ABU DHABI.- Hunna Art
is now representing artist, writer and curator Aliyah Alawadhi (b.1996, UAE). Based in Abu Dhabi, she uses her works to examine the subtleties of growing up in an environment of constant cultural and industrial flux. These influences are communicated through themes of nostalgia, gender, mysticism, globalization and internet culture.
Aliyah Alawadhi's artistic universe is an expansive and uncanny world made of glitches and pastel colors, saturated with Khaleeji cultural references along hijacks of art history, inhabited by hyper-feminized women with exaggerated, bizarre features performing alternatively mundane and surreal acts, a world in which nostalgia cohabits with satire to better grasp the intricacies of the artist's childhood and early adulthood in the United Arab Emirates.
Born in the mid-nineties, Alawadhi is part of a generation for whom the material and the digital have always been inevitably intertwined and interconnected. It is a generation that grew up with seemingly endless access to information and whom, through the means of Facebook, Youtube, Reddit, Twitter and, in Alawadhis case, especially Tumblr, participated actively in Web 2.0 through the exchange of ideas and imaginaries, producing content and crafting identities through avatars that operated anonymously under usernames in digital, chosen, communities. For many, this window also provided an escape from a much more constricted real world, as it did for Alawadhi.
Aliyah Alawadhi received her BFA in Animation Design with a Minor in Curatorial Practices from Zayed University in 2020.
She was an editor and member of the Banat Collective, a grassroots project aimed at representing femme-centered artistry in the MENA region and was a chosen member of the 2020 Youth Assembly courtesy of Art Jameel, culminating in the Youth Takeover event hosted by the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai. She was also one of the participating artists for the 101 initiative's inaugural sale, "Outside In, Inside Out" (2020) at Bait 15 curated by Munira Al Sayegh and Ghaith Abdulla, to promote non-gallery represented artists. She was also a fellow in the 8th cohort of the Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship in partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design.
Aliyah Alawadhi has appeared in several exhibitions locally and internationally, including "This lark sips at every pond" (2021) at Maisan15 in Dubai, "The Disappearing Art Show" (2021) at Alserkal Avenue, "Ybna Al3eid" (2022) at Bayt Al Mamzar in Dubai and the inaugural Banat Collective-curated exhibition As We Gaze Upon Her (2021-22) at Warehouse 421 as well as East-East Vol. 4: The Curio Shop (2021) held at HB Nezu in Tokyo.