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Sharjah Biennial 13…Black Barriers, Colorful Opera | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hypothesis of a Tree (2016), Mariana Castillo Deball, at the
Sharjah Biennial – Apollo Magazine

Sharjah – In the Sharjah Biennial the streets of the calm city speaks of art that extends through the city where a bunch of old houses have turned into ateliers featuring many masterpieces partaking in the Biennial. Away from the city’s center, Hamriyah studios located on the beach show artworks, while movies are screened in the open area, which offers myriads of comfortable seats.

Accompanying the Sharjah Biennial, the house of Serkal has been transformed into a platform for arts and events.

Inside of the historic house old architecture compete with contemporary artworks that occupy many of its rooms and surfaces.

Palestine’s Museum

In one of the galleries, visitors read “The Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind” – an exhibition by the Palestinian artist Khalil Rabah composed of two pavilions: the earth and the solar system, and geology and botany.

In the introduction of the exhibition’s brochure, Rabah says that The Palestinian Museum of Natural History and Humankind presents a scene featuring occupation and feelings of exile in the motherland.

The Palestinian artist delivered a brief speech in which he explained how the museum covers different phases in the Palestinian cause, mainly those of 1948 and 1967, when many Palestinian lands were stolen.

Banknotes made of shells

Among art pieces that attract visitors at Al Marijah Art Atelier was a totally new idea called “shell banknotes” signed by an Australian artist; these pieces are a number of banknotes made of a special kind of shells found in the New Guinea.

The artist said that making these pieces takes a lot of time because it passes through many phases: collecting shells, mashing them, and then transforming them into banknotes.

Behind the black shields

Facing the Sharjah Museum and near Al-Serkal House, visitors find themselves in front of a barrier of black shields similar those used by police forces to face riots; the shields are stacked to form a wall extending on a small area surrounding a small garden.

This inspirational work was made by two Taiwanese artists, Yin Woo and Erik Chin, who said the inspiration behind their work came from the popular protests that took place in their country five years ago. These black shields can be seen from negative and positive perspectives, depending on the sight of each individual, said the two artists.

Colorful opera

On the facade of the Sharjah Art Museum, visitors see colored fabric hung like a huge curtain, tailored from different fabric pieces with gold fringes. This masterpiece made by Joe Nehme brings visitors a state of happiness and positivity. Nehme said that the inspiration behind this artwork came from the experience he acquired in the world of opera.