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With this year’s theme, ‘Free Your Mind’, World Art Dubai 2020 will celebrate art in all its forms through an expansive collection of 2,000 curated artworks. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Over 120 artists and art galleries from 25 countries will converge in the city for the sixth edition of World Art Dubai 2020, touted as the region’s most accessible and affordable retail art fair, happening at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from October 8-10.

With this year’s theme, ‘Free Your Mind’, “World Art Dubai 2020 will celebrate art in all its forms through an expansive collection of 2,000 curated artworks, ranging from $100-$20,000, by 120 solo artists and galleries from 25 countries, including a 50-strong contingent of international artists and galleries travelling to the event from India, Italy, Japan and more,” organisers said in a statement sent to Gulf News on Wednesday.

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“From emerging Emirati artists, and fashion art disrupters, to experimental expressionists and urban art and photography practitioners, Dubai’s inclusive art and lifestyle event is set to wow art afficionados, established and newcomers alike. Alongside the collected artworks, World Art Dubai will celebrate the return of major events to the emirate with a series of family-friendly activations held amid stringent health and safety precautionary measures to ensure a safe, attendance-controlled environment at DWTC,” the statement added.

Trixie LohMirmand

Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management at DWTC, noted: “Art has served as an escape for people all over the world this year. We will cultivate this energy and enthusiasm through World Art Dubai’s theme of ‘Free Your Mind’, which will connect international artists and stimulate creativity and exploration. We are excited to welcome our first overseas participants back to Dubai and look forward to stimulating creative exchanges within the wider community.”

Art takes centre stage

Following Urban Art DXB in November 2019, World Art Dubai will continue to build momentum with 10 artists hailing from Vandalist Art’s gallery who will paint live graffiti and screen printing on the show floor. Vandalist Art, which was awarded ‘Best Gallery’ at World Art Dubai 2019, will also feature street art and urban art canvases for sale.

Casa de Maquinas has also been invited to shine a light on custom urban art from Mexico, Ukraine, California, the UK and Japan. The collective of bikers, artists and skaters, with firm roots in motorcycling, hot rods, and street culture, will feature live motorcycle tank painting and leather gloves and helmet painting at the show.

Local artists in the limelight

‘Creativity Unmasked’ wall will be dedicated to show how artists turned inward for inspiration during the global pandemic, creating original artworks which reflect their personal experiences with COVID-19. A seasoned artist to look out for is Idriss B, the French-Tunisian sculptor, who is famed for his limited-edition animal sculptures, distinguished by their life-size proportions and polygonal form. With his artworks featured across major destinations in Dubai, including DIFC and the Palm Jumeriah, the artist is becoming a household name in the UAE’s art scene.

Farah Malhas’ art studio containing all her work was completely destroyed during the recent Beirut explosion. Despite the tragedy, she has picked up her utensils, created new work and is ready to showcase her mixed media art at this year’s World Art Dubai.

Japan Promotion will be showcasing artworks from various Japanese artists under its project Japan Tide. Featured styles include Japanese calligraphy, Sumi-e (Japanese ink painting), Japanese painting and woodcarving, cloisonné and Muntin art using exquisite traditional technique, in addition to contemporary arts.

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‘Creativity Unmasked’ wall will be dedicated to show how artists turned inward for inspiration during the global pandemic. Image Credit: Supplied

Competitions across the board

Ten shortlisted emerging artists stand the chance to win exhibition space at World Art Dubai 2021 and Rove Hotels’ properties. The prize, which received over 500 entries from all over the GCC, will be judged by World Art Dubai curator, Petra Kaltenbach; Emerging Scene founder, Rebia Naim; and the Rove Hotels team.

Visitors, meanwhile, can have their apparel, shoes and bags customised by Craftology. Multidisciplinary artist Ella Elenzano Orencillo, known for use of pop-surrealism and vivid colours will lead the activation. Additionally, selected artists will present their artworks on a runway during the event, while Petra Kaltenbach, in collaboration with the German embassy, will host a runway walk with models wearing her art printed on clothing.