East-East: UAE meets Japan explores work by four young voices of the Emirati art scene through cross-cultural interactions with the arts of Japan. The exhibition draws parallels between Japanese and Emirati culture as both societies, steeped in tradition, are propelled into a postmodern age while striving to maintain a balance between their cultural heritage and a curated futurism. East-East challenges and expands the meaning of “global art” as understood by artists, curators, and viewers in an increasingly interdependent world.

This thematic dichotomy will explore the inherent tension between tradition and modernity – Nōh and Bedouin mythology, spirituality and repetition, Zen Buddhism and the desert’s connection to materiality.

The curator, Sophie Mayuko Arni, is an NYUAD student in her senior year. She explains: “I wanted to break the overused and overheard ‘East-West’ terminology by turning it on its head. Why always look to the West, when we can look Eastwards?”

Curated by Sophie Mayuko Arni Class of 2017, NYUAD