Tag Archives: culture

Visit The Louvre and it’s free!


For a change the French are imitating arch-rival Britain by introducing a free admission policy to 18 French national museums including The Louvre (above), in a bid to encourage more French people to visit them. (I suppose they are so busy with food and fashion, that they have forgotten all about the museums). Normally the entre fee is about 6-9 Euros. This is an experiment by the French Government that will run until June 30 this year for French nationals as well foreign tourists.


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National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing by Paul Andreu


China has unveiled its latest object of display- the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing, next to another landmark- the Tiananmen Square. It is designed by renowned French architect Paul Andreu, known for his airports throughout the world including Charles De Gaulle in Paris and the latest Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport amongst others. 

Andreu conceived the centre as a transparent island and a city of theatres surrounded by a man-made lake in Beijing’s latest cultural district.  The exterior Yin-Yang-inspired shell in the shape of a half ellipsoid is covered by titanium panels and accentuated in the middle by a curtain of glass that opens gradually from top to bottom. The entrance and other passages are situated under the lake. Even though it looks like a lunar-lander, I think it is pretty impressive for the symmetry and the context in which it sits.

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Neo-noir masks by Neck Face


 Yes I know Halloween has been long over but I have to share these Goth-inspired masks by artist Neck Face (yes that’s his name and he’s quite well-known in the circles). Hmm…I am in a noir mood today 😉

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Pencil Therapy at Studio Apart


When I visited Amsterdam in October this year, I discovered this art/design gallery Studio Apart by accident while looking for Frozen Fountain, which is just a few shops down the road from Studio Apart and as they say accidents are always beautiful. The lovely Carolina, gallery manager, has sent me these beautiful pieces of artwork by artist R.E.L. aka Ariel Zachor who is exhibiting his collection of artwork titled Pencil Therapy at the gallery. It is a series of large scale pencil drawings that almost have a photographic effect.

The exhibition runs until January 22, 2008 at Studio Apart, Prinsengracht 715, Amsterdam.


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Pecha Kucha Dubai snapshots


Clockwise from top left: Louis Vuitton’s corporate communications manager Ruth Bradley (in black) enagaged in conversation with a friend; gorgeous girl checking out the Pecha Kucha guide; aaUAE board member Kashani Wijetunga in a reflective mood; Rasha Shaath presenting Nadine Kanso’s work; two jolly fellows chillin’ on bean bags; Laura Trelford of art Dubai; two very cool people; Pecha Kucha in full swing.

It’s taken me a week to write this post about the Pecha Kucha night in Dubai that was held last Wednesday at The Third Line Gallery, who are one of the organisers besides Traffic design gallery, Architectural Association of UAE (aaUAE), S*uce and 9714. The well-organised event was a great success and the superb attendance probably surprised the organisers as well.  Dubai’s hottest and the hippest turned out in full force and it was also a night to spot trends. White-tees, chunky jewellery, big bags, skinny jeans, funky scarves and sneakers et al. Audience were seated on the supercool Konstantin Grcic designed chairs (courtsey Traffic gallery) and the bean bags were brought in when the chairs couldn’t accomodate the enthusiastic attendees.

The speakers were great too. Hani Fallah, Huda Smitshuijzen Abifares, Lamia and Ahmed Bensouda, Mark Pilkington, Manabu Ozawa, Mohammed Somji, Nadine Kanso (who got last minute stage fright and had her friend Rasha Shaath present on her behalf instead, but Rasha did a great job), Noah Alireza, Wael Hattar and Zahed Sultan.

The sushi that they served prior to the event was great too. The next event will take place in March and the call for entries will be announced soon. Stay tuned for more information. You could be the next Pecha Kucha speaker!

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Art Basel Miami

01gmurzynska_zurich_zug_st1_moritz.jpgwilliam_klein_nina__simone_piazza_di_spagna_rome_vogue.jpg The picture on right was taken by famous photographer William Klein for Vogue.

A bit of a late update…the high-octane Art Basel Miami where design is lapped up as works of art, concludes today  The event, that spun off from the original Swiss version and where glamour, design and art come together, has become one of the most anticipated events in the annual design calendar.

Last year Beyounce Knowles and Jay-Z lapped up Marcel Wanders’ Crochet chairs. Kanye West too made an appearance to do some designer furniture shopping for his surprisingly non-blingtastic minimalist apartment designed by Italian architect Claudio Silvestrin.

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Pouran Jinchi @ The Third Line Gallery

  pj_headgear_christian-dior_762-x-5842-cm_650.jpg                        pj_triple-skullcaps-headgear-series_-2007_-1143-x-14732-cm_650.jpg        

The Third Line Gallery is becoming my source of inspiration. I have always liked contemporary Islamic art but the trendy gallery has taken it to a whole new level with some of the most wonderful artists. I am still drooling over Hassan Hajjaj’s surreal photographs and now Courtney tells us that the next in line is Pouran Jinchi, the Iranian-born, New York-based artist who will present her exhibition titled- Fabricated: Painted material by Pouran Jinchi.  

She incorporates Islamic calligraphy into finely crafted and branded headgear including skull-caps such as Chanel, Christian Dior etc. It’s a brilliant concept of blending the Occidental with the Oriental. Although they describe it as a bit of abstract expressionism, I feel there’s nothing abstract about it. On the contrary, it looks more like a case of methodical expression. I’m not an authority on art terminology but it’s something that I definitely understand and admire. Pencil in the dates. The exhibition runs from  January 18-February 14, 2008 at the Third Line Gallery. Call 04- 3411367 for more information.

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