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Abu Dhabi’s natural vistas have been transformed into a mesmerizing canvas of light and color with the Manar Abu Dhabi light art exhibition, a citywide event running through January 30.

The exhibition, curated by Reem Fadda and Alia Zaal Lootah, is a significant part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s Public Art initiative. It aims to enhance the city’s urban landscape through immersive public art. Over 20 artists from across the globe, including notable names like Carsten Höller, Jim Denevan, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, have contributed to this artistic endeavor.

Manar Abu Dhabi aims to be an experiential journey through various islands, mangroves, and landmarks of the city. Each artwork uniquely interacts with its surroundings, reflecting themes of interconnectedness, cultural heritage, and environmental consciousness. Jim Denevan’s installation on Fahid Island uses pyramids and mounds to create a symphony of forms, while Rafael Lozano-Hemmer transforms Lulu Island into an interactive audiovisual landscape.

The installations celebrate artistic innovation and pay homage to Abu Dhabi’s history and evolving identity. Works by artists like Nujoom Al Ghanem and Ahmed Al Areef blend traditional elements with contemporary themes, creating a narrative that bridges past and present.

Image: PR

Manar Abu Dhabi also serves as a platform for visitor participation and self-representation. Interactive installations invite visitors to engage with the art, altering perceptions and creating a dynamic experience. This participatory aspect is epitomized in Carsten Höller’s Abu Dhabi Dots on Corniche Beach, where visitors can playfully interact with light.

The exhibition extends beyond visual delight, fostering reflection on deeper issues like environmental conservation. Shezad Dawood’s Coral Alchemy sculpture promotes awareness about endangered coral species, symbolizing the exhibition’s commitment to ecological themes. As the exhibition progresses, more artworks will be unveiled, promising to keep the narrative fresh and engaging. The blend of art, technology, and nature not only beautifies the city but also ignites conversations about art’s role in urban spaces and community life.

In conclusion, Manar Abu Dhabi is more than just an art show; it’s a cultural phenomenon that positions Abu Dhabi as a hub of artistic innovation and cultural reflection. Through this exhibition, the city not only showcases its commitment to the arts but also solidifies its place as a destination where tradition and modernity merge in a vibrant tableau.


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