Felicity Stokes01 Aug 2015 AT 06:21 PM

ART: When Near East meets Far East

Our art expert's review of Interlocking Harmonies
Felicity Stokes01 Aug 2015 AT 06:21 PM
Zhuang Hong Yi
Zhuang Hong Yi
Hazem El Mestikawi
Hazem El Mestikawi

Vibrant, textured and cultural, Cube Arts Creative’s current exhibition is a showcase of some of the most interesting Arabian and Chinese art around. The cultural exchange with Moge Gallery in Shanghai blends traditions and mediums for a high impact showcase of art.

‘Interlocking Harmonies’ sees a small selection of Chinese artists who have been presented by Moge Gallery, such as Zhuang Hong Yi and Hao Zhou, alongside Arabic expressions of geometric form and abstraction from Salwa Zeidan and Hazem El Mestikawi.

From this collection of artworks we are given a glimpse into the traditional art of Chinese brush paintings and ink paintings, as well as modern interpretations of the classic medium. Ink paintings have been popular throughout Chinese art history, however artists like Zhuang Hong Yi have translated this ancient art into a funky modern form.

Zhaung Hong Yi is a contemporary Chinese artist whose work has been vastly exhibited across the globe. His unique stamp is easily recognized as he uses traditional Chinese art materials such as ink and rice paper, but uses them to create daring abstract works that reach out of from the canvas. The colours he uses and the thickness of the paint are dramatic and placed with purpose, making his work inviting and surprising.

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Glancing away from elegant tranquil brush strokes of the Asian ink paintings our eyes are met with intermittent Arabic artworks. Contrasting the Chinese art, we are focused towards the beauty and power of calligraphy and strong geometric forms.

Hazem El Mestikawi’s fascinating geometric sculptures stand in dramatic contrast placed on the gallery’s plinths and tabletops. Mestikawi’s sculptures appear to be heavy to the observer’s eye as though they are stone, but most surprisingly his geometric sculptures are as light as the materials they are made from – cardboard, paper and glue. Mestikawi sculptures are based on physics and mathematics that encourage the viewer to observe his artworks from either perspectives; the strong or light, massive or fragile.

From brush strokes to geometric structures from canvas to sculptures, Cube Art’s summer exhibition brings together an unexpected harmony between the two cultures and the rich histories of their artistic origins.  Whilst looking into the history of both art practices we are too invited to look upon the modern adaptions of their traditions.

The exhibition will run through to the end of August at Cube Arts Creative in DIFC. www.cube-arts.com

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