Art Dubai unveils in 2022 a new digital section with NFT and VR art

    13 Jan 2022

    Art Dubai announced on Sunday the list of participating galleries at its 2022 edition, which will be its most extensive to date. The fair will occur at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, from 11-13 March 2022, with previews on 9 and 10 March. The upcoming event marks the debut of Art Dubai Digital, an innovative new digital art fair including NFTs, crypto, video art, and virtual reality.

    According to a press release, the leading global platform for art and artists from the Middle East and Global South, the 15th edition of Art Dubai will present over 100 galleries from more than 40 countries across four main gallery sections: Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba, and new section Art Dubai Digital. The 2022 fair will include more than 30 first-time participants, and over 50% of the gallery program is drawn from the Global South, reaffirming Art Dubai’s position as the leading marketplace for art from this region.

    The fair’s upcoming edition marks the debut of Art Dubai Digital, an innovative new digital art and NFT section that will provide a comprehensive, 360º introduction to this fast-developing landscape. This new physical section of the fair will showcase a curated selection of digital artworks presented by 17 leading international galleries and platforms, examining the context of which NFTs, crypto, video art, and virtual reality (VR) have grown since the rise of digital art in the 1980s. The program will be accompanied by extensive talks and an education program, including the 15th edition of the Global Art Forum and a series of introductory lectures.

    “Art Dubai is a truly global fair, and this is reflected in both the quality and geographic spread of the galleries participating in our 2022 edition, which will be our largest to date,” commented Art Dubai’s Artistic Director Pablo del Val. “That so much of the program is drawn from the Global South highlights the increased interest in and appetite for collecting non-Western art, the strengthening of the gallery scene beyond the traditional centers of the art world, and the role Art Dubai plays as a platform for the region. We are particularly pleased to launch Art Dubai Digital, which will provide an important and needed bridge between the rapidly-developing global crypto-sphere and the international art market.”

    Art Dubai Digital will include a dedicated gallery section curated by Chris Fussner, Web3 specialist and Director of Tropical Futures Institute (Cebu, Philippines), that will involve leading international platforms working with NFTs; contemporary galleries with projects devoted to digital art and NFTs; galleries that have been working with digital art since the 1980s; and NFT e-commerce sites and organizations that are turning existing physical art into NFTs. The participants, representing a broad geographic base and featuring traditional galleries and digital platforms, will include Institut, Postmasters, Bright Moments, HORIZONS by so-far and AORA, Cyber Baat, Emergeast, and NFT Asia.

    Alongside this commercial section, Art Dubai is launching Campus Art Dubai 9.0 Blockchain Edition, a new eight-week NFT strand within the fair’s education program. Powered by Materia, the course is led by many local and global leading experts in the blockchain and NFT art sector. It will support 12 UAE and international artists with a digital background.

    Additionally, an innovative Crypto Media Lab will function as a gathering space for the companies that support these communities, including cryptocurrency platforms, exchanges, and organizations providing the relevant tools to access the digital realm. The program will also be supported by a new talks program, which aims to give visitors more context about digital platforms, inviting guest speakers to explain more about the basics of cryptocurrency, digital media, and NFT art.

    The 15th edition of Art Dubai’s celebrated Global Art Forum, entitled ‘This is the Picture,’ will examine the worlds of digital artifacts and crypto economies. Commissioned by Shumon Basar, Global Art Forum 2022 will invite artists, curators, creators, thinkers, and technologists to consider a range of topics from NFT art and curatorial projects, pay-to-play gaming, metaverse myths, Web 3.0 hopes, and where legacy institutions might fit into all the above.

    Art Dubai is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Art Dubai is held in partnership with ARM Holding. The fair is sponsored by Julius Baer. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the fair’s strategic partner.

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