Dubai’s ‘Second Hand’ art show explores morphing materials

Moffat Takadiwa’s ‘Second Hand Information’ (2014). (Jameel Arts Centre)
Updated 15 July 2019

Dubai’s ‘Second Hand’ art show explores morphing materials

DUBAI: The Dubai-based Jameel Arts Centre has unveiled a new program this summer, including a diverse exhibition titled “Second Hand,” which is set to run until Nov. 23.

The exhibition explores divergent takes on materiality and features works by 18 artists and collectives from the Art Jameel Collection. It includes commissions, performances, workshops, talks and film screenings.

The 18 local, regional and international artists and collectives involved in “Second Hand” employ traditional and non-traditional approaches to creating thought-provoking art work, from man-made to machine made pieces that often incorporate everyday, humdrum items.

“Through divergent modes of expression — sculpture, installation, assemblage, drawing, photography, painting and performance — together the artworks in ‘Second Hand’ highlight a broad approach to object-based practices that challenge the way we perceive material and our understanding of what the material represents,” the exhibition space said in a released statement.

Drawn primarily from the Art Jameel Collection, “Second Hand” includes works by Adel Abdessemed, Haig Aivazian, Abbas Akhavan, Diana Al-Hadid, Doa Aly, Fayçal Baghriche, Walead Beshty, Vikram Divecha, Jason Dodge, Zahrah Al-Ghamdi, Bita Ghezelayagh, Mohammed Kazem, Azade Köker, Cinthia Marcelle, Keita Miyazaki, Slavs and Tatars, Moffat Takadiwa and Mario García Torres.

The exhibition’s title references Zimbabwean artist Moffat Takadiwa’s “Second Hand Information” (2014), created from repurposed computer keys and alluding to how, as information is passed on from one person to the next, the meaning of material changes over time.

Several of the featured artworks feature material that has been repurposed, transformed or reworked, reflecting how different environments can change the meaning and purpose of certain materials.

Other pieces in the show explore how objects and artworks are made — creating art out of the process itself.

Haig Aivazian painstakingly draws realistic marble tiles with graphite, while a meticulously crafted, site-specific commission by Zahrah Al-Ghamdi sees leather forms spill out across the gallery and into the adjacent courtyard.

Meanwhile, artists such as Mohammed Kazem, Slavs and Tatars and Vikram Divecha consider the relationship between time and production, through mapping and the use of audio elements.

“Second Hand” is accompanied by a limited-edition catalogue designed by Kemistry, as well as a series of public programs, featuring site-specific commissions, performances, workshops, talks and film screenings.

Tonda delivers authentic Italian flavors at the double

The Italian establishment’s first GCC branch is a welcome addition to the Dubai scene. (Supplied)
Updated 7 min 10 sec ago

Tonda delivers authentic Italian flavors at the double

DUBAI: With organic ingredients and an eye-popping variety of authentic Italian dishes, the Dubai-based Tonda Pizza is a perfect choice for fast-casual dining.

The roots of the business lie as far back as 1948. The Italian founders apparently used to sell pizza to holidaymakers on the beach in Pescara, by the Adriatic Sea. The small-pan pizzas were ideal for people who wanted to grab a snack on the go.

Tonda Pizza has multiple branches around the world and is planning to bring its concept to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but its first regional outlet opened recently in Index Tower, in Dubai International Financial Center.

At the doorstep of the restaurant, you will be welcomed by the friendly staff who are enthusiastic and happy to serve you. Some of the Italian words may be hard to understand, but the waiters will be able to answer any questions.

The interior is cosy and just as welcoming as the staff. The atmosphere is classy, relaxed, and quiet. For the many employees in the area, this is a great spot to take your mind of work for a while.

The restaurant serves a seemingly endless variety of pasta and pizza made with organic flour, olive oil, and tomatoes imported from Italian farms. It also offers a range of special homemade starters and desserts.

Tonda, meaning ‘round,’ offers “guilt-free” pizzas. The thin crispy slices are full of authentic Italian flavor, but the dough does not contain animal fats, and it’s gluten-free.

It always fun to watch your food being cooked right in front of you, and Tonda’s open kitchen means you can do just that. The service is impressively fast, too.  The meal is best accompanied by one of Tonda’s traditional Italian drink offerings, which include Chinotto, Gassosa, Limonata, and Spuma. 

The tasty burrata salad was a more-than-generous and delicious starter. Fresh balls of cheese decorated the bowl, which was overloaded with mixed tomatoes and fresh basil.

Next up was a delightful range of pizza. Thick mozzarella cheese (10 out of 10 on the cheese-pull test), shreds of well-cooked beef, and a sprinkling of rocca leaves coated each slice of the thin-crust bresaola, while the tartufo boasted a delicious truffle spread and mushroom topping.

The undeniable highlight of the meal, however, was the salamino pizza. Its spiciness might make your eyes water as well as your mouth, but it was well worth it. The salamino was topped with organic peeled tomatoes, spicy beef salami, extra virgin olive oil, and decorated with oregano leaves.

The pasta that accompanied the bolognaise gave a good firm bite — perfect for those who like their Italian cooked al dente. The portion was ideal for one person. 


Once you are done with the main course, the restaurant offers a tasty selection of desserts too. We’d recommend its unique Nutella pizza topped with sliced bananas as a must-try.   

Tonda may be a little on the expensive side for what is, essentially, fast food (albeit high-quality fast food) — an appetizer, main course and beverage could cost up to $21 — but we’d say it’s worth the price for some tasty, healthy fresh Italian fare.