E-Issue 05 –– VCE
Fall 2022

September 5th, 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


Artist Interview January 19th, 2023
NYC Reflecting on Her Southwestern Chinese Bai Roots, Peishan Huang Captures Human Traces on Objects and Spaces

Artist Interview January 8th, 2023 
TYO Shu Yonezawa and the Art of Animation

Artist Interview December 9th, 2022
DXB Navjot Altaf Unpacks Eco-Feminism and Post-Pandemic Reality at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition December 2nd, 2022
TYO Wetland Lab Proposes Sustainable Cement Alternative in Tokyo

Exhibition November 11th, 2022
TYO
“Atami Blues” Brings Together UAE-Based and Japanese Artists in HOTEL ACAO ANNEX



E-Issue 04 –– IST 
Spring 2022

March 15th, 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


Curator Interview July 9th, 2022
IST Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS

Market Interview June 28th, 2022
HK 
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe

Exhibition June 27th, 2022
UAE
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks

Exhibition June 21st, 2022
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis

Artist Interview June 13th, 2022
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation

Artist Interview May 13th, 2022
DXB 
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Exhibition May 6th, 2022
IST
 Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”

Exhibition April 23rd, 2022
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall

Market Interview March 28th, 2022
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models

Curator Interview March 21st, 2022

E-Issue 03 –– TYO 
Fall 2021

October 1st, 2022



  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


Exhibition Review March 14th, 2022
DXB Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?

Exhibition March 11th, 2022
DXB Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022

Artist Interview March 10th, 2022
DXB Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022

Artist Interview February 26th, 2022
TYO Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project

Exhibition Review February 11th, 2022
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421
Curator Interview October 15th, 2021
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation

Exhibition October 7th, 2021
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity

Market Interview October 6th, 2021
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance

Exhibition October 5th, 2021
DXB
Engage101 Presents “Connected, Collected” at Sotheby’s Dubai

E-Issue 02 –– NYC 
Spring 2021

February 21st, 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


Exhibition Review August 9th, 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections

Artist Interview June 30th, 2021
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka

Exhibiton Review June 20th, 2021
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421

Exhibition June 11th, 2021
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor

Market Interview May 26th, 2021
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age

Curator Interview May 20th, 2021
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre

Artist Interview May 11th, 2021
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity

Exhibition May 9th, 2021
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London

Artist Interview April 28th, 2021
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited

Exhibition Review April 27th, 2021
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel

Artist Interview April 26th, 2021
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto

Exhibition April 16th, 2021
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy

Exhibition Review April 5th, 2021
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes

Exhibition Review April 1st, 2021
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows

Exhibition March 28th, 2021
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks 

Curator Interview March 21st, 2021
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition Review March 7th, 2021
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421

Exhibition Review March 3rd, 2021
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB
Summer 2020 

August 1st, 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


Exhibition Review February 21st, 2021
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists    

Curator Interview January 25th, 2021
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists

Exhibition Review December 9th, 2020
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer

Exhibition Review
November 23rd, 2020


AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 

Exhibition Review November 21st, 2020
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue

Exhibition Review November 19th, 2020
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020

Exhibition Review November 16th, 2021
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye

Exhibition Review November 13th, 2020
DXB
Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre

Book Review October 28th, 2020
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus

Exhibition Review October 22nd, 2020
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE

Exhibition October 22nd, 2020
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ

Exhibition Review October 19th, 2020
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?

Market Interview October 14th, 2021
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers

Artist Interview September 27th, 2020
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh

Exhibition Review September 24th, 2020
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React


Curator Interview September 14th, 2020
UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community

Artist Interview September 10th, 2020
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia

Artist Interview September 7th, 2020
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear

Market Interview September 4th, 2020
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’

Exhibition September 1st, 2020
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi

Market Interview August 28th, 2020
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting

Artist Interview August 26th, 2020
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations

Artist Interview August 24th, 2020
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space

Artist Interview August 23rd, 2020
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism

Map August 16th, 2020
BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

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Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
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Artist Interview August 28th, 2018
   BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”

Editorial March 1st, 2018
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Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism


Interview by Sophie Arni

Published on August 23, 2020

        I first discovered necklaces and rings by Omani designer Hanan Sultan on Instagram and was immediately drawn to their minimal shape and play on texture. The pieces from her most recent collection bring out raw and natural material with subtlety and elegance. When I learned that they were made of Hojari Frankincense –– sourced directly from Oman –– my curiosity sparked. Based between Muscat, Dubai, and London, Sultan is a young designer who blurs the line between fashion, art, and jewelry. She is globally-minded, and it shows in her pieces. She has also developed close links to the United Arab Emirates, making her a perfect addition to our E-Issue 01 AUH/DXB ++ features.

Sultan decided to explore frankincense in jewelry for “its historic and contemporary characteristic similarities to gold.” In Omani culture, frankincense is a commodity given to a bride at her wedding by her groom. As she describes it, “frankincense is a type of resin that is usually used in incense and scents,” burning at weddings “as a sign of the emerging of two souls.” Her Hojari Frankincense pieces are thus not only aesthetically stunning and culturally significant, but they carry a divine smell too. “The body’s natural emittance of heat will help the scent of the frankincense to spread from the skin into the air,” Sultan explains.

Having just presented her 2020 Graduate Collection at Central Saint Martins, Sultan shared with us her work philosophy, her personal connection to frankincense, and her dream collaborations. This interview is meant for you to discover her work and help support the launch of her promising career. 

1. Hanan Sultan, Signet Rings in Hojari Frankincense (2020). Copyright Hanan Sultan. Courtesy of Hanan Sultan. Photo: Mona Haidar. 


Sophie Arni: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your connections to Muscat, Dubai, and London?

Hanan Sultan: I am a 22-year-old Omani that was born and brought up in Muscat, Oman, and have studied in Muscat, New York, and London. Most recently, I graduated from Central Saint Martins with a B.A. in Jewellery Design. I spent a lot of my childhood traveling to Dubai and London as I always had big dreams of living and starting my career in these two major cities. I am thankful to say that I have been living in London for the past four years and have spent the last two summers working internships in Dubai where I plan to be based after moving from London.


2. Hanan Sultan, Kumma Crown (2020). Montage proposed with 18ct gold plated silver, Hojari Frankincense and food colour. Copyright Hanan Sultan. Courtesy of Hanan Sultan. Photo: Abeer Sultan.


S.A.: Your UAL biography says that you “love both fine arts and fashion and find that jewelry is the perfect middle ground between the two.” Could you elaborate on how jewelry brings in both passion for fine arts and fashion?

H.S.: Jewelry incorporates different aspects of my passion for fine arts and fashion. At a surface-level, jewelry is part of fashion, it is universally used as an adornment to the body alongside garments and other accessories. However, on a deeper level, jewelry like other forms of art, is an object that carries meaning, history, value, and journey. Jewelry does not only consider the journey of the wearer, but it also considers that of the designer, the maker, and the manifestation journey of the object itself. Fine arts and fashion have both been forms of personal expression to me. I started noticing how people express themselves using fashion at a very young age and was allowed to express myself through drawings and paintings. The more I looked into it, the more I realized that jewelry allows personal expression through 2D, 3D, and 4D arts and design.



The more I looked into it, the more I realized that jewelry allows personal expression through 2D, 3D, and 4D arts and design.




Jewelry can be looked at as wearable art and could be passed down through generations as heirlooms or gifts. It is a part of the designer and how they wish to pass a piece of themselves onto the next generation. My designs are very personal, experimental, and are all one of a kind. Like Jackson Pollock, an Abstract Expressionist, I initially dance with my brush and let the concept, material, and tools guide me through the journey and processes of designing and making.
3. Hanan Sultan, Hojari Frankincense Necklace I in Hojari Frankincense (2020). Silk thread and 9ct gold. Copyright Hanan Sultan. Courtesy of Hanan Sultan. Photo: Abeer Sultan. The pendant references the round shape of a coin which symbolises dowry in Omani wedding jewelry. 4. Hanan Sultan, Hojari Frankincense Necklace II in Hojari Frankincense (2020). Silk thread. Copyright Hanan Sultan. Courtesy of Hanan Sultan. Photo: Mona Haidar.


S.A.: You have incorporated Hojari Frankincense into your practice and created a collection with it. How did you first encounter this material? Do you work with it in a rough texture or find yourself often polishing?

H.S.: My first encounter with Hojari Frankincense was probably when I was really young. I don’t remember a time where I did not know what it was. Growing up as an Omani in Muscat, it was and still is everywhere. It is in our homes, malls, souqs and even in our food. It is predominantly grown in Dhofar in the South of Oman, at the famous site of The Land of Frankincense. I start by working with raw and rough Hojari Frankincense, in its natural form of extraction before fabricating it into what you can see.



Growing up as an Omani in Muscat, [Hojari Frankincense] was and still is everywhere.



S.A.: Your Kumma Headpiece has links to the dowry marriage traditions in Oman. Could you tell us about how this reference relates to your concept of “Neo Traditionalism”?

H.S.: My collection communicates, explores, and challenges marriage traditions in Omani culture, through different forms of jewelry. I find it extremely important to identify myself by my cultural background yet not be trapped by its traditions. This way I can keep some old, meaningful, and important traditions and make new and improved ones. According to Oxford’s definition, ‘Neo Traditional’ alludes to the revival of “traditional methods, styles, and ways of life, especially while incorporating contemporary elements or influences.”



I find it extremely important to identify myself by my cultural background yet not be trapped by its traditions.




Wanting to create a piece touching on the idea of equality in marriage, I designed a crown that resembles an already established accessory used for men. My crown version of the Kumma is created for women as a female version of a Kumma to be gifted to a bride on their wedding day as a commitment of having equality within their marriage, breaking away from the gender roles of our societies. When presented as part of the dowry, it is presented for its symbolic means rather than its materialistic values in forms of traditional jewelry. I have recreated the tradition of giving a dowry by rejuvenating its real purpose by creating an already existing accessory alongside the contemporary use of the traditional material.

S.A.: Which occasions would be appropriate to wear your jewelry?

H.S.: Different pieces would be appropriate for different occasions. Some, like the Kumma Crown, are made for brides to wear on their wedding day, most appropriately at ‘the Arabic/Omani Wedding’. Other more subtle pieces such as the Signet Rings in Hojari Frankincense could be worn on a daily basis.

S.A.: What other artist or designer would you dream of collaborating with, and who would be your dream customer?

H.S.: I dream of collaborating with Annamaria Cammilli, Elsa Peretti, and Paloma Picasso. My dream customers would have to be Ahlam Al Shamsi, Balqees Fathi, and Kim Kardashian West.