe. We then carefully reviewed every single entry and shortlisted a number of them based on their background and medium. Once we narrowed the numbers down, we asked each artist to submit 3 designs of sculptures that could complement the city of Abu Dhabi," she said, explaining how the artists were selected. "The artistic concept of the submitted works ranged from abstract ideas to semi-realistic designs mainly aimed at complementing the beautiful city of Abu Dhabi, its history, and its culture.

"We also wanted to give one emerging artists who shows promising talent a chance and selected Husam Chaya from Lebanon to take part in Adiss 2010 and intend to introduce a new artist every year."

Artists of the world participating in this first edition of Adiss and who will bring together their collective talents to create a most active and dynamic event are Billy Lee from the United Kingdom, Caroline Ramersdorfer from Austria, Ehab El Laban from Eqypt, Fabrizio Dieci from Italy, Gheorghi Filin and Petre Petrov from Bulgaria, Gregor Kregar from Slovenia, Hassan Sharif from the UAE, Hwang Seoung-Woo from Korea, Jo Kley from Germany, Jon Barlow Hudson from the US, John Gogaberishvili from Republic of Georgia, Juanjo Novella from Spain, Konstantin Dimopoulos from Australia, Masahiro Hasegawa and Yoshin Ogata from Japan.

Another area of focus is the lecture programme and workshops, which aim to advance the cultural dialogue between Abu Dhabi and the rest of the world. Topics being discussed include public art, its history and how it fits into Abu Dhabi; art in the urban scene; and art and the environment. All the sessions will take place at the Zayed University auditorium. 

- More information is available at www.addiss-uae.com  


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