E-Issue 07 –– AUH
Winter 2023-24

January 29th, 2024

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in Abu Dhabi/Dubai
  3. Cover Interview: Shaikha Al Ketbi on Darawan
  4. Rapport: Public Art in the Gulf and a Case Study of Manar Abu Dhabi
  5. Hashel Al Lamki’s Survey Exhibition Maqam Reflects on a Decade of Practice in Abu Dhabi
  6. “You Can’t Stand on a Movement”: Michelangelo Pistoletto Interviews Benton Interviewing Pistoletto

Winter/Spring 2024

Curators Interview May 14, 2024
AUH Embracing Change through an Open System: Maya Allison and Duygu Demir on “In Real Time” at NYUAD Art Gallery

About ––

    What We Do
    Editorial Board

Interviews ––

    Selected Archive

Open Call ––

    E-08 Seoul

Newsletter ––

Chronological Archive ––

    Selected Archive

Artist Interview November 18th, 2016
AUH Raed Yassin in Abu Dhabi

Editorial March 1st, 2018
AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas

Exhibition Listing May 22nd, 2018
DXB Christopher Benton: If We Don't Reclaim Our History, The Sand Will

Artist Interview June 15th, 2018
TYO An Interview with BIEN, a Rising Japanese Artist

Artist Interview July 17th, 2018
TYO Rintaro Fuse on Selfies and Cave Painting

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

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
PAR Hottest Spices: Michèle Lamy

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

Fall/Winter 2020-21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exhibition Review
November 23rd, 2020

AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421

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

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

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

🎙️GAD Talk Series –– Season 1 2020

November 1st, 2020
1. What is Global Art Daily? 2015 to Now

November 16th, 2020
2. Where is Global Art Daily? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

November 29th, 2020
3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover

December 20th, 2020
4. Young Curators in Tokyo: The Making of The 5th Floor

January 27th, 2021
5. How To Create Digital Networks in The Art World?

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

Spring/Summer 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fall/Winter 2021-22

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

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

Curator Interview October 15th, 2021
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation

Exhibition Review October 16th, 2021
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421

Exhibition Review February 11th, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

Spring/Summer 2022

Curator Interview March 21st, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fall/Winter 2022-23

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exhibition Review February 9th, 2023
DXB Augustine Paredes Builds His Paradise Home at Gulf Photo Plus

Artist Interview February 22nd, 2023
DXB Persia Beheshti Shares Thoughts on Virtual Worlds and the State of Video Art in Dubai Ahead of Her Screening at Bayt Al Mamzar

E-Issue 06 –– DXB/SHJ
Spring 2023

April 12th, 2023

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Jumairy
  4. Rapport: Art Dubai 2023
  5. Highlights from Sharjah Biennial 15
  6. Is Time Just an Illusion? A Review of "Notations on Time" at Ishara Art Foundation
  7. Saif Mhaisen and His Community at Bayt AlMamzar

DXB Christopher Joshua Benton to Debut Mubeen, City as Archive at The Third Line Shop in Collaboration with Global Art Daily

🔍 Legal

2015-24 Copyright Global Art Daily. All Rights Reserved.


Tatsuya Tanaka at Dubai Expo 2020 Japan Pavilion

By Sophie Arni

Published on February 11, 2022

        With over 10 million visitors, Dubai Expo 2020 is the talk of the town. On view until March 31st, this month marks your last chance to visit this spectacular event. Invited to visit the Japan Pavilion, I was very excited to discover the ways Japan represented itself ahead of the next Osaka Expo in 2025.

1. Japan Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020. Supplied image, courtesy of Japan Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020.

For the past 170 years, the Expo is one of the world’s major international events, held every five years in a new city. Dubai Expo 2020 marks the first Expo ever held in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, a historical moment for this region often dubbed as part of the Global South. Delayed by a year because of the pandemic, Dubai Expo opened its doors in a majestically large location 30-minutes drive from downtown Dubai. Pavilion after pavilion have been designed to reflect their respective countries’ materials, shapes, or thematics - often in postmodern style. Glass and metal materials have been preferred, perhaps because of environmental and weather concerns, which added to the “Dubai-ness” of the whole affair. Inside each pavilion, immersive digital installations have been the preferred mode of expression to showcase cultural insights, histories, as well as future technological developments of each participating country. While the UK dedicated their pavilion to Artificial Intelligence technology, Pakistan chose a vibrant rainbow of colors for its impressive pavilion architecture, to symbolize amongst others the richness of its craftsmanship - with a dedicated bazaar on-site - and a plethora of street food cultures. Arguably the most popular pavilion after the UAE host pavilion, has been Saudi Arabia’s. Standing taller than most, the striking slanted structure was designed in cooperation with Boris Micka Associates, with an architecture fusing digital technology and receiving the LEED Platinum Certification - the highest internationally-recognized sustainability rating.

In this maze of Opportunity, Mobility, and other positively-worded Expo Sections, the Japan Pavilion stands out for its glass-studded architecture. Distinctively Japanese, the structure boasts a water garden in front of it. The architecture was designed by Yuko Nagayama, in cooperation with NTT Facilities, with heavy use of glass (produced, manufactured, and imported from Japan).  The design refers to a “three-dimensional expression with Japanese Origami shapes,” as the architect recounted to Arab News Japan. Nagayama explained the triangular shapes were also inspired by Egyptian pyramids, that she called “the ultimate form of geometry” and a nod to the broader MENA region.

Under the theme of “Where ideas meet”, the Japan Pavilion is meant to be an immersive, digital-first experience to acquaint visitors with the rich history of Japan from the Jōmon period to current era, passing through the Edo and Meiji periods. More importantly, I felt a certain sense of futurism linked with the specific narrative of the Pavilion’s audiovisual experience. Perhaps quite removed from the daily realities of Japanese daily life - especially Japan under coronavirus scare and closed borders - the narrative focused on diversity of thought and people coming together in unison. 

2. Japan Pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020, digital immersive experiences, scene 1-4. Supplied images, courtesy of Japan Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020.

While Tokyo, Osaka, and other major cities are very fast-paced, Japanese culture is also rooted in its slow motion and ability to focus on one thing at a time. This attention to detail is best exemplified by Tanaka Tatusya (b. 1981, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan), the chosen visual artist to represent Japan to Dubai’s eager public. Tatsuya’s installation is made of 128 displays of miniatures which were personally and individually assembled for the events. Categorized in 4 themes - Space, City, Sea and Land, the miniatures showcase elements of Japanese life and many scenes featuring palm trees and swimming pools - perhaps a nod from the artist to his visions of Dubai. Tatsuya’s tongue-in-cheek miniatures are tiny, cute, and makes visitors smile, combining common objects with an immense library of tiny figurines. The result is scenes that are relatable to a wide audience, from all ages.

3. Tanaka Tatsuya, installation view at Japan Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020. Mitate artist, Innovation Room. Image courtesy of Japan Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020.

Tatsuya, whose background as an Art Director as a design firm informs his rich sense of color and detail, began creating his Miniature Calendar in 2011 and has since gained a lot of visibility in both the art world and popular media. Very active on Instagram with 3.1 million followers, he is known as the first “miniature” photographer, shooting one “miniature” photograph a day for more than 10 years. His traveling exhibition “Miniature Life Exhibition: Tatsuya Tanaka’s World of Resemblance” has attracted over 1,600,000 visitors in Japan in August 2021.

4. Tanaka Tatsuya, installation view at Japan Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020. Mitate artist, Innovation Room. Image courtesy of Japan Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020.

While the artist choice of Tatsuya made the installation very accessible to a wide audience, especially those not unfamiliar with more conceptual art exhibitions, my curatorial inclinations would have liked to see the inclusion of other digital-first Japanese artists from a younger generation. I can think of Heijiro Yagi, a brilliant graphic designer and student of Tokyo University of the Arts, who could have produced incredible abstract calligraphy models with CGI technology, or Rintaro Fuse who curated an exhibition of silence and digitalization in an abandoned shipyard at Creative Center Osaka. While these younger artists may not have the notoriety of Tatsuya, his appealing sense of humor, nor the experience of exhibiting to large international audiences, it would have been interesting to see ways they would bridge Dubai to Osaka as a site for the next Expo iteration – while also bringing home the theme of diversity of thought running throughout the entire Pavilion. Tatsuya’s choice was a very intelligent one and responded directly to the Expo’s visitors demands and expectations, yet I wonder how a group exhibition would have complemented the “Where ideas meet” theme.

Tatsuya’s choice was a very intelligent one and responded directly to the Expo’s visitors demands and expectations, yet I wonder how a group exhibition would have complemented the “Where ideas meet” theme.

The pavilion ended with a presentation room about the next 2025 Osaka Expo. Showcasing the many economic and natural resources of Osaka’s Kansai region, the room marked a fresh break from the digital immersive experience and gave visitors insights into the next Expo to come.

I understand that the pandemic has made logistical installation very difficult, and I applaud Japan Pavilion for their efforts to create an incredibly rich glimpse into Japanese culture. The tour guides - flown in from Japan and staying months at a time on-site at Dubai Expo - made the digital experience feel humanized and participatory, which is quite a challenge in the middle of social distancing measures.

The Japanese cultural experience is one that is deeply intuitive, rooted in the unsaid and unspoken feeling that a certain object or encounter can produce. This sense was very much alive at the Pavilion thanks to its digital activations, soundscapes, and Tatsuya’s miniatures. I certainly look forward to visiting the host Japan Pavilion at Osaka Expo in three short years.

5. Scene 6, Japan Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020. Image courtesy of Japan Pavilion Dubai Expo 2020.

Learn more about the Japan Pavilion.
Visit Dubai Expo.

Sophie Arni is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Global Art Daily. Also an independent curator, her research interests lie in the history of cultural exchanges between the Arabian Gulf and Japan. She graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi with a BA in Art History and a MPhil in Curatorial Studies from Tokyo University of the Arts.

Published by:


A Global Art Daily Agency FZ-LLC subdivision.
Copyright, 2015-2023.
For reproduction, please contact us.