Street Art – Inspiring Happiness

THE ORIGIN OF STREET ART

Slogans of protest and political or social commentary graffitied onto public walls are the precursor to modern graffiti and street art, and continue as one aspect of the genre. Street art in the form of text or simple iconic graphics in the vein of corporate icons become well-known yet enigmatic symbols of an area or an era.

Some credit the Kilroy Was Here graffiti of the World War II era as one such early example; a simple line-drawing of a long-nosed man peering from behind a ledge.  “Kilroy” graffiti was described as “outrageous not for what it said, but where it turned up”.
Much of what can now be defined as modern street art has well-documented origins dating from New York City‘s graffiti boom, with its infancy in the 1960s, maturation in the 1970s, and peaking with the spray-painted full-car subway train murals of the 1980s centered in the Bronx.

As the 1980s progressed, a shift occurred from text-based works of early in the decade to visually conceptual street art such as Hambleton‘s shadow figures. This period coincides with Keith Haring‘s subway advertisement subversions and Jean-Michel Basquiat‘s SAMO tags.

What is now recognized as “street art” had yet to become a realistic career consideration, and offshoots such as stencil graffiti were in their infancy. Wheatpasted poster art used to promote bands and the clubs where they performed evolved into actual artwork or copy-art and became a common sight during the 1980s in cities worldwide.

Punk rock music’s subversive ideologies were also instrumental to street art’s evolution as an art form during the 1980s. Some of the anti-museum mentality can be attributed to the ideology of Marinetti who in 1909 wrote the “Manifesto of Futurism. Many street artists claim we do not live in a museum so art should be in public places with no tickets.

STREET ART IN DUBAI

Dubai’s started with street art around 2013 – 2016, but it was in 2017 when Dubai Government started a movement where varied and vast public spaces were provided to national and international artists.
There is fabulous locations that you can find from north to south in key spaces.

You can see more information here.

There is multiple fairs and initiatives happening in Dubai every year specially during winter months when the weather is good.

Dubai Canvas is one of the famous and expected 3D street art fair, that happens in different areas of the city every year.
People can enjoy real pieces of art made from the best artists in the world.

In recent years, Dubai has become a hotbed of fantastic street art, with wow-worthy walls from JBR to Satwa. And now Dubai Metro is next in line to get a splash of colour.
The Dubai Metro Murals Project will see two top international street artists transform some of the pillars of the Dubai Metro into masterpieces. The pillars that will be painted are on Sheikh Zayed Road, between Financial Centre and Emirates Towers stations.

According to Brand Dubai, which is behind the project, the themes of the murals have been chosen to “inspire creativity and spread happiness while also reflecting Dubai’s character, vision and future aspirations”.

Peruvian muralist Daniel Cortez, also known as Decertor, is one of the artists who has been chosen for the project. His colourful human portraits can be found on walls in Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Morocco.

Dominican-born, Miami-based artist Elio Mercado, known as Evoca1, will also contribute to the project. You might have already seen his work at Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi.

The Dubai Metro Murals Project is part of a beautification initiative that aims to transform Dubai into an “open-air museum”. Other beautification projects that will take place over the next three years will cover bridges, tunnels, walking tracks, bus stops and other public facilities and areas.

Brand Dubai said artists from the UAE, the Middle East and around the world would be invited to create public artworks in the city.
Credit to What’s On

I can’t wait to see the new creations!

I see Street Art as a way of expression, as a way to create feelings and memories.

What do you think about Street Art?

I leave here a great reportage of Barcelona Street Art!

Understanding the Emirati culture at SMCCU

We recently finished Eid Al Adha*, which is a big celebration for muslims.

*”Also called the “Festival of Sacrifice“, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid al-Fitr), and considered the holier of the two. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Ibraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is retained by the family.”

Understanding the festivities of muslim people brings you to understand they culture.
I had the opportunity to visit and have an Emirati lunch at Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding SMCCU .

The beautiful place is located in one of my favourite areas, Al Fahidi neighbourhood in Bur Dubai. The whole area is a recreation of an old Emirati village by the Creek. But this little museum bring you to the heart of the old Emirati houses.

We started the journey inside the house in the majilis or gathering space where we were all seating in the floor, as they normally do when they gather with the family and friends.

Ms. Fathayah, a young and lovely Emirati woman walked us through the secrets of the Emirati culture starting with the coffee traditions.

It’s a lovely Arabic custom, sitting with friends and family in the evening, and over several tiny cups of steaming coffee poured from a dallah,  discussing the day’s events. It is a custom that has, for several centuries, enabled conversations within a community, with family and people from the neighbourhood. Traditionally, and even today, it’s a sign of enduring Arabic hospitality, to invite people to come sit and chat, possibly munch on dates, and have a cup or two – no one’s counting. That’s the beauty of sitting in the majlis and sipping gahwa. It’s kept Emiratis together.

Cardamom, cumin, cloves, saffron are also added to add another dimension to the already exquisite taste of fresh coffee. After preparing the coffee, it is served in small cups to the guests. The person serving the coffee to the guests or family members (muqahwi) must be a mature one, at least 15 years and above and not a child so he’s able to speak well with the guests and not risk spilling coffee onto the clothes of guests as he serves them. “The muqahwi should hold the dallah in his left hand and about three small cups with no handle on the right,” he said.

“He should serve the coffee starting from the person sitting on the right of the majlis and should not skip anyone. If there is a very important person in the majlis, like a Sheikh or a religious scholar, he should be served first. The muqahwi should then serve others starting with the person on his right.” After drinking, the guest gently shakes the small cup to show the muqahwi that he’s done. The muqahwi always remains standing until all guests have finished drinking the coffee. And it is prohibited to serve coffee while people are eating food. (More)

She explained us about the Emirati clothing.

Man wears Kandura, a long white cloak. The color of the garment originates from Bedouin culture, as it is perfect to reflect the sun’s rays. Browns and grays are also worn more in the winter months. It is common for Emirati men to own over 50 Kanduras and to change them throughout the day, in order to keep their look crease-free and fresh.

Men also wear the Guthra, a headscarf. The most common colors are white or white and red checks. The Guthra is also an item originating in Bedouin culture, as it protected men against the sand of the desert. The Guthra can be worn in different ways to indicate status and importance.

Women in the UAE traditionally wear the Abaya. This is a long flowing black gown and can be plain or decorated with impressive designs. It is worn as a sign of modesty. However, it’s common for women to wear completely Western outfits under their Abayas.

Women also wear a headscarf called the Shela, to cover their hair. This is normally black and made of very light material. Many women opt for designer scarves, such as Givenchy or Dior, which can even be matched to their handbags. For more traditional women, the Gishwa is an option. This black veil covers the entire face; it is thin enough to see out of, although nobody can see their faces. A third option is the Burqa, which only shows the eyes. Together these women’s garments are known as the Hijab, which essentially means head covering.

While taking with Fathayah we starting eating the traditional #food !
By the way she is very open, and you can ask her anything (curiosity) that you have

Emiratis, as most of the muslims eat seated in the floor and with the right hand.
We had some delicious food:

Chicken biryani: lavoured rice with lot of meat or egg or vegetables. The main ingredients of biryani are rice, spices, herbs, vegetables and non vegetarian products.

Veal Machboos: is a very popular dish cooked in a large pot. It consists of rice, onions and meat, seasoned with spices, salt and dried lemon. This dish is prepared by cooking meat, spices, dried lemon, and seasonings in boiling water until they are very tender. The meat is taken out and the rice is added to the rest of the ingredients and cooked together.

Vegetable OR chicken salona  it’s a slow cooked stew, mixed with a lot of vegetables and spices. In that case was vegetarian but chicken is as well very popular.

Lugaimat: (I think I was waiting the whole day only to eat Lugaimat!) Crunchy on the outside, soft and airy in the middle, luqaimat are often dipped in date syrup and served garnished with sesame seeds. An Arabic word that literally means ‘bite-sized’, it is a traditional dessert popular amongst ancient Bedouins for its ease of preparation; the luqaimat is a firm favourite at Iftar experiences during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

We spoke about history, about traditions, about the importance of their leaders and how the system works in United Arab Emirates.

Was a lovely morning that brought me near to the culture of the country that I call home for the last 4 years and of which I’m so grateful and happy to be!

We could as well try their traditional cloths, here I share with you a nice picture of me with Abaya and Shela!
I highly recommend you to visit the center and walk through the old Dubai.

World Art Dubai 2018

Bringing Affordable Art to The Middle East

The stage for the fourth edition of World Art Dubai has been set as the fair expands and grows, underlining the message that there is growing demand for affordable, contemporary art in the Middle East.

Spanning across 6,000 sqm of inspiring exhibition space, the fourth edition included new segments like photography and digital art, as well as dedicated spaces for galleries, solo artists and groups representing a display of art & culture from all over the world.

Part of Dubai’s Official Art Season, the fair took place from 18–21 April at Dubai World Trade Centre and showcases an impressive global collection of contemporary paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs and mixedmedia ranging from $100 to $20,000.

I visited the fair on the last day and great that I did it because there was a lot of talented artists! I found amazing pieces that really inspired and transported me to other dimensions.

Here I’m sharing with you some of them:

Art as a multi sensory experience by Alex Raspberry and Silent Revolution Mia.

Alex Raspberry is painter from Miami but based in Dubai that plays with geometrical forms and abstract designs creating a very unique style.

He mixed his paints with the music of the Miami Music Curator DJ Mikel, owner of the Silent Revolution.

Was a space where you could experience Art through different senses.
The paintings were inspired by the music and viceversa creating 3 different walls.
I had to put a headphones and listen to the music designed for each piece while enjoying the paintings that were changing as there was a game of lights and colours.

The music made me disappear from where I was to get into the paints and enjoy the moment. It was an amazing experience, a great new way to enjoy art.


 Design by Mariska. Turning waste into something beautiful.

This great artist turns waste into Art, creating beautiful lamps and paints.
She Recently started a campaign to fight against the plastic so she was wearing for 30 consecutive days a jacket made by plastic waste.

I actually saw her in D3 couple of weeks before and I was so happy to see her again and understand what is she really doing.

Thanks for being part of the consciousness of recycling and being social responsible.


There was an impressive woman that was only painting woman faces, but all of them were very strong and powerful.Here I’m sharing my favourite piece that was as well nominated.


There was as well a lot of workshops, and Ripe Market has a spot outside the center where you could buy hand craft products and have a little bite in the food trucks.Overall the ambience was really nice, mixed culture of Artists from around the world and great live music.If you missed it… put it in your To Do List for 2019!To finish with this post I share some other beautiful pieces I saw in the exhibition.

Sushi: What it is and how to eat it!

The history of sushibegan around the 8th century in Japan. The original type of sushi was first developed in Southeast Asia as a means of preserving fish in fermented rice, so they used to salt the fish and wrap it in fermented rice to preserve it, as there was no refrigeration.

In the Muromachi period, people began to eat the rice as well as the fish, this new way of consuming fish was no longer a form of preservation but rather a new dish in Japanese cuisine.

During the Edo period, vinegar than lacto-fermentation was used to sour the rice, so both rice and fish could be consumed at the same time, and the dish became unique to Japanese culture.

Nowadays you can find Sushi all over the world, from street fast food restaurants to the most refined and selected restaurants where starred Michelin chefs cook for you, but do you know which is the original way to eat sushi? And do you know the difference between the sushi types ?

Here I’m sharing with you some good tips about the above.

BASIC TYPES OF SUSHI

Sashimi: Very thin raw fish or seafood without rice.

Nigiri: “hand pressed sushi” consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses between the palms of the hands to form an oval-shaped ball, and a topping (the neta) draped over the ball. It is usually served with a bit of wasabi; neta are typically fish such as salmon, tuna or other seafood.

Maki: “rolled sushi” is a cylindrical piece, formed with the help of a bamboo mat known as a makisu . Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori (seaweed), but is occasionally wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or shiso (perilla) leaves. Makizushi is usually cut into six or eight pieces, which constitutes a single roll order.

Uramaki: “inside-out roll”  is a medium-sized cylindrical piece with two or more fillings, and was developed as a result of the creation of the California roll, as a method originally meant to hide the nori. Uramaki differs from other makimono because the rice is on the outside and the nori inside. The filling is in the center surrounded by nori, then a layer of rice, and optionally an outer coating of some other ingredients such as roe or toasted sesame seeds. It can be made with different fillings, such as tuna, crab meat, avocado, mayonnaise, cucumber or carrots.

Temaki: “hand roll”  is a large cone-shaped piece of nori on the outside and the ingredients spilling out the wide end. A typical temaki is about ten centimeters (4 in) long, and is eaten with fingers because it is too awkward to pick it up with chopsticks. For optimal taste and texture, temaki must be eaten quickly after being made because the nori cone soon absorbs moisture from the filling and loses its crispness, making it somewhat difficult to bite through. For this reason, the nori in pre-made or take-out temaki is sealed in plastic film which is removed immediately before eating.

I personally love Sashimi, as you can enjoy the full flavour of the raw fish, but of course, the quality has to be top TOP !

Here I share with you a clear and fantastic picture of how to eat sushi, I’m sure you will discover things that you didn’t know before!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that will be helpful for you to order is your next visit to a Sushi Restaurant!

Which is your favourite sushi?

My recommended Sushi Restaurants in Dubai.

3 Fills tuna and uni imported from Japan every Wednesday, the sashimi is my favourite in town, amazing place, staff and chef!

Tomo located in Raffles hotel, the head chef is Japanese and the Nigiri is delicious!

Zuma located in DIFC, a fine dining experience with premium products.

Nobu in Atlantis the Palm a world class brand ! Stunning venue and food.

Okku a contemporary Japanese Restaurant.

Sikka Art Fair 2018

This beautiful fair, takes place every year in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in the heart of Bur Dubai, Old city side by the Creek.

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum‪,‬Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the contemporary, artist-led fair provides a platform for emerging UAE-based and GCC talents‪, in‬ a vibrant 10‪-‬day programme featuring exciting exhibitions, art installations, workshops, film, and music‪.‬

SIKKA complements the city-wide activation of cultural events that takes place during the fifth edition of Dubai Art Season, which runs 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.

I visited Sikka twice, as it’s big and requires attention if you really want to enjoy an understand the artists.

I will mention 2 of my favourite spots but I truly enjoyed the whole fair.

  1. Tamashee Saudi House.

    Tamashee, is a high-end Arabian Gulf footwear brand based in Dubai. The brand began as a set of social goals which are now the core values for all of its work.

     

    They setup a beautiful house representing a journey of different forms of contemporary art in Saudi Arabia.
    From beautiful paints to photography and live art, the whole exhibition was in harmony with their brand and colours as their products have been inspired by research of cultural designs and patterns. Tamashee carefully studies the history, form, and function of each cultural design and revives certain key elements of the past through its products.

     


  2. Mawaheb Art Studio

    Mawaheb from Beautiful People is a Dubai-based art studio for adults with special needs, now known as ‘the determined ones’ following a directive by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubais).

    The students from 16 years and above bring out the best of their creativity and create beautiful pieces of art full of meaning and imagination!

    They prepared an amazing exhibition for Sikka called: Life is Beautiful !
    All the paints and sculptures had strong messages of #strength, #happiness, #freedom, #art and #culture.
    You could find small little sculpture persons all around the neigbourhood inviting you to discover them in their house!

    I’m sharing with you some of their paints, but if you really want to visit them you can do it on Weekdays from 9am to 2pm and have a great coffee from the hand of the students! Follow them in Instagram ! @mawahebdubai  

As you can see, life is beautiful and more when is full of

COLORS, ART AND FUN !