Artist Talk

NIKA Project Space

Date: May 5, 2023
Time: 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm
Venue: NIKA Project Space
Registration: Click here

NIKA Project Space is hosting artist talk involving five conceptual artists, participating in the exhibition “Coded Gestures” on view at NIKA Project Space: Alexander Ugay based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Minja Gu based in Seoul, South Korea, along with UAE-based artists Fatma Al Ali, Mona Ayyash and Khalid, curated by art critic and researcher Nadine Khalil. This is a unique opportunity to hear artists talking about their work, creative process, and inspirations.

The talk will be held in English.

Registration is mandatory due to limited seating.
We look forward to seeing you!

Nadine Khalil:
Nadine Khalil is an independent art critic, editor and researcher, curator. She is currently researching the body as an expanded site of performance and labour in the Gulf and Mediterranean region. After a decade-long stint in art publishing, she advises art institutions such as the Ishara Art Foundation, Goethe-Institut and the NYUAD Arts Center on editorial strategy, content development and publications. She is the former editor of Dubai-based contemporary art magazine, Canvas (2017-2020) and the Beirut-based magazines A mag and Bespoke (2010-2016). Her writing can be found in Art Agenda, Art Forum, The Art Newspaper, Artnet, Art Review Asia, Artsy, Broadcast, Brooklyn Rail, FT Arts, Frieze, Ocula and the Women’s Review of Books. She has authored a series of artist monographs (Paroles d'Artistes) on Lebanese artists Samir Sayegh, Hanibal Srouji and the late filmmaker Jocelyne Saab, and curated for European film festivals such as MidEast Cut and the Arab Independent Film Festival.

About Mona Ayyash:
Mona Ayyash (b. 1987, Kuwait City) is a Palestinian visual artist, raised in Dubai. Her practice focuses on repetition, memorisation, slowness, and boredom. She holds an MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Her work was exhibited at the Jameel Art Centre in 2021 and in Maraya Art Center, as part of the UAE Unlimited programme in 2019. She took part in the homebound residency with 421 in 2020 and was an artist-in-residence at the Alserkal Residency for their Fall 2017 cycle. She has participated in several group exhibitions such as, ‘The Distance from Here’ at Hayy Jameel, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2022, ‘Tashweesh’ at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, UAE in 2019 and ‘Loaning Sister Cities’ at Casino Artspace, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 2016.

About Fatma Al Ali:
Fatma Al Ali (b.1994, UAE) is a multidisciplinary artist who explores diverse themes such as perception, materiality, memory, weight, and tension in her artwork. She examines societal constraints and the human condition while paying close attention to the form and texture of her creations. Her approach is marked by a subtle balance between strength and delicacy, and she often challenges conventional notions of what materials can be used for. Al Ali earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Sharjah in 2018 and was awarded the Salama int Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship (SEAF) program in 2019, a collaboration with Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been showcased in several group exhibitions, including ‘Getting over the color green’ at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai a collaboration with Engage101, 2023, Sikka, Dubai, 2023, ‘Community and Critique’ at Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi in 2020, ‘Printmaking Exposium’ at 4bid gallery, Netherlands in 2019, ‘Exit: Extension’ at the Maraya Art Center, Sharjah, UAE in 2018.

About Minja Gu:
Minja Gu (b. 1977, Korea). Minja Gu’s work is based on personal performances that observe and question daily behaviors, which in turn are projected through various media including photography, video, installation, and drawing. She majored in painting at Hongik University and philosophy at Yonsei University and received a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Korea National University of Arts. She participated in the SSamzie Space studio program in Seoul, the Hangar Residency for artists in Barcelona, the International Studio & Curatorial Program at ISCP in NYC, and the HISK program in Ghent from 2015–2016. She received the award of excellence by the Songeun Art Award in 2010. Selected solo exhibitions include ‘Identical Times’ at Croft Gallery, Seoul, Korea, in 2009, ‘Atlantic-Pacific co.’ at Moore Street Market, New York in 2011, and ‘Inside the Belly of Monstro’ at Citadellaan 7, Ghent in 2018. Gu has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including the Taipei Biennale at Taipei Fine Arts Museum in 2008 and New Visions New Voices at National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon in 2013. In 2018, Gu was selected as one of the four sponsored artists for the Korea Artist Prize, an annual award and exhibition co-organized by MMCA and SBS Foundation.

About Khalid:
Khalid (b. 1996, Dubai) is an artist, walking, running, cycling and driving. He examines the materiality of everyday objects and coaxes out their metaphoric potential. Through fabricating receipts, playing with street cats, composing fictional tours and stealing corporate pens, he dissects ironies embedded in his everyday surroundings. What begins as an arbitrary flânerie, develops into a methodical formula that addresses philosophical and phenomenological, revealing the spatial, poetic relationships between his subjects and their frangible correlation to human beings. Khalid is an alumnus of programs Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship and Campus Art Dubai 7.0 with previous group shows in Yorkshire, Jeddah and Abu Dhabi.

About Alexander Ugay:
The third-generation of Koryoin (ethnic Korean in the former Soviet Union), Alexander Ugay (b. 1978, Kazakhstan) uses photography, video, and collage to document stories about individuals and groups, migration histories, nostalgia originating in past experience, and places where past and future coexist. In the 2000s, he produced his “cinema-object” series of short films shot on 8mm and 16mm cameras produced during the Soviet era; since 2017, he has created his own “obscuratons,” devices based on the pinhole camera approach that he uses for artistic series in which he locates historically and ideologically important settings in order to capture spatial and temporal continua. His major solo exhibitions include ‘Topology of Imag’ at Aspan Gallery, Almaty in 2018 and ‘More than an Image, Less than an Object’ at Galeria Labirynt, Lublin in 2017. Ugay has shown his work at the Busan Biennale of Contemporary Art in 2022, Art Sonje Center in Seoul in 2020, Sapar Contemporary in New York in 2019, Lunds Konsthall in Sweden in 2018, and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow in 2016. His work is part of international private and public collections. The latter includes Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, Poland; National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Astana and Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden.

Selected works