Ahram Online takes a tour of exhibition openings in Dubai's art-rich industrial district of Al-Quoz on Monday night
Coordinated openings of new exhibitions in over 40 galleries at Dubai art centres in Al-Quoz and DIFC Gate Village took place on Monday night.
The galleries showcased diverse works tackling prejudice and stereotypes in contemporary Arab society, Islamic architecture, as well as works reflecting on the January 25 Revolution.
Galleries Night was a prelude to the annual Art Dubai fair, which runs from 20 to 23 March.
The emirate, a growing art centre in the Middle East, is hosting 75 galleries from 30 countries and more than 500 artists.
Distinctive openings on 18 March included an African showcase of contemporary art held at The Mojo Gallery, featuring works by Egyptian artist Mohamed Aboulnaga.
Iranian artists had a strong presence at the event. Two of the most bustling shows were the nine-year compilation of mirror mosaics by Monir Farman Farmaian held at The Third Line Gallery, and a multi-media solo exhibition by Reza Derakshani at the Salsali Private Museum.
In an exhibition called Defaced at the Etemad Gallery, Shohreh Mehran displayed a collection of skilfully painted pieces depicting men and women covering their faces with their hands, the universally recognisable gesture for shame or guilt associated with criminal offenses.
Tackling themes of double-standards and stereotypes in contemporary Arab society, Shurooq Amin showcased a series of vibrant paintings and mixed media works at Ayyam Gallery entitled Popconographic.
Another strong project was Symphony by Iraqi artist Adel Abidin, made up of installations housed by the Lawrie Shabibi Gallery that poignantly pay homage to the mass stoning to death of 'emo'-looking students by radicals in Baghdad.
Ahram Online will be your gateway to Art Dubai, so stay tuned for more coverage from the global art fair.
text and photos by Sara Elkamel, from Dubai