Review - SIKKA 2013

Here's one of several long overdue reviews of the art events that happened in March. With the new art season in Dubai around the corner, I thought I better share these posts soon.

First up is a review of SIKKA, it's actually more of a photo review of what I saw and caught my attention. This year's edition of SIKKA included 70 UAE-based artists, 14 multidisciplinary initiatives and collectives, unfortunately I didn't have enough time to see everything.

Additionally, I strongly recommend you read the SIKKA 2013 blog written by my friend Kevin Jones with some very interesting, thoughtful and sometimes funny observations.


SIKKA 2013

The entrance of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (formally known as Bastakiya). One of my favourite parts of Dubai. And during SIKKA, it was bustling all week and was quite special. It's such a shame this area isn't active throughout the year.

Kiosk by Nadine Nour El Din Ezzat, one of the site specific installations at SIKKA.

Degenerative Disarrangement by Vikram Divecha, another site specific installation at SIKKA.

Sketching Space in Gold by Karee S Dahl

From a photo series titled When You Wake Up by Farah Al Qasimi.

Illustration book by Gilda Jabbari

The Present Absent by Reem Abdulwahid, an installation that recreates the personal setting of her departed father.

I am not a Trichster by Arwa Al Jundi, an installation about Trichotillomania (the compulsion from removing hair from different body parts). The artwork comprises of four lenticular images of faces alternating from with to without make up. After a long struggle with the disorder, the artist hopes to inform people about it and reveal its darker side.

 Lightweight by Saba Qizilbash

Point Counter Point by Siddharth Siva and Jamal Iqbal. I love the open court inside this house.

Drawdeck's house at SIKKA. Drawdeck is an online platform which enables creative drawings to be shared, critiqued and discovered.

Light installation inside XVA

 Painting by Fatma Lootah

Artists in Residence (AiR) 2013

Ammar al Attar's photographs and videos of water coolers that give an insight into a rather unknown practice in the UAE that subtly references a distinctive form of wealth distribution.

Artists in Residence (AiR) 2013

Reem Falaknaz took advantage of her residency to develop the first stage of an ongoing project dealing with social issues and the notion of value, while questioning how personal narratives exist within the ever-changing urban environment of Dubai.

The Archive of Mohammed Kazem by Brusselssprout + Rania Jishi

I was amazed by the amount of articles found and collected for this display. An important statement about the history of the art scene in Dubai and the UAE. Read more about this project here, on Art Dubai's blog.


tasmena is one of my favourite organisations in Dubai. It aims to develop place-specific design solutions for sustainable urban living challenging the understanding of public space and the current state of urbanism, and create an impact on contemporary design, research, education and policy making.

tasmena organise city walks and promote critical, cross-cultural dialogues and collaborative engagements of local and global community. For SIKKA tasmena guided visitors on an educational walk around Al Khor (the creek) and collectied memorable objects that were exhibited in the tasmena collection of House 16.

Design House by Mobius Design Studio

House 53 was overtaken by the design collective Mobius where they ran workshops, talks, exhibited work and threw a fabulous feast on the rooftop on the closing night. Read this interview with Hadeyeh Badri, one of the Mobius founders in Artvehicle to learn more about this project.

Emirati bakery Klayya set up shop at SIKKA for the week and served the most delicious variety of breads and tea. I was there everytime I was at SIKKA, sometimes visting them multiple times in the evening.

Night time at SIKKA was very special. It was so lovely walking around, following the sound of spoken word or music. It was magical.

The Animation Chamber was one of the most popular houses at SIKKA. Not only did they host a variety of fun workshops, they always had a mini jam session outside their house at night. It was fun.

SIKKA Photo Booth Project

I never had a chance to talk to the people behind this project, and didn't go inside to try out the booth (mainly because deep down I was disappointed it wasn't an analogue photo booth - sorry SIKKA Photo Booth Project). But a video about it was released after SIKKA ended and looks like it was fun. Hopefully they return next year.

I was commissioned to build a Photo Booth in the heritage area of Dubai and to create a video about it. Visitors were free to engage with the booth and choose their photo style and their poses. This is a video of their contribution to this art installation. Being a collaborative project, this video is free to download and share by all.

The Sikka Photo Booth Project 2013 is commissioned and produced by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, for the third edition of Sikka Art Fair (SIKKA 2013).

Photo Booth software is the INCREDIBOOTH App by HIPSTAMATIC

Original bass and saxophone by Charles Mingus

Music, Sound Design and Composition by Swerte

Concept and Edit by Camille