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Press release

Striking pieces by Emirati artists Jalal Luqman and Mattar Bin Lahej stand tall in Abu Dhabi’s premier fashion and dining destination

Jalal Luqman's Point of View 29th Apr 2014

The Galleria on Al Maryah Island Opens its Doors to Abu Dhabi Festival Commissions

Reflecting its commitment to Emirati visual arts’ development, two monumental Abu Dhabi Festival commissions have returned to the spotlight to be enjoyed by a larger than ever audience. Commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) in 2013 to commemorate Abu Dhabi Festival’s 10th anniversary edition, the works by two of the UAE’s leading artists are to be displayed by The Galleria on Al Maryah Island for the delight of art lovers and public alike. The large-scale works, which were created by acclaimed Emirati artists Jalal Luqman and Mattar Bin Lahej, will be on display on the Al Maryah Island Promenade until May 14.


H.E. Hoda I. Al Khamis - Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and the Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “Each year, Abu Dhabi Festival seeks to contribute to the growth and development of the UAE contemporary visual arts sector by supporting the creation of innovative, new work. Last year, we awarded renowned Emirati artists Jalal Luqman and Mattar Bin Lahej Abu Dhabi Festival Commissions. In keeping with the Festival’s tradition of fostering culture and preserving Emirati identity, I am delighted that these wonderful commissions will be kept alive in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District for the public to appreciate and enjoy.” 


“As the capital’s premium shopping and dining destination and a core component of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District, The Galleria’s collaboration with ADMAF reinforces our fundamental commitment to the local community. The beautiful waterfront promenade provides the perfect stage to showcase these two cutting edge sculptures. Leading on from Gulf Capital’s sponsorship of the ‘ADMAF Creativity Award’ and the ‘Abu Dhabi Festival Visual Arts Award’ as well as Gulf Related’s association with this year’s ‘Carnegie Hall Music Residency’, we hope to deepen this collaboration with ADMAF and continue to nurture the Emirates’ burgeoning creative talent pool,” said Dr. Karim El Solh,Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital and Co-Managing Partner of Gulf Related.


Concerning his work ‘Point of View’, which stands 2 metres high and 4 metres in length, Jalal Luqman explained its subtext: “The search for the truth is often simple, yet we as humans believe that only that which is hard and difficult is of value; we either simplify or complicate things and at the end, it is all in our perception and our point of view.” Luqman’s installation resembles haphazard stacks of boxes from multiple perspectives, but from the optimal position they can be seen to spell ‘Allah’ in Arabic.


Mattar Bin Lahej’s piece entitled ‘Rhapsody of Culture’ encapsulates a pearl suspended within enveloping folds that culminate in a long, thin shaft of stainless steel ascending 3 metres towards the sky. Describing the installation he said, “The work expresses the mix between technology and art, giving rise to a new phenomenon that is a blend of both. I have tried to express the interaction between these two elements, also known as the rhapsody of culture.”


‘Point of View’ and ‘Rhapsody of Culture’ were unveiled at Emirates Palace by HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority at the Abu Dhabi Festival 2013.