304 North Cardinal St.
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304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej unveils an enchanting solo exhibition, at the Mattar Bin Lahej Gallery, showcasing unique sculptures and innovative artworks that beautifully celebrate classical Arabic calligraphy. Tawthiq exhibition is a prominent part of the inaugural Dubai Calligraphy Biennale, an event organised by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. Running until October 31, the biennale features a total of 19 distinctive art exhibitions, over 150 enriching workshops, and more than 25 engaging talks, all dispersed across more than 35 diverse locations throughout Dubai.
The exhibition titled ‘Tawthiq: Manifestation of Creative Contemplation’ features 21 distinctive works that showcase Mattar Bin Lahej’s creativity and versatile techniques. His mural series demonstrates his mastery of Thuluth script, showing the vitality and adaptability of Arabic letters while exploring the human connection to natural elements like water, soil, fire, metal, wood, and air. Within the collection, he also presents a series of sculptures that reflect his deep affection for the Arabic language, seen in pieces like ‘Al Dorror,’ inspired by ancient astronomy, a sculpture dedicated to the UAE’s national anthem using the Mattar Font, and ‘Maqamat Al Ebdaa,’ representing artistic fantasy. Additionally, there is a creative art piece titled ‘The Engine,’ inspired by the original Rolls Royce engine.
Visitors can take a closer look at a collection of miniatures, including the artistic piece, ‘The Calligraphy Clock’symbolising the passage of time, history, and life. There is also a scaled-down‘Museum of the Future’ adorned with the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Furthermore, the ‘Power of Words’sculpture is inspired by the words of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The exhibition also features the ‘Moons of Forgiveness’ sculpture and the creative artwork ‘Al Baqqah’ consisting of seven pieces, each representing one of the seven emirates of the UAE.
Within the Dubai Calligraphy Biennale, Dubai Design District is also the venue for four prominent artworks bearing Mattar Bin Lahej’s distinctive signature. Among these, ‘The Quranic Encyclopaedia’ sculpture stands out, symbolising unity through Surah Al-Ikhlas. In a display of equal artistry, the piece ‘Emission of Language’ underscores the significance of preserving the Arabic language, emphasising its depth and authenticity. ‘Fusion’ explores the use of metal to depict the harmonious relationship between religion and heritage, illustrating how all distinctions and diversities meld into a pure heart aligned with God’s complete monotheism, signifying the true essence of life. Additionally, ‘Galaxy’ comprises interconnected sculptures representing worlds and stars, depicting the delicate balance that governs them.
On 28 October, Mattar Bin Lahej will participate in the ‘Beyond the Brush – Al Wasl: Mattar’s Digital Canvas’ session, organised by Expo City Dubai and led by Amna Aboulhoul, the Executive Creative Director – Entertainment & Experiences at Expo City Dubai. This session will illuminate Bin Lahej’s artistic journey, from his early beginnings to his foray into the digital realm, including the development of his innovative ‘Mattar Font.’
On 29 October, he will be a guest at the Museum of the Future in a session titled ‘Public Art Masterpiece.’ During this, he will share insights from his experience in designing the museum’s artistic facade, which transcends conventional architectural norms and underscores the role of art in refining public preferences. Bin Lahej will also elucidate the intricate connection between art and technology, providing insights into the selection of suitable locations for creating large-scale artworks.
As part of the biennale,Expo City Dubai has also organised a panel discussion titled ‘The Intersection of Art And Technology’ with the participation of the director Mohammed Saeed Harib, the director and founder of the Matra Production Company, Brendan Mcgetrick, Creative Director of the Museum of the Future, Amrita Sethi, a renowned artist in the field of NFTs in the UAE, and Karl Knight, Head Technologist at Expo City Dubai. Visitors also got to witness a presentation by the artist Aimi Sekiguchi, delivered using virtual reality in Al WaslPlaza.
The inaugural edition of Dubai Calligraphy Biennale is supported by Al Rostamani Group (Lead Supporter) and Sandooq Al Watan (Supporter) and is being held in partnership with a variety of entities in the local cultural scene, including: Dubai Design District (d3), the Cultural and Scientific Association, Mohammed bin Rashid Library, Expo City Dubai, DIFC Gate Avenue, Museum of the Future, Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation, Juma Al-Majid Center, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai Media Office, Dubai Municipality, Alserkal Avenue, Art Dubai, Women’s Museum, Tashkeel, Art Jameel, Mattar Bin Lahej Gallery, Boccara Gallery, Foundry, Khawla Art Gallery, Firetti Gallery, Efie Gallery, BEDU, AWC Gallery, Hobb Bookstore, Opera Gallery, Mondoir Art Gallery, thejamjar, Medaf, Mirzam, Kalimat, Slay Café, Frame Café, 3IXAM, Huawei, and Level Shoes.