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Vogue Arabia

Introspective and bold, four Emirati artists are bringing a diverse range of disciplines – from food to architecture – to this year’s edition of Art Dubai.

Architectural forms

“I knew I wanted to pursue a career as an artist when I visited my relative’s ceramic studio when I was six years old,” says Dubai-based Emirati artist Asma Belhamar. “Since then, I started creating fun things with commitment.” An interdisciplinary artist whose practice frequently confronts the visual memory of local landscapes, Belhamar has used this anchoring theme to merge architectural and organic elements to inform her practice. As a result, her works are largely observational, offering insight into the chronological history of architecture and responding to notions of perspective, time, and spatial memory. Presenting a collection of drawings and ceramic sculptures at Art Dubai, Belhamar’s art explores the visualization of space through time.

Inspired by motion to create fragile moments, where flat structure starts to manifest into a multi-surfaced object while in flow, she begins drawing the seconds in layered frames to capture what she calls a “magical phenomenon.” “I got approached by Aisha Alabbar Gallery, where we had the chance to collaborate and select some works to showcase at this year’s fair,” she recounts. “The collaboration is especially exciting for me as I have witnessed Art Dubai’s growth from when I was a student. I’m grateful to be a part of this year’s edition, as it presents other informative programs that elevate the art scene in the UAE, including governmental initiatives, educational workshops, and talk sessions,” she adds. Besides teaching full-time as an assistant professor of visual arts at Zayed University, Belhamar recently exhibited in the latest edition of the Sharjah Biennal with a site-specific installation, highlighting the architecture of Al Dhaid, Sharjah. She has a planned solo exhibition this October at Warehouse 421 Abu Dhabi.

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