Zeinab Alhashemi is one contemporary artist who looks to the cultural traditions of her country and from there builds a story that take apart our understanding of our reality and surroundings. A young Emirati artist based in Dubai, Alhashemi is known for her experimental works and her large-scale, sight-specific installations. She is particularly known for her use of new material and techniques, an approach that has resulted in her being featuring prominently in exhibitions such as Dubai Design Week, Sikka Art Fair, and Sharjah Biennial 11, a well as in a number of galleries across the globe.
Alhashemi’s works are befitting of our contemporary context, always in constant search of a new identity and presenting an alternative viewpoint on what we think we know. She also centers a lot of her work on the UAE, an approach that stems from a fascination with capturing the transformation of her country following the rise of construction and industry. She particularly explores the mutual dependence between abstract, geometric shapes of urbanism and the organic form of the UAE’s natural landscape.
As an artist, her journey since childhood, a time she observed the familiarity of traditional scenery and nature being largely disturbed to facilitate the rise of the man-made. Then, as an adult, she decided to pursue a BA in Arts and Science, specializing in Multimedia Design from Zayed University. Today, she experiments with a variety of materials, positioning the viewer at the boundary between natural and artificial. According to her website, her works are reminiscent of the UAE’s traditional landscape and are then quickly disturbed by the striking contrast arising from human interference, achieved through the use of industrial materials such as mesh metal.
Alhashemi’s work in itself, which strikes a delicate balance between modernism and tradition in an unexpectedly harmonious coexistence, has been featured in numerous art fairs and festivals. The young artist was also commissioned by the Institute de France and DCT Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi to showcase at the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Her next commissions will be revealed at EXPO2021 Dubai at the Sustainable pavilion.