Zayed University Graduates showCACE Arts Exhibition in Abu Dhabi

17 Feb 2021

Addressing Long-term National Objectives through Creativity and Innovation

Zayed University (ZU) has recently disclosed the latest edition of the showCACE 2020 Senior Exhibition showcasing 52 projects, covering the four majors in the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises (CACE): visual arts, interior design, animation design and graphic design. The exhibition is currently being held at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi until March 19th 2021.

The Minister of Culture and Youth and President of Zayed University, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, has toured the exhibition alongside Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Arts Unlimited Platform, some members of the University Council, art and culture elites in the UAE.

Her Excellency expressed gratitude for the creativity and innovation portrayed by 52 artists and commended their choice of topics that magnifies the current challenges faced by the UAE’s community, and came up with remarkable solutions, especially in light of the current conditions imposed by the outbreak of COVID-19. Al Kaabi acknowledged the upkeep and attention bared by the ZU management and faculty members throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, which have attentively produced the astounding outcomes of the exhibition.

The students addressed key topics related to the issue of sustainability and environmental preservation, and other projects provided solutions for mental health, and others focused on youth and their concerns, and the advancement of the Arabic language. Some students went the extra mile to present exceptional work in reimagining and reviving the UAE’s heritage through projects that aim to restore archaeological sites in a way that preserves their novelty, therefore enhancing the tourism sector of the UAE.

Dr. Kevin Badni, Dean of the CACE, said: “Students faced many challenges during the lockdown. They had to relocate their studios from campus to home. They had also adapted to the “new collaborative work system” where they had virtual conversations, using online tools and WhatsApp groups for discussions. Despite all of this, the students managed to come up with very distinguished and innovative projects.”

As an artist, Aliyah Alawadhi, CACE student, reconciled philosophical precepts with the prevailing socio-political climate. she utilized the visceral nostalgia of childhood and adolescence in juxtaposition with the harsh realities of power structures and systems that dictate and limit what is “acceptable” to experience. “In my senior project, ‘Science of Man,’ I utilize glitch art, text and auditory elements to explore liminal relationships. I examine the areas of uncertainty in the threshold between the rebelliousness of contemporary Arab youth culture and the mystical nature of traditions, between the perceptions of female hypersexuality and hypermodesty, and between traditional conformity and rapid development,” she said.

Mahra Al Fardan, in her project ‘Apart’ portrays loneliness as an experience that is felt by everyone. “At one point in our lives, we have all felt loneliness, an emotion we actively try to suppress. Loneliness is not dependent on how many friends or relationships we have, but rather, it depends entirely on the subjective quality of our relationships and whether we feel emotionally invested in these relationships, or completely disconnected from them,” she said. Her work investigates loneliness through images from daily activities; the photographs convey a sense of void and emptiness, allowing the viewer to be immersed and connected to this ‘visual-void,’ in hopes that it heightens memories and past experiences.

Graphic design students: Maryam Al-Badawi, Amal Al-Hammadi, Fatima Al-Janabi, and Zainab Al-Ameri, exhibited designs for the first Emirati store “Waraqa Shop” a local paper shop that provide recycled papers for printing and packaging.

Fatima AlKetbi and Najat Albraiki, Interior design students, also created projects that take in consideration sustainability and the use of recyclable materials in construction.

Saada Al Mansoori has worked on designing an innovative, environmentally friendly café under the name "Purity Café" that features an “exterior-like” environmentally controlled space throughout the year, that contains trees and greenery to create the experience of being in the middle of nature. The space includes a coffee shop, an organic store, agricultural workshops and a cinema.

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