Located near the lush green surroundings of Al Barari, a far cry from Dubai’s futuristic skyline, KOA Canvas promises a unique architectural concept aimed at redefining residential living in Dubai. Designed by Dubai-based T.ZED Architects, there are 70 available residences spread across two buildings, designed with Dubai’s next generation of creative professionals in mind. Currently, the concept’s show apartment is staging an art exhibition in collaboration with Cuadro Art, an art gallery in DIFC, through which the gallery’s regional and international artists will find a temporary home amidst the apartment’s unique design.
Paintings from L to R: Alex De Fluvia. Dialogues (Diptych). (2008). Mixed media on canvas. 200 x 150 cm; Rostarr. Iconoclysm IV. (2005). Sumi ink on paper. 76 x 58 cm
On show until 31 August, the exhibition allows you to interact with the artworks in a real-life living space – allowing visitors the opportunity to engage with the art like it were in a private home. “It was important to showcase and introduce a nice breadth of our artists into this project with KOA, where a variety of mediums and concepts could be presented to the audience by both our emerging and established artists,” says curator Adam Hardy of Cuadro Art. “I wanted to celebrate the diverse selection of artists that we represent at Cuadro from the international contemporary art platform that we offer.”
Zeinab Al Hashemi. Rock Your Soul. 2015. Digital Scenography. 126 x 84 cm. Edition 1 of 5
Visitors to the apartment can discover works by Emirati artist Zeinab Al Hashemi; Mohammed Ibrahim, also from the UAE; Jaffar Al Oraibi from Bahrain; Lebanese artist Camille Zakharia; Nizar Sabour from Syria; Russian artist Aidan Salakhova; Sinisa Vlajkovic from Serbia; Spanish artist Alex De Fluvia; The Connor Brothers from the UK; and Brad Downey and Rostarr, both from the US.
Camille Zakharia. Shifting Boundaries IX. (2015). Photocollage on arches paper. 102 x 66 cm
“The curatorial strategy has now become quite a subconscious process for me,” adds Hardy, “A vision that will not only complement the design and the space I have been presented with, but also something that reflects the energy of the team I am collaborating with and the type of audience I envisage visiting the project as the weeks go by.”
Mohammed Ibrahim. Black and White Tower. (2016). Mixed media. 74 x 38 cm
The collaboration is KOA Canvas’s first-ever collaboration with a commercial art gallery. KOA is passionate about supporting regional talent, emphasises KOA founder Mohammed Bin Zaal.
From L to R: Mohammed Bin Zaal, Adam Hardy and Glen Martin
“There is much more of an appreciation and awareness for both art and design in our homes today,” says Hardy. “We are starting to see a substantial increase in design platforms being set up across the globe.”
Over the coming months the artworks at KOA Canvas will be rotated and updated by Cuadro Art in order to allow the audience to further engage with the gallery’s artist roster as well as with the unique design of the apartment. “An artwork fuses closely with its designed setting and embodies a unique presence with its audience,” adds Hardy. “It suddenly becomes much more than a work that occupies a wall or a floor in any conventional sense.”
KOA Canvas x Cuadro Art exhibition