Inaugural edition: Grounding Light

Inaugural edition: Grounding Light

Manar Abu Dhabi

October 27, 2023
Inaugural edition: Grounding Light
Light art in Abu Dhabi
November 15, 2023–January 30, 2024

From November 15, 2023 to January 30, 2024, Manar Abu Dhabi—a Public Art Abu Dhabi initiative—will transform the city’s natural vistas with a series of mesmerising light art exhibitions.

Under the theme “Grounding Light”, the exhibition will showcase over 35 new site-specific commissions and light sculptures, projections and immersive artworks by artists including Alaa Edris, Carsten Höller, Groupe F, Mohammed Kazem, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Samia Halaby, teamLab and more.

Manar Abu Dhabi will extend across the city through key locations including Lulu Island, Corniche Road, Samaliayah Island, Fahid Island, Jubail mangroves, Saadiyat Island, and the Eastern mangroves.

Manar Abu Dhabi is set to illuminate the archipelagos and mangroves of the UAE capital from November 15, 2023 to January 30, 2024, with an exhibition of new commissions and site-specific light sculptures, projections, and immersive artworks by local and international artists.

A key pillar of the Public Art Abu Dhabi initiative, announced by the Department of Culture and Tourism—Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) earlier this year, Manar (the Arabic word for “lighthouse”) will offer residents and visitors opportunities to engage with stunning artworks and experience the transformative power of light.

Held under the theme Grounding Light, the inaugural edition of Manar Abu Dhabi is co-curated by Reem Fadda, Director of Abu Dhabi Culture Programming and Cultural Foundation and Artistic Director of Public Art Abu Dhabi, and Alia Zaal Lootah. Offering an immersive, multi-sensory experience which celebrates the emirate’s natural beauty, the exhibition will invite audiences to see Abu Dhabi’s coastal areas in a new light.

The artworks will be displayed across several key locations throughout Abu Dhabi, including Lulu, Saadiyat, Jubail, Al Samaliyah and Fahid islands, and other coastal areas such as Corniche Road, and the Eastern mangroves. Visitors will embark on a 2.3-kilometre art journey through Al Samaliyah, witness a Saadiyat Cultural District museum-inspired drone show on Saadiyat, and explore mesmerising displays on Lulu.

Over 35 site-specific artworks by local and international artists have been commissioned for Manar Abu Dhabi, spanning a diverse array of mediums including light projections, sculptures, installations, and performances. Hailing from Argentina, Germany, France, Japan, India, Mexico, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and USA, artists include Ahmed Al Areef Al Dhaheri, Alaa Edris, Asma Belhamar, Ayesha Hadhir, Ayman Zedani, Carsten Höller, Groupe F, Jim Denevan, Jumairy, Latifa Saeed, Rain Wu, Luciana Abait, Mohammed Kazem, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Nujoom Alghanem, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Samia Halaby, Shaikha Alketbi, Shezad Dawood, Shilpa Gupta, Rawdha Al Ketbi and teamLab.

A robust public programme of talks, workshops, and art performances will take place throughout Manar Abu Dhabi’s duration.

Manar Abu Dhabi is part of Public Art Abu Dhabi’s ongoing commitment to commissioning public art for the emirate; two other major long-term elements include the Public Art Abu Dhabi Biennial, launching in November 2024, and artist commissions. Since its launch in March 2023, Public Art Abu Dhabi has continued to bolster DCT Abu Dhabi’s longstanding efforts in enhancing spaces of historical, aesthetic, architectural, social, scientific, and technological value, paying homage to the vibrant cultural legacy of the city while looking to the future.

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Manar Abu Dhabi
October 27, 2023

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