A new generation of photographers will come together to showcase the ‘Seen and Unseen’ attractions of the UAE with a focus on Ajman at The Ajman Palace from March 26 to April 16. The exhibition is organized under the Kind Patronage of H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Faisal Al Qassimi. Aptly titled ‘Contrast’, it captures the heart of the ever-changing face of the emirates with a random mix of images ranging from street photography to landscapes, wilderness, portraits and architectural marvels.
Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO, HMH – Hospitality Management Holdings that manages The Ajman Palace, said: “We are truly excited to host this fascinating exhibition. The idea was to offer a platform to local photographers who turned their cameras on the UAE to bring out many striking facets of the country – some that we have already known and others quite rare. These are essentially explorers with cameras who roved the emirates in search of the unusual, capturing the country’s tempo, its scenic beauty, its spectacular architecture, its myriad everyday dramas, life… There are plenty of surprises and we hope visitors to the show would find the shots interesting”.
There are more than 60 photographs on display at The Ajman Palace produced by 13 photographers, each vying for your attention, but you may find your mind constantly wandering – and wondering at the sheer range of it all. Some of the snaps are extremely intense and intellectually stimulating while others are just candid impressions.
Emirati photographer Maitha bint Khalid uses photography to convey a message to the world. She focuses in her photographs on symbols that reflect the authenticity and heritage of the UAE in all its forms and the local environment. According to her: “Photography is a universal language that needs no translation and it’s the best way to express her thoughts”.
So how much of a role does technology play in photography today? Kevin J. Larkin, an American freelance photographer based in Dubai, said, “Technology is a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for good photographs. Today, photography has been revolutionized by digital technology. However, although it has become much easier to take photographs that are technically flawless (in terms of exposure and focus), it is just as difficult to capture aesthetically satisfying images as it was in the age of film and chemicals”.
Talking about her subjects, Katerina Smoldyreva, a Russian artist who lives and works in Dubai, said, “When I am photographing, I see life. I don’t have pictures in my head… I don’t worry about how the picture is going to look. I let that take care of itself… It is not about making a nice picture. That anyone can do. It is just capturing life as it happens”.
Contrast: ‘Seen & Unseen’ at The Ajman Palace: March 26 to April 16, 2014
Exhibition Timings: Round the clock
All photographs will be for sale
Maitha bint Khalid
Maitha bint Khalid, a photographer from United Arab Emirates, learned the language of light since childhood. She has many local and international memberships, most notably the Emirates Association of Photography and the International Federation of Photographic Art. She also won many titles such as AFIAP Artist “Federation of International Art Photography” in addition to receiving the award for best Emirati photographer in 2011. She has won numerous local and international awards and displayed images on the local and international level. She did lots of photographic projects in collaboration with different companies and institutions in the state. Established the first personal exhibition entitled symbols of authenticity in 2010.
Ahmed Al Kaabi
Emirati photographer Ahmed Al Kaabi picked up the lens in 2006 and has since won a number of prestigious prizes as well as several certificates of appreciation for his amazing photographs. Lover of light art, he contributes to develop the national identity.
Kevin J. Larkin
Kevin J. Larkin is an American freelance photographer based in Dubai, UAE. Before arriving in Dubai, he worked as a freelance photographer in Washington, D.C. and New York City, covering news, politics and sports. After ten years working as a photographer, he worked as a photo editor for The New York Times for twelve years. He moved to Abu Dhabi in 2008 to help launch The National newspaper, where he worked as a photo editor for five years. Kevin has recently returned to freelance photography, opening Kevin J. Larkin in Dubai last year. He says, “My goal is to devote my time to my two great passions, photography and sailing”.
Jo Kearney is a British video journalist and photographer based in Dubai. She enjoys doing travel and portrait photography, with strong colour playing a major theme in her work. Since being based in the UAE she has been photographing local traditions and cultures. Her exhibited canvas photos are of sections of the old dhows that continue to sail in the Gulf. “On the surface Dubai has become a big brash modern city but scrape the surface and you can still find some of the old traditions”, says Jo.
Katerina Smoldyreva is a Russian artist who lives and works in Dubai, UAE. She works with ceramic clays and her main interest is figurative sculpture. Photography has been a very important part of her work for it gives an invaluable insight into the full spectre of human emotions. The result of wandering the streets of the UAE, the photographs presented at the exhibition uncover a very personal view of the country. The cities, where so many people meet and live together are truly fascinating places and it is their private, humane side that Katerina wants to reveal in her works. Katerina teaches at the Dubai International Art Centre.
Born in Kortrijk, Belgium, on 6th October 1967 Vincent Messelier is a completely self-taught artist who’s very passionate about his art. He started painting in May 2006 paints from his heart and soul with some jazzy music on the background. Depending on the moment or his mood, some other music can also inspire his work. In March 2011, he decided to sell his cash-collecting office, he had started up in 1992 and chose to live his real passion… Art!
In November 2011, he became a member of “Dubai International Art Center” where he exhibited his works and also kept his own art studio. In April that year, he exhibited in New York City, at the Broadway Gallery. He developed his own style, called “Meridianism”. Vincent uses pallet knives and in his artwork, vertical and horizontal stripes and lines refer to the worlds’ meridians. He uses acrylics, sometimes combined with wood, foam or other materials. The artist also started a second line for hospitality and business, a concept, blending his own photographs, while projecting on details of his own paintings. Horses, historical buildings, birds, cars, sports… They all inspire him!
He exhibited in New York, Dubai, Paris, Brussels, Bruges, Den Haag, Amsterdam, Bari, Barcelona, and has also been asked in Berlin, Los Angeles, Palermo, Milan, Las Vegas, Toronto, Firenze, Lisbon and Casablanca. The artist also appeared in several books, as there are ‘Contemporary Masters 2012’, ‘Important World Artists 2013’, ‘I segnalati’, ‘Artisti’, and ‘International Contemporary Artists’. He also works on customer demand.
Firoze Edassery is a self-taught hobby photographer. His formal training is as a Graphic Designer and Multimedia Developer, specifically for web. He believes there’s certainly synergy between the fields of photography and Graphic designing. “I think of my photography as a creative practice, an activity of mind and body, to engage in a deeper and wider understanding of my world and myself through the making of images and my own reflection on my processes”.
Hani J. is a Syrian/Lebanese photographer living in Dubai for the past 8 years. He has been very enthusiastic to learn and master the skills and techniques of digital photography. He is currently experimenting different areas of photography (Landscapes, Portraits, Artistic, etc.); however, he says, “I noticed that I have a tendency to shoot more Black & White scenes”.
Tor Seidel is an international working and exhibiting artist, who lives in Berlin and Dubai. After completing his studies from Art-University Berlin-Weissensee and Free University Berlin Philosophie (M.A.), he travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Tor Seidel is specialized in photography, but also works on installations. He says, “Currently I am working on a book about Dubai by the international publisher Hatje-Cantz that comes out Fall 2014.”
Tor Seidel has participated in a number of exhibitions Medizinhistorisches Museum Charite Berlin | Solo Show; Kupferstichkabinett Dresden, Group Show | Dresden; “Der Schmerz der Archivare” Galerie Berlin Weekly Solo Show | Berlin; “Song to the Siren” | Tableaus | Gal. Photo-Edition | Solo Show | Berlin; “Identity” Gallery “The Empty Quarter” Dubai | Group Show | Dubai; “Aktive Räume” | Galery Cubus-M Berlin | Solo Show | Berlin; ART PARIS | Gallery “The Empty Quarter” Dubai | Group Show | Paris; “Hermetically” Gallery J+A Dubai | Solo Show | Dubai
Amr Anabtawi is an architect and part time photographer for the past 10 years
Lal Nallath was born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He graduated in 1992 from renowned College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram specializing in Applied Arts. Photography was a part of curriculum. Landed in Dubai in 1992 and worked in Advertising Field. Photography was just a passion and became a very serious photographer only recently. Now photography is not only just a passion but profession too. Currently running his own company “TREKOIS” in Dubai. Photography wise does a lot of Industrial shoots, Food photography, product photography, Landscapes and Portraits. Gulf News Newspaper had published his more than 50 pictures in the Reader picture of the day section.
Sreeranj Sreedhar has been working in Dubai for the past 23 years as Manager – Administration & HR. He says, ” I am a hobbyist photographer and love travelling and capturing environmental portraits, landscapes and street life. Photography makes me see things differently and artistically. It has given me the insight to admire the nature’s beauty and have the blissful state of feeling every time I witness a sunrise or sunset or stand and wonder at the clouds. I use a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 24-70 and 16-35 USM II L series lenses.
Sunil TV is an Accountant by profession and a photographer by passion, who absolutely loves photography and everything that comes with it. He says, “I love to capture the raw reality of everyday life, the fleeting beauty of those in-between moments and much fascinated by the balanced compositions and play of light shadows & shapes in images. I do my very best to take every picture with that in mind. You may find me on facebook/suniltivi
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