Starting in November, Abu Dhabi’s islands and mangroves will be illuminated with captivating light displays that may resemble the famous Northern Lights, as part of the ‘Manar Abu Dhabi’ exhibition. This event, with the theme ‘Grounding Light,’ will feature more than 35 unique artworks, light sculptures, projections, and immersive installations by both local and international artists. The inaugural edition of Manar will run from November 15 to January 30, 2024, providing an opportunity for residents and visitors to engage with these stunning artworks and experience the transformative power of light.
The artworks will be showcased at various locations in Abu Dhabi, including Lulu, Saadiyat, Jubail, Al Samaliyah, and Fahid islands, as well as coastal areas like Corniche Road and the Eastern mangroves. Visitors can embark on a 2.3km art journey through Al Samaliyah, witness a drone show inspired by the Saadiyat Cultural District museum on Saadiyat, and explore mesmerizing displays on Lulu.
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, emphasized that Manar Abu Dhabi is more than just an art exhibition; it serves as a bridge connecting the city’s past, present, and future, inspiring both the local community and young minds.
The commissioned artworks span various mediums, including light projections, sculptures, installations, and performances, with participation from artists like Alaa Edris, Carsten Höller, Groupe F, Mohammed Kazem, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Samia Halaby, teamLab, and more.
Rita Aoun, DCT Abu Dhabi’s culture sector executive director, noted that ‘Grounding Light’ aims to transform perceptions of the world by connecting aesthetic, historical, and social values of the city.
The exhibition also features a series of talks, workshops, and art performances. This event is part of Public Art Abu Dhabi’s ongoing commitment to commission public art for the emirate, with other long-term elements like the Public Art Abu Dhabi Biennial launching in November 2024 and artist commissions.