All posts tagged: Culture Dubai

REPRESENT I – Hassan Hajjaj

REPRESENT I – the first part in a FNND series of profiles of artists represented by galleries in Dubai.  Artist and designer Hassan Hajjaj – represented by The Third Line Born in Larache, Morocco, in 1961, Hassan Hajjaj left Morocco for London at an early age. Heavily influence by the club, hip-hop, and reggae scenes of London as well as by his North African heritage, Hajjaj is a self-taught and thoroughly versatile artist whose work includes portraiture, installation, performance, fashion, and interior design, including furniture made from recycled utilitarian objects from North Africa, such as upturned Coca-Cola crates as stools and aluminium cans turned into lamps. Turning to photography in the late 80s, Hajjaj is a master portraitist, taking studio portraits of friends, musicians, and artists, as well as strangers from the streets of Marrakech, often wearing clothes designed by the artist. These colourful and engaging portraits combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography and pop art, as well as the studio photography of African artist Malick Sidibe, in an intelligent commentary on the influences …

The Troyka Bar is Backstage Dubai

Seventies ‘teatime’ and TV was fun – Getting dressed up in pyjamas to see the spectacle of a large mahogany box (TV) wheeled out. The TV set was the thing that made it exciting. Because seventies TV programmes were not. They were usually made up of  bad actors, wearing various shades of brown  and trying not to wobble the stage set when they closed a door. But the massive mahogany TV can make the long winter nights something to savour. If the picture goes wobbly – just bang it in the right place to get a good picture, which feels like ‘The Fonz’ Fonzerelli in ‘Happy Days’. Because, If the content is a little ‘tongue in cheek’ and it doesn’t run as smoothly as you’d hope… They are some of the reasons for enjoying it. So let us introduce you to the mahogany clad Ascot Hotel in Bur Dubai. With its faux-period facade, and an interior filled with regency fittings that hark back to a time of kitsch grandeur  – It is the seventies sitcom of …

Art Dubai Commissions – Part 3 – Nile Sunset Annex

For the last seven years, Art Dubai has developed a series of non-profit, commissioned works to exhibit alongside the fair. They present an opportunity for visitors to engage with artists often informed by or from the region, who create new works and performances intended to question the fabric of an art fair. In the next three pieces, FNND asks three of the project artists some questions: Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath and art collective Nile Sunset Annex. For 2016, independent curator and writer Yasmina Reggad, who was tapped to lead the projects and commissions, invited Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Massinissa Selmani, Lydia Ourahmane and Areej Kaoud, Moza Almatrooshi, and Jumairy, as well as the art collective Nile Sunset Annex. Reggad, whose research area is currently focused on the politics of futurity, has aptly titled the series of commissions Into the Unknown, meant as a catalyst to bring forth questions underlying the “mechanism[s] of the production of our fantasies, expectations and projections triggered by this young, 44-year-old federal state [of the United Arab Emirates]”. Commenting on the …

Art Dubai Commissions – Part 2 – Sreshta Rit Premnath

For the last seven years, Art Dubai has developed a series of non-profit, commissioned works to exhibit alongside the fair. They present an opportunity for visitors to engage with artists often informed by or from the region, who create new works and performances intended to question the fabric of an art fair. In the next three pieces, FNND asks three of the project artists some questions: Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath and art collective Nile Sunset Annex. For 2016, independent curator and writer Yasmina Reggad, who was tapped to lead the projects and commissions, invited Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Massinissa Selmani, Lydia Ourahmane and Areej Kaoud, Moza Almatrooshi, and Jumairy, as well as the art collective Nile Sunset Annex. Reggad, whose research area is currently focused on the politics of futurity, has aptly titled the series of commissions Into the Unknown, meant as a catalyst to bring forth questions underlying the “mechanism[s] of the production of our fantasies, expectations and projections triggered by this young, 44-year-old federal state [of the United Arab Emirates]”. Commenting on the …

Singapore Deli, Karama

I visited Singapore with my family when I was 11 years old as a stopover on the way to Australia. The thing is, I remember nothing from that trip. I can barely remember last week. My brain is worryingly sponge-adjacent these days. So despite having actually been to the country, I’m still pretty clueless when it comes to the food from Singapore. [Originally published on I’m Not a Fiend] The weather over here in Dubai these days is bang on. The kind of balmy evening temperature you’re lucky to get for one evening a year in England, but for opposite reasons. Here it’s usually too hot, but right now, sitting out on the streets is a pleasure. As the cars drive by, chatter from two supremely relaxed elderly Singaporean dudes drifts past you, along with their cigarette smoke. Nothing on the menu at Singapore Deli was familiar to me, and that made me very happy. To try a new cuisine is to ride a bike for the first time, or learning a new language; the …