Cartoons meet Culture at upcoming ComiQ expo in The Dubai Mall

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Following the remarkable success of its 3-day specialised cartoonist workshop, The Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum will host the highly anticipated ComiQ exhibition from November 24-28, 2015 at Waterfront Promenade in The Dubai Mall. The event will celebrate the works of participants in addition to showcasing young Emirati talent as part of the UAE’s Innovation Week.

The creative artworks being presented at the exhibition will comprise of unique UAE-inspired characters, that were created by the participants and instructors that recently completed the ComiQ workshop, where they learned about comic art, graphic novels and visual storytelling. Their innovative character designs were conceived during this workshop, but were further developed in months after, leading to the creation of fascinating final works. The exhibition will provide these young artists the chance to debut their creative illustration works during UAE’s Innovation Week and to inspire visitors by talking about their experiences and ideas, which led to the creation of these cartoon characters.

Mona Bin Kalli, Director of The Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, “Innovation is the key behind progress, and can be presented at its best in the world through art and culture. We are very proud to host this unique event during UAE’s Innovation Week and to promote the creative talents of our young Emiratis. Several of the characters being exhibited reflect elements from the UAE and Arab culture, offering an innovative approach towards keeping the invaluable elements of our local traditions relevant to a younger generation of Emiratis through the medium of contemporary comic art. We want to ensure that the participants of our workshop receive as much exposure as they can, especially since the works they created are so unique, and we purposefully chose a location that has a high number of visitors so they can present their works to as many people and possible and to allow a large number of the public to enjoy them as well.”

She added, “The Cultural Office of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is committed to the UAE’s vision of innovation, which comes in many forms and is essential in promoting growth in our nation’s different sectors. In line with the directives and goals of Her Highness Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, we are also continuously working towards enhancing artistic knowledge amongst the community. By creating cultural events like this one, we help in fostering innovation in art, showcasing the creations of truly talented young Emiratis, and in turn, inspiring other young artists to form a deeper understanding of this form of art and to follow in their footsteps.”

The ComiQ workshop allowed participants to receive invaluable tips and techniques from four leading locally-based artists, Asma Al Romaithi, Aysha Saif Al Hamrani, Khadija Al Saeedi and Shihab Aldeen Al Meshrif. Through lectures, exercises, and group projects, they explored story structure, page composition, character design, environmental drawing, and production. The initiative not only provided participants with technical skills, but it is an important step towards encouraging the creation of cartoon characters that are relevant to the Emirati culture, to promote national values amongst young people. Potentially, these works can be further developed and printed as comic books, which would also help in keeping the Arabic language relevant to current and future generations.

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