In a series called Artist Reflections, organised by art researcher Suzy Sikorski in Abu Dhabi and the UAE Embassy in Washington DC, a cultural dialogue builds bridges between the UAE and the USA.
To HE Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the USA: “Art will help us break stereotypes that are associated with our part of the world”. This programme is one of a number of initiatives by the Embassy’s Cultural Diplomacy Department. The body is preparing two major travelling exhibitions, one on architecture from the UAE and another a retrospective of Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais.
“One of the most interesting parts about being a diplomat is to serve as an ‘interpreter’ between two cultures,” Al Otaiba says. “While the UAE and the US may have different cultures, the arts offer a great way to learn about each other and uncover all that we have in common.”
The programme has featured a panel discussion with Clare Davies, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, for the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Christie’s specialist Hala Khayat; New York University curator Lynn Gumpert; and Art Jameel director Antonia Carver.
Other talks include a discussion between Syrian-American artist Diana Al Hadid and Emirati sculptor Shaikha Al Mazrou and a studio visit with Nujoom Alghanem.
You can watch the videos on the YouTube Channel of the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC
For The National, Melissa Gronlund interviewed American photographer Stephen Shore and his Emirati peer Ammar Al Attar and reviews the full initiative. Read more here.