His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) inaugurated the SIKKA Art Fair, an artist-led fair of fully commissioned works Dubai Culture at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai.
SIKKA hosts an impressive line-up of 50 Emirati and UAE-based artists, in addition to three collectives and two arts initiatives, and will be held until March 24, 2015. SIKKA also takes art to the public through city-wide programmes such as visual arts projects, music, live performances, video art and workshops. Entrance to SIKKA is free to the public.
HE Abdul Rahman Al Owais was accompanied by HE Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, renowned Emirati author; HE Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture; Dr Salah Al Qassim, Advisor to Dubai Culture; HE Dherar Belhoul, Director General of Watani; HE Bilal Al Bidour, Chairman of the Arabic Language Protection Society; HE Rashad Bukhash and HE Dr Mona Al Bahar, Members of the Federal National Council; and HE Ahmad Al Serkal, Chairman of Alserkal Group, on the tour of SIKKA. The event also marked the formal start of the second Dubai Art Season, the umbrella arts initiative by Dubai Culture that also includes Art Dubai and Design Days Dubai, among other events.
This year, SIKKA is curated by Jamal Luqman, an Emirati mixed media artist, with over two decades of experience. SIKKA features collectives by Design House, Sarah Alagroobi & Noor Jarrah, and Farah Al Amin & Nada Waleed, which explore multidisciplinary art forms including design and installations. Two landmark initiatives are also showcased at SIKKA – ‘Engaging Territories’ by Zayed University and The Animation Chamber, which celebrates Arabian folktales.
A number of workshops are being held as part of SIKKA including art workshops, calligraphy shows, poetry evenings, discussions on animation, filmmaking workshops, gypsum carving, drama workshop and box painting installation, among others. Artists-in-Residence (A.i.R) Dubai, a dedicated contemporary art programme that includes immense emphasis on visual arts, will provide open studios during SIKKA for artists to display their works.
SIKKA draws its name from the alleyways between the historic houses of Dubai, and serves as a metaphor that befits the young and upcoming artists who seek to establish their creative and professional paths through their participation in the fair. All sessions are open for the public.