Maraya Art Centre hosts exhibition examining social media impact on art practice


SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates — Maraya Art Centre, an organization that strives to support emerging artists and designers, on Sunday, hosted the opening of an exhibition titled “Colour Bar: Colour, Space, and Bits per Pixel.” The show, which will run until Nov. 30, is curated by Emirati visual artist and video composer Hind Bin Demaithan and features the work of four digital artists based in the region.

The exhibition brings together multidisciplinary artists Ahmad Al Areef Al Dhaheri and Mansour Al Heera from the UAE, Ahaad Al Amoudi and Fawaz Al Batati from Saudi Arabia, to address questions on how social media has altered contemporary art practice.

The exhibition explores how the changing dynamics between artists and their audience has affected the motivation behind, the creation of, art in the digital age.

Focusing on the discourse between the artists and their audience, which is facilitated instantaneously by Social Media, Colour Bar seeks to re-evaluate the perception and presentation of time-based media art. The exhibition aims to provoke artists and the public alike to consider work that exists in both physical and virtual forms, blurring the lines between gallery space and cyberspace.

Dr. Nina Heydemann, director of Maraya Art Centre, said: “Digital Art has expanded and redefined our understanding of contemporary art in many ways and the artists of this exhibition give an exemplary insight into their individual takes on the subject. Coming from both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the artists are going beyond country boundaries in their works by engaging with the international phenomenon of social media and addressing its power of communication in their pieces.”

Hind Bin Demaithan, the curator of the exhibition, said, “Colour Bar proves that time-based media art is an artistic practice that deserves the same recognition as traditional art forms, and this exhibition is a stepping-stone towards identifying and providing a platform for artists and designers who use time-based media in their practice.”

“As a curator, this exhibition has allowed me to explore the differences in engaging with a digital audience, through likes and comments, and a physical audience in a gallery setting. The exhibition has also given me as a curator, and Maraya Art Centre as an exhibition space the opportunity to recalibrate and redefine the value of time-based media art in the region.” She added.

The exhibition is free and open to the public and will run until Nov. 30, 2019.