The Project Space at NYU Abu Dhabi to present Saidi Ali Nasser Sowafy: Ugandan Splendor – Imagining Home and History

The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery is proud to announce the opening of its next Project Space exhibition: Ugandan Splendor – Imagining Home and History on January 12 with an opening reception at 5:30pm.

Running until January 28, the exhibition features the work of Saidi Ali Nasser Sowafy and traces the arc of his creative practice. As the first sustained study of his work in the UAE, the solo exhibition highlights the Ugandan artist’s perspectives on celebrations of birth, harvest, and homecoming; the impact of famine, political conflict, and landmines; as well as addressing questions of postmodern identity in a contemporary African concept.

Sowafy’s paintings offer a rich visual experience of 20th century Ugandan village culture and society. Ranging from grand-scale depictions covering a combined variety of themes, to small contemplative portraits of musicians, mothers, and village elders in a cubist-inspired style; Sowafy’s work seeks to capture the Ugandan people as a symbol of dignity and pride in who they are, personified.

Reflecting on his work, he said: “Painting is another way of conveying a message, the untold stories. Not everybody knows about Africa, and the media only covers the important things. But when you look more deeply at the man who has been hit by a landmine, it becomes clear that even those manufacturing the landmine don’t know who has been hit, or the impact that they had.”

Upon observing his work, visitors to the exhibition will be able to recognize bright colors and bold African geometric vocabulary, and once inspected closely, viewers will be able to identify despairing figures, escaping war victims, or praying expectant mothers.

Curated by former Executive Director, Inclusion and Equity at NYUAD Tamu Al-Islam, the exhibition is titled after the artist’s vivid and multi-layered color palette, as well as the rich and cultural imaginary of societal events in the Ugandan community.

The Project Space is operated by the staff of The NYUAD Art Gallery and housed within the campus’ Arts Center. It is The Art Gallery’s auxiliary venue dedicated to NYU Abu Dhabi’s community projects such as the annual Capstone Festival, semester-end exhibitions of student works, and faculty-curated exhibitions, providing a platform for experimentation and exploration.

Exhibition details:

Title: Saidi Ali Nasser Sowafy: Ugandan Splendor – Imagining Home and History

Exhibition dates: January 12 – 28, 2020

Address: The Project Space, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi

Opening Times: Saturday-Thursday, 3-10pm

Admission: Free

Website: https://www.nyuad-artgallery.org/en_US/arts-center-project-space/sowafy/

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