World Art Dubai returns for tenth edition with enhanced programme - GulfToday

World Art Dubai returns for tenth edition with enhanced programme

World Art Dubai 1

Exchanging views on art at WAD.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

World Art Dubai (WAD), the region’s largest contemporary retail art fair, is presenting its most ambitious iteration to date at Dubai World Trade Centre, May 2 – 5. This year – where WAD’s tenth edition will be rolled out - in partnership with Dubai Culture, it invites art enthusiasts to embark on a journey through a decade of artistic evolution, carrying out its mandate to making art even more accessible to a wider audience. WAD is part of Dubai’s goal to double the contribution of the creative industries to its GDP by 2026 under the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, which involves doubling the number of creative companies and creators in the emirate. In 2024, the fair will showcase a diverse array of over 4,000 artworks from more than 65 countries, expecting over 15,000 visitors.

WAD will be set across 12 pavilions dedicated to countries and regions, including Japan, India, China, Turkey, Iran, America, Asia, Russia, UAE, Europe, the UK and Arabia. Over four days, visitors can engage in a variety of activities that go beyond traditional art exhibitions since the fair will feature experiential art activations, live performances, curated art talks and workshops. It will also unveil an innovative addition to its repertoire: the WAD Tourism Art Tour, designed for all exhibitors, through curated guided tours and interactive local art interactions around the emirates.


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Asma Al Sharif, Assistant Vice President at Exhibitions, Dubai World Trade Centre where WAD is hosted, said that “as we celebrate a decade of artistic brilliance with the 10th edition of World Art Dubai, we’re honoured to have Dubai Culture as our strategic partner and excited to introduce a ground-breaking initiative that goes beyond the confines of the art fair, with the launch of WAD Tourism Art Tour.” Dr. Saeed Mubarak Kharbash, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) expressed his enthusiasm for the strategic partnership between Dubai Culture and WAD. “By joining forces with World Art Dubai,” he said, “we aim to make art more accessible to a wider audience and contribute to the realisation of the emirate’s ambitious goals outlined in the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy. Through this partnership, we look forward to showcasing the vibrancy and diversity of the global art scene, while highlighting Dubai’s position as a thriving cultural destination.”

World Art Dubai 2  Laying on the colours at a previous WAD edition.

A myriad of distinguished artists, including legacy exhibitors such as Lotus Educational Institute, Art Plus Photographers Production and JAPAN PROMOTION Gallery, which have spent between eight and nine years each exhibiting at the annual show, are expected to take part in WAD. Speaking on behalf of the 54-strong artist collective representing JAPAN PROMOTION Gallery, Momoko Ishikawa said: “We are honoured to represent the Japan booth showcasing groups of Japanese artists. A notable aspect of our exhibition is the availability of contemporary art and artworks that utilise traditional techniques, offering unique pieces not found elsewhere in Dubai. At the Taimei Gallery booth, a significant focus will be on artworks using the ‘maki-e’ technique. Maki-e, a painting technique born approximately 1,200 years ago, has been cherished by the nobility throughout history. It is characterised by the serene beauty that emerges from combining the natural hues of the material, the deep lustre of lacquer, and the brilliance of gold and silver.

“The creation process is incredibly delicate and time-consuming, achievable only by craftsmen with high levels of skill and extensive experience. Prosperity Japan’s booth will present framed works and tapestries utilising the ‘nishijin-ori’ weaving technique, which has a history of over 1,000 years. This technique involves intricately weaving dyed silk threads to create patterns, producing a fabric with a three-dimensional feel that shows a diversity of colours changing exquisitely with the light. While traditionally used for kimono fabrics, its beauty and high fidelity in pattern reproduction have been reimagined in art pieces”.

40 per cent of exhibitors are returnees – which speaks well of the fair’s brand. “This high rate of exhibitor retention reflects the trust and satisfaction exhibitors have in the platform, further solidifying WAD’s position as a premier destination for artists and galleries alike,” say the organisers. “With a growing roster of returning participants, WAD continues to foster long-lasting relationships and provide a supportive environment for artistic growth and collaboration.” WAD’s tenth edition will bring many forms of art from all over the world for art lovers searching for diverse, accessible and original art from private collectors and connoisseurs to corporate and first-time buyers in search of diverse, and authentic art for their homes, businesses, or clients.

The plus 4,000 pieces it features sourced from around the globe, will unite 300 plus galleries and artists from over 65 countries, each with their own take on art. It includes renowned galleries and solo artists. “This is where world art comes together, and WAD offers visitors a chance to explore an exciting and accessible world of art through paintings, prints, sculptures, street and digital art and Arabic calligraphy, from emerging artists, pop-art icons and fashion art disrupters to experimental expressionists and fine art and photography practitioners,” says WAD. Among other highlights are practical workshops, talks, art consultancy, live performances, and new for 2024, a matchmaking programme for artists and galleries. “World Art Dubai’s main aim is to make art accessible to a wider audience, with prices starting from as little as AED367 ($100),” organisers underline.

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