New photography exhibition at Abu Dhabi hotel

UAE put on display in new collection by British photographer

The UAE is being put into sharp focus for a brand new exhibition taking pride of place at Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi.

The eye-catching exhibition, called Terraforming, has been a vision a decade in the making for British photographer Duncan Chard.

The seasoned snapper, who has lived in the UAE for the past 12 years, is aiming to show the country in a whole new perspective thanks to his striking black and white collection of works.

Chard has captured everyday life in a flash – ensuring moments you can miss in a blink of an eye are preserved forever in the exhibition kicking off this week.

The thought-provoking exhibition chronicles everything from a man sitting alone in a car on a deserted desert landscape to an Emirati child on a bucking bronco machine, giving art lovers the impression they are observing this reality at first hand.

Chard says this is a deliberate ply to give the collection an on the outside looking in’ feel – much like being an expat in the UAE.

Chard says: “I want the viewer to feel they are on the outside looking in, because this is how I feel on a very personal level about my own role in society. I'm an expat, and this isn't my country. Yet, while I don’t belong here, I still love the UAE.

“We all live in a world which is seemingly becoming more turbulent as it seeks to reject globalisation, yet the UAE, seeks to embrace it. I see all around me popular culture from all over the world, and that makes feel that this is the place where the future begins.”

Ashraf El Siessy, General Manager at Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, said: “We are proud to host this unique exhibition with Duncan. It is a photographer's vision that allows people to picture what they may not have thought of putting into words. Terraforming will give our visitors a glimpse of the book that Duncan will publish which is a collection that spans street photography, genres of landscape, portraiture, as well as documentary photography.”

Free. Jan 9-29 9am-10pm. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street (02 674 2020).

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