28th of January - 23rd of March 2022
Raffles The Palm Dubai
Through an exclusive collaboration, Hunna Art and Raffles The Palm Dubai are proud to present an exhibition of four Gulf-based artists who embody a facet of the region’s shifting contemporary art scene. Eman Ali, Talin Hazbar, Alymamah Rashed and Alia Zaal are each investing a specific site of the hotel’s premises. Unfolding in four chapters, the exhibition showcases the social, material, spiritual and political research of the artists while creating a dialogue with the architecture of the hotel.
Alymamah Rashed, “My Palm Fronds Breathe (̶F̶o̶r̶ ̶Y̶o̶u̶)̶”
In “My Palm Fronds Breathe (̶F̶o̶r̶ ̶Y̶o̶u̶)̶”, Alymamah Rashed explores the sensation of the spirit’s yearning to reside in a celestial home of eternity. This series of new drawings, paintings and watercolors converges the sightings of the everyday in Kuwait with her spiritual epiphanies. Pebbles and seashells found in Salwa’s beach or a misbah found in Mubarakiya, Kuwait’ souk, are graced new meanings in the artist’s journey; from mundane objects they become signs to let the self grow, shedding away its preconceptions, and protecting itself through a self generated space.
In this exhibition, each work unravels a vision captured in time that carries on an ever changing mode of personal storytelling.
Alia Zaal, “Through Her Eyes”
“Through Her Eyes” showcases Alia Zaal’s ongoing investigation of the relationship between photography and painting. Her early work focused on the self portrait as a subject, where she deconstructed the original image to produce distorted, oneiric portraits, a sublime form between the portrait and the landscape, neither figurative nor abstract.
In this exhibition, Alia Zaal presents them along with new portraits painted on wooden panels referencing photographs from her personal archives along with historic portraits taken at the end of the 19th century, thus offering a new take on the art of portraiture.
Talin Hazbar, ‘Stones in silence’
With ‘Stones in silence’, Talin Hazbar presents two installations that encapsulate the essence of her research of the past years (from 2015 to 2019). Nested in Raffles Club Lounge, the first installation is comprised of sculptures that were created from natural elements, such as stones, from the UAE before being masterfully carved out. Each sculpture reflects on the notions of time and impermanence while capturing the intricate materiality of the natural world and the way it inspires human mythologies. Lithic, for example, stems from the Creature Cave (‘kahf al daba’) folktale that originates from villages around the mountain chains between Khor Fakan and Fujairah. Talin Hazbar chose the form of the stalactite to represent the habitation of the mythical hybrid being and artificial light to symbolize its power.
The second installation reunites five profile casts from her series ‘In her Courtyard’ that celebrates the bah-rah, a fountain-like water feature, that is the centre of the Syrian home and the focal point of social interactions within the household. But, rather than to explore the bah-rah as a central structure, Talin Hazbar decided to display their profile casts, fragments of these familiar forms, to create within the hotel’s patio fountains a form of revival that forms a new space for observation and reflection.
Eman Ali, “Corridors of Power"
“Corridors of Power'' is an installation of Eman Ali’s eponymous photographic series. Reflecting on her native Oman’s grand development projects that came into fruition as dominating, theatrical, and beautiful spaces, the artist portrayed herself in Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman.
In this series of autoportraits, Eman Ali casts herself in different poses – curious, playful, empowered, contemplative – in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman. Her presence is slight, the female figure deliberately kept small and, sometimes, even hard to detect. This use of proportions foregrounds the immersive architecture as the focal point of the work while resonating with the hotel's palatial premises.