📘 E-Issue 05 ––VCE Fall 2022
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

E-05++ Fall/Winter 2022-23
“Atami Blues” Brings Together UAE-Based and Japanese Artists in HOTEL ACAO ANNEX

TYO Wetland Lab Proposes Sustainable Cement Alternative in Tokyo

📒 E-Issue 04 ––IST Spring 2022
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO

E-04++ Spring/Summer 2022
Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery
 Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models
📘 E-Issue 03 –– TYO Fall 2021
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo 
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

E-03++ Fall/Winter 2021-22
Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?
Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022
Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022
 Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421
AAN The Labor of Art and the Art of Labor: Christopher Benton on His First Exhibition in Al Ain
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance
Engage101 Presents “Connected, Collected” at Sotheby’s Dubai

📕 E-Issue 02
NYC Spring 2021
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City 
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

E-02++ Spring/Summer 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks 
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

📙 E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB Summer 2020 
  1. Editor’s Note 
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai 
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

E-01++ Fall/Winter 2020-21
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists    
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer
AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye
DXB Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism
BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

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🎙️ GAD Talk Series –– Season 1 2020
   1. What is GAD? 2015 to Now

    2. Where is GAD? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

    3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover
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101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting

By Global Art Daily’s Editorial Board, in conversation with Munira Al Sayegh and Gaith Abdulla

Published on August 28, 2020

      This week, the UAE’s artistic community has welcomed the pivotal launch of 101, a projected game changer of the UAE’s contemporary art market. 101 is a platform for the “curious, the creative, and the collector,” as described by its co-founders Munira Al Sayegh, independent curator based in Abu Dhabi, and Gaith Abdulla, art critic based in Dubai. After a thirteen-year-long trajectory of curatorial work, critical scholarship, and art collecting, the dynamic duo launched 101 to address the gap they witnessed in the UAE’s art market while advocating for the inclusion of non-gallery represented artists. We had the opportunity to talk to Munira and Gaith and get their thoughts behind the groundbreaking launch of 101, their observations, and future goals for the platform.

1. Aliyah Al Awadhi. Still Life in Quarantine, 2020. Acrylic on canvas. 40cm x 30cm. Image courtesy of 101, Noor Al Thehli and Aliyah Al Awadhi.

101 plans to hold four sales per year, and just successfully opened its inaugural sale on August 25th. For the sale’s curated collection Outside In, Inside out, Al Sayegh and Abdulla ventured into studio visits in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai over the span of two months. As young collectors themselves, they were drawn to Aliyah Al Awadhi’s paintings of homely concealment, Afra Al Suwaidi’s storytelling with plaster and collage, Almaha Jaralla’s color palette and architectural depictions, Zuhoor Al Sayegh’s hand-woven and hand-dyed textiles, Augustine Paredesphotographs and self-published artist book, and Mohamed Khalid’s hand-drawn receipts. The sale’s premise is one of exploring boundaries, setting alongside the infrastructural and societal contrasts that exist around them. “There is a thematic correspondence that fits all of these,” Al Sayegh explains. Until September 1st, audiences across the UAE can access 101’s inaugural curated sale online and by appointment at artist-run exhibition space Bait 15, Abu Dhabi.

The project transcends studio visits. 101 is directly in touch with artists whose practice, goals, and even frustrations are a direct reflection of their current art ecosystem. The platform’s equitable resource model articulates a bottom-up approach as a response to hierarchical models prevalent in the UAE, applicable to both artmaking and art collecting. As Al Sayegh explains, “We can coexist in a way that is actually very strong. The UAE’s art infrastructure is still growing and solidifying itself, therefore there are still gaps that you can clearly target.”

2. Afra Al Suwaidi. Her, 2020.  Plaster, nails, hair, toys. 21cm x 21 cm, 24cm x 24 cm, 18cm x 18 cm, 24cm x 24 cm, 7cm x 7cm. Image courtesy of 101, Noor Al Thehli and Afra Al Suwaidi. 

In just over three days, 101’s impact is tangible: a sizable fraction of the artworks are sold and some of the most established voices of the country’s cultural industries are amplifying the message of the grassroots enterprise. “We are trying to debunk the exclusivity of what contemporary art and art-buying insinuate. That’s something that is extremely important for us,” Al Sayegh adds.

“We are trying to debunk the exclusivity of what contemporary art and art-buying insinuate.”

- Munira Al Sayegh

101 guides any curious person to become an ethical collector by supporting independent artists with the resources to attain mobility.  Al Sayegh and Abdulla critically question the role of the collector in its “social, political, and historical dimensions.” Aware of how gallery representation can transform artists’ careers, 101 invests in relationships. The selling platform aims to connect and mentor potential collectors with artists who, rather than gallery representation, first require a stronger supporter base. 101’s founders treasure the engagement that can flourish when collectors are informed and immersed in the artists’ works. As Al Sayegh boldly notes, “Gaith and I came up with 101 as a bridge that allows people to establish themselves as collectors. And with that, artists need that type of financial support to establish themselves. We are that mid-space.”

Munira Al Sayegh and Gaith Abdulla, Founders of 101. Images courtesy of 101.

As the UAE’s contemporary art scene attains maturity and increasing complexity, the 101 community is opening up a digital, physical, and intellectual space all at once. By purchasing artworks, 101’s collectors will also intellectually nourish a community thirsty for locally-incubated research. Abdulla notes that the research component is a way of “educating emerging collectors into why collecting is important, what are the different aspects of it, what collecting means.” He further adds that 101 advocates for “understanding collecting as something beyond a financial transaction of buying a piece of art.” In his opinion, the best way to do this is through “articles, essays, podcasts, content that addresses these questions. This gives a better light into understanding art, the ecosystem, and the wider surrounding of these issues in the UAE and the region.”

3. Almaha Jaralla. I/2, 2020. Acrylic on canvas. 150cm x 47cm. Image courtesy of 101, Noor Al Thehli and Almaha Jaralla.

Already available on the website, the research essays situate local art-making in a larger academic context. The first set of commissioned research pieces are authored by featured artist and writer Aliyah Al Awadhi, researcher Noora S. Al Balushi, and curator-researcher Khalid Abdulla. In Al Sayegh’s own words, “Without the research element, potential collectors would just land on a sales page. You don’t get to know the artists, you don’t get to know the background of where we are at, creatively, socially at this time. 101 is an educational platform at its core.” 

“101 is an educational platform at its core.”

- Munira Al Sayegh

Building on Al Sayegh and Abdulla’s unmatched network of local and regional artists, the groundwork initiative proves essential. They further aim to “create a network that is sufficient in and of itself, locally and regionally bred, and more connected with one another.” Al Sayegh mentions that “Things start to get interesting when tapping into the community. You get to know the art and you also get to know the narrative from a certain perspective when you are engaging with it directly and conversing about it directly. Everything around us is just flourishing. The community we’re part of is already so involved with the rest of the existing world, and we aim to reinforce that link.” 

4. Augustine Paredes. A Boy Sleeping in Hostel Beirut, 2017. Photographic print on Archival paper. 60cm x 40cm. Image courtesy of 101, Noor Al Thehli and Augustine Paredes.

Part of building community bridges is catalyzing new dialogues. 101 aims to link artists and curators, as well as people who never thought they would have anything to do with art. For that, 101 has commissioned multimedia creative Noor Al Thehli to produce artist videos in which the inaugural cohort shares about their personal trajectory, process, and expectations. In light of this, Abdulla reflects on communicating transparently between artists and the wider public. He shares that, “We lived through a special moment these past ten years of this massive social transformation, placing art at the center of our social consciousness as a state-mandated goal. [Emerging artists] are the people whose lives have changed and been shaped by these decisions. Therefore, [101] is listening to these voices, looking at this art, exploring this side of the art ecosystem that, to me, is the realist and most valuable.”

“We lived through a special moment these past ten years of this massive social transformation, placing art at the center of our social consciousness as a state-mandated goal. [Emerging artists] are the people whose lives have changed and been shaped by these decisions. Therefore, 101 is listening to these voices, looking at this art, exploring this side of the art ecosystem.”

- Gaith Abdulla

Al Sayegh expands, “we are at the cusp of a time that nobody else is going to experience ever again. There is so much going on. To a degree, the cultural scene of the UAE is surface-level. But when you arrive at the groundwork you understand the intricacies and you understand how the intricacies can sustain themselves.”

5. Mohamed Khalid. Receipts - DHL, 2020. Mixed media on paper. 10.5cm x 21cm. Image courtesy of 101, Noor Al Thehli and Mohamed Khalid.

“We are at the cusp of a time that nobody else is going to experience ever again.”

- Munira Al Sayegh

Abdulla endorses by posing that “A lot of the time, these artists’ practices go unnoticed until a little bit later on in their career. It’s interesting to allow them the space to be able to voice these ideas and issues, and questions, and their practice, at an earlier stage. It’s beneficial to them and to their practice but it’s also beneficial to a wider audience to be able to see that there is stuff bubbling under the surface.” He further adds that, “There is so much more being talked about, the discussions are more critical, more interesting. There is more bubbling under the surface with these ‘emergings’. [101] gives them a chance to vocalize these ideas to a wider public.”

“There is more bubbling under the surface with these ‘emergings’. [101] gives them a chance to vocalize these ideas to a wider public.”

-Gaith Abdulla

101 is showcasing its inaugural sale at Bait 15, following the generous offer of its co-founder Hashel Al Lamki who emptied his painting studio to house the sale. As doors like these open from within the community, 101’s founders reflect on other grassroots initiatives springing up. In Abdulla’s opinion, “The importance of grassroots is that we are catching up. We need so many more initiatives on the civil society scale to give meaning to these ideas and these statements that the top-down approach is creating. Grassroots movements are important because they add realness and sustainability to art and other fields. It’s where the truly interesting things happen, it’s where the true value lies.”

 “Grassroots movements are important because they add realness and sustainability to art and other fields. It’s where the truly interesting things happen, it’s where the true value lies.”

-Gaith Abdulla

Al Sayegh observes that “Now we are presenting ourselves as a community through Bait 15, through 101, Global Art Daily, Banat Collective. You have all of these things that are just there, happening. They are happening from the support of one another. Creatives are creating and writers are writing, it's a beautiful synergy that is taking place.”

6. Zuhoor Al Sayegh. Beit al mina, 2018. Cotton hand woven cloth, hand dyed warp. 79cm x 84cm. Image courtesy of 101, Noor Al Thehli and Zuhoor Al Sayegh. 

When asked about 101’s larger aims, Al Sayegh adds a critical consideration, and a strong vision for the future: “Whether we are looked at by the West or by the East, there is always this notion of what the Gulf region has and what it indulges in. It should no longer be romanticized, orientalized. The stereotype will be debunked when there is a solid voice. And the voice has to come in unison for it to be loud enough. Everybody has to play their part. The ripple effect that we are looking for is far-reaching.”      

The inaugural sale will be available until September 1st, 2020. Information about purchases and in-person viewings can be accessed on 101’s website. .

Visit 101’s website 
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