Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival returns for its 22nd edition

“Bloom,” by Li Hongbo. Supplied
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Updated 28 December 2019

Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival returns for its 22nd edition

  • The 22nd edition of the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival is currently underway in the emirate
  • The festival features a mishmash of artworks that celebrate the splendor of Islamic art by 108 artists

DUBAI: The 22nd edition of the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival, which kicked off this month, is currently underway throughout the emirate, with thought-provoking exhibitions presented in three different locations: The Sharjah Art Museum, Al-Majaz Waterfront and Maraya Art Center. 

Bringing together exhibitions, installations, talks and workshops scattered across the emirate, the event, which runs until Jan. 21, 2020, is not one to miss.

The month-long art festival is organized under the theme of “Prospect,” and features a mishmash of artworks that celebrate the splendor of Islamic art by 108 artists from 31 different countries.

Among the artists showcasing their works is Egyptian sculptor Ahmed Karaly, who is known for his architectural installations. He is presenting his work “The Spirit of The City” at the contemporary art space, the Maraya Art Center. For the installation, the artist used eight layers of chiffon in his reinterpretation of Islamic architecture.

The Egyptian sculptor’s work is presented alongside Chinese artist Li Hongbo’s paper sculptures that are inspired by the patterns prevalent in traditional Islamic art.

Other highlights include Emirati artist Moza Matter, who is showcasing work centered around the act of making du’aa — an Islamic supplication. The work portrays people raising their hands in du’aa during their Hajj pilgrimage.

Meanwhile, Syrian-American artist and architect Mohamad Hafez reconstructed the ancient city of Damascus’s streetscapes, replete with intricately carved wooden doors, clotheslines hanging from balconies and satellite dishes via a hyper-realistic diorama.

Another standout art piece on display is an immersive installation entitled “Infinitum.” The piece of work was designed by Italian architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino, who drew inspiration from the distinctive arches of the region, which are a fixture in Islamic architecture.  

Australian artist James Tapscott and Shozy, a Russian 3D artist, are also participating in the 22nd edition of the fair.

Established in 1998, the annual Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival aims to spotlight the different styles of Islamic art through various mediums.


Dubai designer unveils opulent wedding dress that ‘takes a village’ to transport

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Dubai designer unveils opulent wedding dress that ‘takes a village’ to transport

DUBAI: Dubai-based fashion designer Michael Cinco took to Instagram to share his latest three-meter-long wedding gown, which according to his account, “takes a village just to transport.”

The crystallized wedding gown has a train of intricate petal layers with around 200,000 Swarovski crystals and was created for an Abu Dhabi-based bride. “The bride specifically asked me to create her dream wedding — a 50’s inspired Dior gown...So I made her dream wedding gown with a couture M5 touch on it,” the Filipino designer wrote on his Instagram account.

Cinco has dressed A-list celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Ellie Goulding and many more.