ABDUL QADER AL RAIS SETS THE TIME FOR UPCOMING DUBAI WATCH WEEK
After a resounding success in its first year in 2015, Dubai Watch Week returns this November with what promises to be a highly anticipated event for watchmakers and enthusiasts alike. This year, Christie’s is delighted to work in partnership with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and master Emirati artist, Abdul Qader Al Rais, to present two uniquely commissioned works in honour of the 2nd Annual Dubai Watch Week.
In the first of the commissioned works Zaman: A View from the First Ahmad Siddiqi and Sons Shop, the artist pays homage to the Seddiqi family’s first watch shop in Souk Bur Dubai, which opened in the late 1940s. Incorporating the spare parts of various timepieces taken from the Seddiqi archive, the artist juxtaposes the softness of his watercolour technique with three-dimensional elements for the very first time. Welcoming this new addition to his canvases, the artist uses concepts of recycling and collage to accentuate the intricacy of these various watch elements. The original shop of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons also has a sentimental value for the artist: it was where he purchased the first gift for his wife on their wedding day. Undoubtedly, a profound sense of nostalgia permeates through his canvas.
The second work, Zaman: Saa’a Ramliya (In the Past: Hour Glass) also transcends the notion of time. An hourglass, presented in shades of blue and yellow honours the power of time and memory. Its rich hues exude a powerful reference to the sand, desert and sea through which Dubai has grown and thrived over the past many decades. Al-Rais has crafted two beautiful compositions which celebrate the passage of time and its changes. The passage of time has played a vital role in the development of both works of art through the partnership between the artist and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. It is with great honour that Christie’s collaborates with Dubai Watch Week, which will support the activities and objectives of Noor Dubai, one of the most noble and active charities to cure blindness in the world.
Abdul Qader Al-Rais is the most important and highly celebrated artist of the UAE. Born in 1951 and mostly self-taught, he draws inspiration from the region’s landscape. Highly inspired by the Emirati traditional neighbourhoods, buildings, Barajeel and forts, his works have developed a unique and distinct style that feature traditional doors and windows, the Arabic letterform and abstraction. He has exhibited his work internationally since 1965 in Morocco, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lebanon and USA amongst other countries. He has equally won numerous prizes including the first prize at the Arab Painters’ Exhibition in Kuwait and the gold medal at the Spring Exhibition in Abu Dhabi. He is also the recipient of the first Sheikha Latifa Prize for Art & Literature, as well as the Golden Soafah (Palm Leaf) Award in the GCC exhibition and the Emirates Appreciation Award to name a few. He currently lives and works in Dubai.
Dubai Watch Week is a global event dedicated to the craftsmanship and innovation in the watch industry. The annual event is organized and curated by Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. The objective of the event is to educate the public on the skills and knowledge of mechanical watchmaking as well as raise awareness surrounding some of the industry challenges. Dubai Watch Week has been recognised as a significant meeting point for the watch industry as it created an intimate platform for collectors, brands, watchmakers and the members of the media to interact and share knowledge. The second edition of the Dubai Watch Week will take place in Dubai from 15-19 November 2016 across the DIFC gate village and The Dubai Mall. The five day event will celebrate the achievements of the watch industry through a cultural and educational platform that includes several exhibitions, a forum and watchmaking master classes. The theme for this year is “Masters of Time”, which pays tribute to the innovation and craftsmanship of master watchmakers.
To learn more, please visit www.dubaiwatchweek.com
Known as curators of time since 1950, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is the Middle East’s most trusted destination for luxury watches and jewellery. Recognized today as a pioneer among the leading retailers in the region, the family owned and run company represents more than 60 luxury timepiece brands across 65 locations in the UAE. An advocate of ‘horology’ in the region’s retail landscape, the company continues to create sustainable platforms for watchmaking, servicing, collecting and supporting watch enthusiasts in the region to increase their passion and understanding of the art of timekeeping. Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons is the Middle East’s only retailer to offer a specialist after-sales service for luxury watches and jewellery to an extensive clientele. The company prides itself in offering unparalleled customer service across pre-sale and post-sale dimensions having an exclusive partnership with the largest after-sales centre of its kind, the Swiss Watch Services. Led by the passion and credibility of the second, third and fourth generations of Seddiqi family members, the organization delivers a living legacy and dynamic commitment to preserving and enhancing the tradition of watchmaking for decades to come.
Noor Dubai Foundation is a UAE-based charity focused on the prevention of blindness and visual impairment globally. It was launched as an initiative in 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and was later established as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) by Law in October 2010. Over 24 million individuals from all over Asia and Africa have benefited from the Foundation’s free treatment and preventive programs which includes surgeries and the provision of glasses and medication. A member of the newly launched Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives foundation, Noor Dubai continues to strive towards fulfilling the Vision 2020 initiative of a world free from preventable forms of blindness.
To learn more, please visit www.noordubai.ae