While I was in the cab on my way to St. Regis Dubai in Al Habtoor City to visit a Dubai art exhibition, I had time to reflect as to why I blog at TravelArtsLife. As the taxi driver manouevered his way with agility through the traffic, I found myself thinking how far the United Arab Emirates has come in the area of art and arts this past 40 years. It has become a fertile field for all creatives, young and old, locals, residents and third culture kids alike – fostering several amazing culture and arts initiatives throughout the year.  The outcome is plain to see.  Art inspired hotels and art consultancy firms have sprung up, prominent hotels such as Sofitel the Palm and Pullman Deira City Centre have opened doors to host exhibitions that showcase stunning works of home grown artists.  For those who thrive on culture, we’ve been given the opportunity to learn about Emirati culture. Look at the number of traditional, contemporary and fusion Emirati eateries that are popping all over town (Logma is my favourite by the way). And not to forget the social enterprises seeking to help the community through the arts.

 

What inspired me to attend the opening night of the third installation of the ‘Perspectives’ was that it primarily focused on the artworks by Korean artists. I’d already fallen in love with Korean drama some 15 years ago, having first caught a glimpse while visiting friends in Hong Kong. As the cab wove its way through the boulevard of trees that lined the entrance of the hotel, I recounted watching the ‘Master’s Sun,’ starring the popular So Ji Sub and I knew I was in for a treat. I’ve been to St. Regis Dubai many times, and it’s becoming quite popular for meetings that I attend from DBWC to several other engagements. It’s situated in Central Dubai and when you enter the grounds, you feel like you’re on palace grounds of ancient times. And of course, when you enter, it’s the glam staircase that is a beauty in itself. See below.

The exhibition that opened on 12 July will be open to the public and interested buyers for the two months.  It is held at Le Patio which is on the second floor of the hotel. It was attended by several dignitaries and Gallery The Grace, representing several artists, was present as well.

Opening nights are one of my favourite ways to ‘introvert’ while taking in each brush stroke, colour palette of each painting.  I could easily spend hours looking at the paintings, while also having interesting conversations with those attending such events. While I did not get a chance to meet any of the Korean artists in person, their storytelling through the paintings was sufficient. Watch the video below for a grasp of Perspectives.

 

 

Take for instance, the triad paintings of the zebra by Nahyung Hwang.  It would seem like they are photographs that have been blown up before the digital art was added. However, upon closer look, there is such incredible detail to the animal, from the pearls that one was wearing to the birds. Such fine brushes must have been used to get such an incredible amount of detail.

Moving on to the cloudy sky which is encapsulated in a painting but try walking past it, and you’ll feel like you’re actually looking a the sky through the window. The artist Hakman Hwang got the perspective right, from the dimensions and angles of the window sill to the beautiful conches. As I walked by, I remembered William Wordsworth’s “I wandered lonely as a cloud” poem.  It almost feels like the artist was impacted by a visit to the beach one day and what stayed with him is what was brought to life through the painting.  This artist obviously prefers realism art as opposed to abstract and that is clearly seen in the paintings of birds and flowers.  They almost reminded me of my mother’s artworks in oil. In my opinion, realism is very hard to achieve because it has to be accurate and aesthetic at the same time, which explains why I prefer painting abstract.

One last painting series that caught my attention was by Sunhee Kim. The bright green and yellow coloured artwork series with a fun element of pretty birds – the paint was almost an impasto technique.

So, if you’re looking for something different to do away from the malls, pop on by to Perspectives. Have a quiet time admiring the paintings at Le Patio. Better still, bring a couple of friends and make is a nice and relaxed night out.

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