Organised through a cultural partnership with Art D’Égypte, the exhibition was part of the 18th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival, held earlier this year under the slogan "The Future Starts Now." The festival continues to support many creative projects throughout the year.
The exhibition ran from 21 October – 17 November and showcased the ways in which ancient Egypt has inspired artists throughout history and united art, history, and heritage. It represented a coming together of ancient heritage and contemporary art at the site of the oldest and last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Featuring contemporary artworks from the region and the world, including works by the great Egyptian sculptor Adam Henein, the Forever Is Now exhibition was curated by the internationally renowned Simon Watson.
HE Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, founder and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, praised the efforts of Art D’Egypt founder Nadine Abdel Ghaffar and her team.
“Forever Is Now is part of a new dawn for Arab artists and an invitation for international audiences to experience a growing movement. My gratitude goes to Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, the curators and the entire Art D’Egypt team for accomplishing an incredible exhibition. In our ongoing mission to advocate for and develop international opportunities for all Arab artists, Abu Dhabi Festival strives to make their work and our culture accessible to all.”
Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, Founder of Art D’Égypte, said: “The great success of this project is due to the support of our partners and sponsors, including our cultural partner Abu Dhabi Festival, a beacon lighting the way towards reviving the entire cultural sector.”
The participating artists included Russian artist Alexander Ponomarev, Brazilian artist João Trevisan, French Artist JR, Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn, Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr, Egyptian born and Los Angeles-based artist Sherin Guirguis, British artists Shuster + Moseley and Stephen Cox RA, and Saudi artist HRH Prince Sultan Bin Fahad.
Art D’Égypte also unveiled the creative work of visual artist and architect Karim El Hayawan, along with music by Mohamed Nawara and vocals by soprano Fatma Said. Furthermore, the art documentary payed tribute to 14 contemporary Egyptian artists of the past and present.
Art D’Égypte also introduced a parallel project; the world’s first ultra-realistic humanoid robot, which can draw, paint, sculpt and engage in performance art. The mechatronics and robotics involved in the making of Ai-Da’s drawing arm is designed and programmed by two Egyptian engineers at the University of Leeds, Salah EL Abd and Ziad Abbas. The robot’s artworks were also present at the exhibition.
The 18th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival is supported by its lead partner Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) and energy partner GS Energy.
The Abu Dhabi Festival is considered one of the most prominent cultural and arts events in the world, and the most prominent event in the region for its contribution to enriching the cultural vision of Abu Dhabi and consolidating its position as a leading cultural destination and a global capital of culture and arts.
In collaboration with over 35 international strategic partners, the festival annually hosts more than 100 events including premieres of Emirati, Arab, and international works, and exclusive commissions, that are distributed between its main agenda, educational and community programmes in the UAE, and across the world.