Abu Dhabi: Special five-book series to honour Emirati artists

Each edition will include samples of work from homegrown sculptors, painters, calligraphers


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Representational image

Published: Thu 11 Nov 2021, 6:18 PM

A new five-part book series has been launched in Abu Dhabi to promote homegrown culture and art.

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) on Thursday published the book series titled ‘Emirati Art – Pioneers Amongst Us’ under its flagship Esdarat project. The series is part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s ‘Pioneers Amongst Us’ initiative, which was launched in 2020.

Each book documents the contributions of one of five artists: Abdul Qader Al Rais, Dr Najat Makki, Abdul Raheem Salem, Dr Mohamed Yousif Ali, and Mohammed Mandi. The artists’ backgrounds and artistic practices are explored, delving into their accomplishments and the works that define their careers. The publications offer samples of their work, and the part they played in enriching the art scene in the UAE.


Each book includes a foreword by a prominent art critic, followed by a collection of their paintings, sketches, or sculptures; the artist’s biography; a brief overview of their career and the exhibitions they participated in; and personal photographs.

Dr Ali bin Tamim, chairman of ALC, said: “The Arabic Language Centre is committed to documenting Emirati art history and promoting prominent works and the artists who created them in a bid advance the Arabic language and encourage its use in cultural and creative fields,

“Launching the ‘Emirati Art - Pioneers Amongst Us’ book series so close to the UAE’s Golden Jubilee celebrations creates an opportunity to introduce pioneering Emirati visual artists and calligraphers who have created notable and inspiring works, not only making their mark on the local and international art worlds, but helping to mould a distinct national artistic identity and chart a path for the art sector in the UAE.”

The volume focusing on Abdul Raheem Salem is titled How Many Colours Are There in Black. Born in Dubai in 1955, Salem is a Fine Arts pioneer in the UAE whose works have been displayed in biennials across the Arab region and the world.

The five-book series will be available at the ALC’s pavilion at Abu Dhabi Art 2021, which takes place from November 17-21 at Manarat Al Saadiyat. The centre is participating this year under the theme of ‘Visual and Print’. It will showcase a distinguished collection of its most prominent publications, including books based on visual arts such as graphics, calligraphy, colours and symbols.

- ismail@khaleejtimes.com

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