Lobi Lobi exhibition at Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi
The 'Lobi Lobi' exhibition by internationally-renowned contemporary artist Pascale Marthine Tayou is split into four sections Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: What do consumerism, dreams of the future and satirical cartoons have in common?

They are the themes of three new art exhibits that opened at the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

The main exhibition is ‘Lobi Lobi’ by internationally-renowned contemporary artist Pascale Marthine Tayou. The works are named after a poem by Tayou, who is from Cameroon. The exhibition highlights the paradoxes of consumer and material culture through sculptures, mixed media, installations, poetry and photography.

Lobi Lobi is divided into four sections.

The ‘Margin to the Centre’ explores Tayou’s artistic process to reconfigure everyday objects into testaments of our environmental damage and global histories. Through a tornado of colourful aluminium pieces, the artist invites a sense of both amusement and loss.

‘Power Vessels’ showcases the artist’s contemporary crystal sculptures, which reinterpret west-central African sculptural figures.

‘Fantasia Urbaine’ demonstrates Tayou’s take on the spiritual meaning of continuity and healing, leading to new interpretations of community nature and the environment. This section also features a video installation of the artist’s Fantasia Urbaine, a parade he organised in 2007 to celebrate Cameroon’s street vendors.

‘Playing Field’ highlights a collection of chalk paintings inspired by traditional West African prints. As a communication tool in the classroom, these works also symbolise the fragility of knowledge as they reveal the colonial history of education in Cameroon.

‘Bobo Land’

A separate exhibition, also by Tayou, is titled ‘Bobo Land’. It presents the works of the artist for young children, through a series of interactive works and a variety of activities. Young visitors and their families can explore the exhibition through the eyes of Bobo, a child character of who dreams, explores and innovates for his future.

These exhibitions are curated by Maisa Al Qasimi, Noor Al Aehairbi and Reem Al Hashmi, who are members of the Culture Sector at Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi.

An artist talk with Tayou today will kick off a public programme of workshops and events relating to the exhibitions, further details of which will be announced at a later date.

Cultural Foundation is open Saturday to Thursday from 9am to 8pm, and on Fridays from 2pm to 8 pm.

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Comic Craze

The third exhibition, called ‘Comic Craze Vol. 3’ celebrates the history of Arabic comics and Japanese anime.

Comic Craze exhibition at Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi
An artwork at Comic Craze Image Credit: Supplied

The exhibition sheds light the evolution in style and content of Arabic comics and satirical cartoons from the 1800s to the present day. Featuring the creations of 49 UAE-based artists,visitors can explore creative illustration and animation ranging from historical comic magazines to popular Japanese anime productions that were dubbed into Arabic in the 1980s.

Visitors will get the chance to meet new characters and protagonists inspired by modern local culture. Comic Craze also includes interactive elements such as screens broadcasting nostalgic cartoon theme songs, character figurines, and a photo booth equipped with comic props.

The exhibition is curated by members of the Culture Sector at DCT Abu Dhabi - Sumayya Al Suwaidi and assistant curator Aisha Al Aseeri.

Reem Fadda, Director, Cultural Foundation, said: “As Cultural Foundation continues to harness the power of art to bring cultures and communities together, our latest must-see exhibitions offer audiences the chance to explore contemporary cultural expression and embrace diverse perspectives and artistic outlooks. Lobi Lobi and Bobo Land represent deep explorations of dreams and confront challenges between the past, present and future, in ways that engage audiences of all ages, while Comic Craze celebrates illustrated treasures and pop culture icons which are rooted in the collective memory of generations.”