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Watch MTV Video Music Award-winning director Levan Tsikurishvili’s capture of four artists from the UAE collaborating with international peers in a fascinating series of culture, style and discovery.
Artwork Title: True Essence
Artists: DALeast and Lamya Al Shamsi
Description: An introspective piece about identity; how others see you and how you see yourself. The artwork is a combination of two pieces to make it whole; an ‘outer person’ and an ‘inner person’. The ‘outer person’ is a metaphorical mask that you wear for others; it’s missing a heart. This half appears to be in a state of transformation but yet present in a certain state, which is a reflection of each human being. The ‘inner person’ is the skeleton with a heart which signifies that the true essence of each person is hidden deep within.
The artists’ intention for this piece was that when people interact with the art, they become one with the piece and it inspires them to reflect on themselves.
Artwork Title: Harmonious Contradiction
Artists: Nada Elkalaawy and Rami Afifi
Description: The idea began as a tiny seed with a sketch that was exchanged back and forth between the artists. Each time the sketch came back to them, they added their own artistic interpretation to it by building on each other’s distinct style. Nada’s style is sentimental whereas Rami’s style is spontaneous and experimental.
The completed piece of work takes a deeper look at the past and how it influences who we become in the future. By applying two very distinct and dissimilar styles fused together the piece gradually grows into something synergetic. By embracing experimentation, each of the artists’ style captures the charm of their childhood rooted in Alexandria, as well as the more modern disruptive behaviour of millennials. The more the artists shared about themselves and their creative beliefs, the more they found out about each other which in turn came to life through the piece. The similarities between their cultures, despite the stark difference in their styles; graffiti and fine art, made the final piece a beautiful symphony.
Artwork Title: Rooted in Synergy
Artists: Saad and Sumayyah Al Suwaidi
Description: Together we can create a world of harmony, like the tree rooted so deeply that no matter how strong the wind blows it stands strong.
The two artists are very unique individuals with different personalities and beliefs, and yet worked together seamlessly. Saad uses a phenomenal technique to recycle and upcycle items that are discarded and Sumayyah looks to the future by utilising digital art as a form of expression. The fierce use of engineering tools in one medium versus the methodical technology in another, resulted in one piece connected by the branched-out roots of a tree. This art piece is the result of a perfect collaboration between Sumayyah's feminine flair and Saad’s masculine energy, to create a synergetic masterpiece.
The artwork represents how we can grow, blossom and thrive when we support each other.
Artwork Title: Free Spirit
Artists: Fatimah Al Nemer and Rama Duwaji
Description: An embodiment of confidence, strength and individualism, the artwork reflects Fatimah’s and Rama’s passion to empower women all over the world. From one perspective Fatimah has moved away from traditional conventions of society which she proudly represents, to make a bold statement based on her past, by using her own face on her artwork. Her intension in doing so is to challenge the perceptions society has of women, while still celebrating its proud cultural heritage and values.
In conjunction, Rama’s work portrays the beauty standards of women that don’t follow what the media represents it to be. Rama’s art is a more realistic representation of what girls and women look like. It lets women know that it’s ok to stay true to who they are and feel comfortable in their own skin. The jasmine flowers in the piece, significant to both their countries, represent love and peace.
Fused together ‘Free Spirit’ is a true representation of female endeavour and actively encourages the female empowerment movement to express and be proud of who you are and what you stand for, creating an empowering and equally liberating debate for society.