Abdullah Al Saadi was born in 1967 and currently lives and works in Khorfakkan, in the United Arab Emirates. After graduating from Al Ain University, United Arab Emirates, with a degree in English Literature (1989), Al Saadi studied Japanese art at Kyoto Seika University, Japan (1994-1996). He continued his artistic education, attending painting workshops at the College of Arts, Edinburgh, in 1998, and the Wadi Project Workshop at the Arctic Foundation, Eindhoven, in 2002.
Al Saadi is one of a pioneering generation of Emirati artists working in the United Arab Emirates. His artistic practice, involving drawing, painting, sculpture and, more recently, performed activities, reflects on the relationships between individuals and their natural and social environment. Translation is central to Al Saadi’s work, evident in his elaborately devised symbolic forms developed as part of what might be described as intuitive systems. Through processes of collecting, indexing, and archiving, echoing the precise methodologies of scientific inquiry and classification, produced with a Zen-like application, he offers reflection on tradition and the changing relationship one might have with the physical world. The motivations for his art are especially resonant in the context of the rapid urbanisation of the United Arab Emirates.
Al Saadi has exhibited his work extensively at local as well as international venues, including Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany (2002); 6th Sharjah International Biennial, Sharjah (2003); Land, mobile exhibition, UAE (2003); 24th Sao Paolo Biennial, Sao Paolo, Brazil (2004); Languages of the Desert, Kunstmuseum, Bonne, Germany, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris and Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi (2005); The National Art Museum, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2005); 7 U.A.E., Contemporary Art, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Center, (2007); 8th Sharjah International Biennial, Sharjah (2007); Findale, Emirates Fine Arts Society, Sharjah (2008); 53rd Venice Bienniale, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage Platform (2009); Marende, Khorfakkan Cultural Center, Sharjah (2009); 100 (One Hundred), Lardo das Artes, Rio de Janeiro (2009); Sharjah Art from The Emirates, National Museum, Denmark (2010); and Plot for a Biennial, 10th Sharjah Biennale (2011). 1980–Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, Venice Biennale (2015); Sharjah Biennial 12 (2015); Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York (2014); Emirati Expressions: Realised, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi (2013); Body Art and Performance in the Gulf Area: 16 Artists, New York University Abu Dhabi (2013); Sharjah Biennial 10 (2011); Venice Biennale (2011); ADACH Platform, Venice Biennale, (2009).Read More Read Less
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