Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, has today inaugurated the eighth edition of SIKKA Art Fair, which will run from 17th to 26th March 2018 at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood as a flagship event of Dubai Art Season 2018, strengthening the culture, heritage, arts and literature sectors with a rich series of new initiatives and partnerships.
Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum commented: “In support of the Year of Zayed, the eighth edition of SIKKA Art Fair celebrates the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. As a platform for the arts, SIKKA exemplifies Sheikh Zayed’s commitment to tolerance, dialogue and diversity, with a series of initiatives that promote cross-cultural understanding as well as showcasing emerging artists from the UAE and the region.
SIKKA—Dubai Art Season’s flagship initiative—is the largest contemporary artist-led fair in the region to commission new works from UAE based and GCC talents. Growing every year in size and perception, the fair is a pivotal moment in our efforts to nurture future generations of creative professionals, inspiring them to look at alternative career paths within the arts and culture industries, while building our creative economy. Such moments are crucial in feeding into the realisation of Vision 2021 set by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. I look forward to what Dubai’s most unique celebration of art will bring to its audiences this year.”
SIKKA Art Fair 2018 will serve as a platform to showcase the importance of Islamic Art and Culture in establishing Dubai as the capital of the Islamic Economy, with the House of Islamic Arts featuring an Islamic Art and Culture exhibition, live painting sessions, an Islamic lifestyle start-up corner, and hands-on Islamic Art and Culture workshops. The Saudi House by Culture-Focused Tamashee will also draw attention to the region’s rich culture by hosting a variety of exhibitions and activities under one roof, including a collaborative initiative for emerging artists and an exhibition of the work of more than 20 Saudi artists.
Encompassing all artistic mediums, SIKKA Art Fair 2018 will also feature various installations created in The Poetryhood by Dubai Poetics, a movement that publishes, performs, discusses, enhances and revives poetry in the region, and LOCO’MOTION Dubai, a cinema initiative that will present a full line-up of shorts, documentaries and feature films in several languages including English and Arabic, and also screen shorts by independent UAE filmmakers and university students on some days. At the Icon Booth by Marta Lamovsek, visitors can embark on a fun D.I.Y. experience where the artist chooses a unique style for them, from a mix of handpicked MENA accessories and props, Lamovsek crafts ‘characters’ inspired by the personality of each individual she meets.
To invite the public to immerse themselves in the joy of art, SIKKA Art Fair 2018 will also include several community initiatives that encourage proactive participation among visitors. Sandscapes, by Mawaheb from Beautiful People, a confluence of art and music led by community participation, will call on the public to help create an all-inclusive environment for artists with special needs.
At the ‘The Samsung Frame & Creatopia Art Gallery’, visitors can view Creatopia digital art displayed on ‘The Frame’ TV screens, which were designed by Samsung to seamlessly bringing art into people’s everyday lives by ingeniously doubling as digital displays for photographs and works of art. Creatopia is an exclusive Dubai Culture-created platform that pioneers a new perspective for art and tech, and also provides online accessibility to expert curation for inspiring talents across the globe. Through its partnership with Samsung, Creatopia is encouraging and engaging global talents at SIKKA 2018. SIKKA Art Fair visitors will also be offered the opportunity to win ‘The Frame’ by entering a social media photo competition.
To enrich the ten-day SIKKA Art Fair programme, Dubai Culture has established a number of new partnerships with leading organisations including the Dubai Police, the Emirate’s Youth Council, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and Meraas, as well as with local macro and micro influencers.
In cooperation with Dubai Police, SIKKA 2018 will feature an exhibition entitled ‘Through our Lens: From the private archive of Dubai Police’, which depicts different points in history and illustrates Dubai Police’s ongoing commitment to safety, security and togetherness.
In partnership with the Emirate’s Youth Council, SIKKA Art Fair will feature a Youth Circle for the first time in SIKKA, aiming to educate and empower youth to become the main drivers of the creative economy, and encourage them to develop new policies for the arts and culture sectors. In addition, Youth Hub Workshop will take place as part of the official SIKKA programme and will be led by Mohammed Kazim, Co-Founder of Culture-Focused Tamashee, focusing on ‘The Contemporary Definition of Design Identity in the Region – The Youth as Pioneers’, on 18th March at the Youth Hub on Emirates Towers.
Dubai Culture will also be engaging youth at SIKKA Art Fair in cooperation with the KHDA, which will showcase the creative works of finalists from the organisation ‘The Saturday Club’. The initiative will empower students by giving them a new platform for sharing their work.
SIKKA Art Fair 2018 will also be supported by Meraas, at the newly opened ‘Al Seef’ next door to Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, via a creative activation that will feature a day of live painting paying tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and celebrating the ‘Year Of Zayed’. The painting will incorporate images of the Founding Father mixed with elements mostly derived from Arabic patterns to represent the local atmosphere and surroundings. It will also render the ‘Year of Zayed’ campaign values in stylised Arabic and English writing aiming to promote wisdom, respect, sustainability and human development throughout the year. Meanwhile, Social @SIKKA will enlist the help of macro and micro influencers to create even further buzz around the fair and raise awareness among the public.
This year, Dubai Culture has made it easier than ever before for the public to reach SIKKA Art Fair, reflecting the Authority’s commitment to involving all segments of society in the fair. Visitors can reach SIKKA via metro, car, bus shuttle, Careem, the S’hail app or even by abra for as little as AED 1 per trip. Dubai Culture is providing complimentary shuttle buses from the Al Seef by Meraas multi-storey car park to SIKKA, and has also worked with Careem to provide visitors with a special 15% discount on two rides when they book a taxi using the code SIKKA2018. The code is valid from 17th to 26th March 2018 for ‘now’ and ‘later’ bookings across all car types excluding GO, UNCHR and BOX, with a maximum discount of AED 20 per ride. Valet parking will also be provided at the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood on a first-come, first-served basis.
SIKKA Art Fair complements the city-wide activation of cultural events that will take place during the fifth edition of Dubai Art Season, which will run throughout March and April 2018 and feature events such as the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Art Dubai, DIFC Art Nights and the Middle East Film & Comic Con, among hundreds of other initiatives.