EAST-EAST: 2020, Vol. 3

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 - 7pm 
With curator and artist-led tours  

CHI-KA is pleased to announce the opening of ‘EAST-EAST: 2020, Vol.3’, the third edition of the EAST-EAST exhibition series which aims to explore invisible bridges and links between the UAE and Japan through the works of emerging artists. Curated by Sophie Mayuko Arni, this edition’s theme is 2020, the coinciding year of Dubai Expo and Tokyo Olympics.

In a wave of ambitious projects for brighter and better futures, 2020 stands as a catalyst for megalithic urban development and social high tide for both Dubai and Tokyo. 2020 will be the year that Dubai and Tokyo shine under global spotlight, welcoming millions of curious visitors. 2020 marks the celebration of a vision and master plan realized. 2020 stands as a cultural model: a race to a more efficient, sustainable, convenient,technologically advanced, happier future. Moreover, Dubai and Tokyo’s upcoming events will inspire global collaborative agendas and promote inclusiveness in a world that is gradually retracting in ethnic divides.

For EAST-EAST: 2020, Vol.3, curator Arni places the two cultures side by side, UAE and Japan, both preparing for their big moment. She raises the idea of ‘Gulf Futurism’, a term coined by Qatari- American artist Sophia Al Maria, which examines this state of permanently looking ahead, relating particularly to the Gulf sates, while expressing concern over the social and environmental costs of hyper-development. Essentially, Gulf Futurism warns us of a potentially displaced global future.

While keeping a positive outlook, Arni is interested in comparing the theory of Gulf Futurism, with the participating artists of the exhibition, to Japanese futurist cases. Although Japan is often regarded as the land of the future, attractive for its technological innovation and economic activity, the island suffered in many ways following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Arni poses the question, ‘How can a country that suffered from not just one but three nuclear disasters keep rebuilding itself?’ With regard to the UAE, when it comes to creating the future, there is no place like Dubai. ‘But how does one ensure a holistic, sustainable, positive result for generations to come?’

The works in this exhibition depict a balance in futuristic ideals with ecological and social realities, providing a view of the future as cyclical rather than linear, spiralling one step back and a couple steps forward. Three large themes frame the exhibition: Construction, Consumption and Reconstruction. Selected Emirati and Japanese artists include Farah Al Qasimi, Alaa Edris, Ali Al Shehabi and BABU. The choice of media is intentionally technologically inclined and will include digital art, video art, photography and projected installation.

The ‘EAST-EAST: 2020, Vol. 3’ opening reception will be held on Oct 18th, 2017 at 7pm. The exhibition will run until November 11th, 2017.

CHI-KA’s interest lies in exploring new boundaries and futures with cross-cultural resonance. Connecting any two cultures reveals a fabric of invisible bridges that subtly connects all of mankind. Now more evident and exciting than ever.

About CHI-KA
CHI-KA is a multifaceted practice, both a gallery and retail space, hosting a diverse program of collaborations in fine art, fashion, design, craft, robotics, multimedia, and performance.

CHI-KA is located in Alserkal Avenue 69
Opening Hours: Sat-Thu 11am-7pm

About the Curator
Sophie Mayuko Arni is a Swiss-Japanese curator and art critic. She believes in breaking the geographical boundaries of contemporary art, as well as expanding the art world to include design, fashion and street culture. In 2015, Arni founded Global Art Daily, an online platform of artist interviews, exhibition reviews and opinion pieces covering the art scenes of Abu Dhabi, New York City, Buenos Aires, London and many other cities. She curated her first exhibition for the East-East exhibition series, titled 'East-East: UAE meets Japan', at the NYU Abu Dhabi Project Space in October 2016. The exhibition opened after a ten- month studio process in which the curator and artists exchanged information about concepts and histories of Japanese and Emirati aesthetic cultures. The exhibition travelled to CHI-KA, Alserkal Avenue in November 2016. She graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a BA in Art History (2017). She currently lives and works in Tokyo

For more information, please contact
Nina Valjarevic
Co-Founder / Director