The tenth edition of the leading art fair of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia attracted a record 27,516 visitors.
Art Dubai’s tenth edition closed on Saturday March 19 with participating galleries and artists reporting one of the most successful years of the fair to date. Welcoming international and regional artists, collectors, private museums, institutions and curators from over 90 countries worldwide, Art Dubai reaffirmed its position as the world’s most global fair.
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who toured the fair during its Opening Night, the fair preview was inaugurated by the Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, accompanied by, among others, HE Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development; HE Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Chair of Dubai Culture; HE Hilal Al Marri, Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing; H.E. Saeed Al Nabouda, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Acting Director General; HE Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA); HE Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).Art Dubai is a joint venture between the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Middle East Fairs Ltd.
The popular Art Dubai Ladies Preview was opened by the children of HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Art Dubai 2016 was held in partnership with The Abraaj Group, who celebrated their inaugural Abraaj Week alongside the fair, and was sponsored by Julius Baer and Piaget. The fair took place at its home, Madinat Jumeirah. Maserati was the Automotive Partner of Art Dubai 2016. The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is a strategic partner of Art Dubai and, along with Dubai Design District (d3), supports the fair’s year-round education programme.
Antonia Carver, Art Dubai’s Director, said:“With our tenth edition, we’re looking forwards not back, embracing the potential of the UAE and the region’s arts scenes. The exceptional feedback received from collectors, galleries, artists, museums and curators and the ever-increasing attendance figures from both local and international audiences – from ever more diverse locations – illustrate the maturity of the fair and the crucial role it plays in both the wider region and the artworld calendar.”
Among its record number of visitors, Art Dubai 2016 hosted 95 international museums and institutions, including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum, New York; London’s British Museum, V&A, Tate; among many others.Many museums brought groups of curators and patrons to the fair, taking advantage of Art Dubai’s extensive, Gulf-wide VIP programmes.
Marker 2016: Philippines
In 2016, Art Dubai’s Marker,a curated programme of galleries and artspaces, which focuses each year on a particular theme or geography, turned its focus to the Philippines. Marker 2016 was the first such showcase of Filipino artists at any major international art fair and is the first such exhibition in the Middle East to date, aiming—as in previous editions of Marker—to nurture cultural exchange between its focus country and the Gulf.
Led by curator-artist Ringo Bunoan, Marker 2016 highlighted independent and artist-run spaces in Metro Manila. Artist-run spaces have long been vital spaces for the development of Manila’s contemporary art scene, allowing artists to create and present works outside the conventional frameworks of museums and commercial galleries. Ringo worked closely with independent spaces to develop a group exhibition that showcases a new generation of artists from the Philippines, in all its diversity; Marker 2016 encompasses divergent media, and addresses ideas of community, place, intervention, collaboration, labor and alternative economies.
The exhibition featured 98B, Post Gallery, Project 20, Thousandfold, among others, and includes photographs, videos, paintings, soft sculptures, works on paper, and textiles by artists including Mark Barretto, Tammy David, Jed Escueta, Miguel Lope Inumerable, Gino Javier, Czar Kristoff, WawiNavarozza, Katherine Nuñez, Jayson Oliveria, J Pacena, Julius Redillas, Issay Rodriguez, IC Jaucian, Gail Vicente, and Tanya Villanueva.
Serving as an anchor to the exhibition is the work of Roberto Chabet (1937-2013), a pioneering Filipino conceptual artist, teacher, and curator who played an active role in several artist-run spaces throughout his lifetime. Marker 2016 included a major installation by Chabet.
Alongside the exhibition of artworks, Marker 2016 also featured a selection of artist books, monographs, zines, and other independent publications from the Philippines.