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DIGITAL SUMMIT

Highlight Sessions



DIGITAL SUMMIT TALKS


ART DUBAI, AUDITORIUM, MINA A’SALAM


7:30-8:30pm

HOW INDEPENDENT COMMUNITIES ARE UNLOCKING THE FUTURE OF CULTURE
Creative Director, 0xSalon Wassim Z Alsindi, Artist Ana Maria Caballero, Co-Director at School for Poetic Computation Celine Wong Katzman, Co-Founder, VIV Arts Carlota Dochao Naveira. Moderated by  Editor-in-Chief, Outland Brian Droitcour.

We explore the transformative role of independent communities in shaping the future of culture, highlighting their contribution to a more inclusive and participatory cultural landscape. We examine the synergy between these entities in fostering cultural innovation and address the challenges and opportunities ahead for creating a dynamic and resilient future.



ART DUBAI, AUDITORIUM, MINA A’SALAM


6:30-7:15pm

EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION ON CONTEMPORARY ART
Design Strategist and Prompt Engineer Ila Colombo, Artist Krista Kim, Curator and Creative Director Eileen Isagon Skyers, Artist Ouchh. Moderated by Curator and Art Writer Clara Peh.

We delve into the profound ways in which technological advancements are reshaping the landscape of contemporary art, from digital creation methods to interactive installations. We’ll examine the evolving relationship between artists and technology, highlighting innovative practices that challenge traditional art forms and engage audiences in new, immersive experiences.

 



ART DUBAI, AUDITORIUM, MINA A’SALAM


4:30-5:30pm

VIBE CHECK: BUILDING CONSENSUS IN DUBAI’S DIGITAL ART SCENE
Co-Founder & CEO, Arts DAO Anas Bhurtun, Head of Department, Art & Design, American University Sharjah Dr. Zinka Bejtic, Artist and Technologist Fabin Rasheed, Co-Founder, Crypto Oasis Faisal Zaidi. Moderated by Co-Founder, Morrow Collective Anna Seaman.

We delve into the dynamic and flourishing digital art scene of Dubai, highlighting the innovative ways members are successfully building and nurturing a community amidst the city’s rapidly evolving landscape. This exploration reveals how Dubai’s rich blend of cultures, cutting-edge innovation, and diverse people are coming together to forge a distinctive and vibrant artistic ecosystem.


CONTRIBUTORS’ BIOGRAPHIES

Manal AlDowayan‘s work encompasses black and white photography, sculpture, video, sound, neon and large-scale participatory installations. She holds a Master’s Degree in Systems Analysis and Design and a MA in Contemporary Art Practice in Public Spheres from the Royal College of Art, London. AlDowayan embraces themes of invisibility, active forgetting, archives, and collective memory in her practice with a significant focus on the state of Saudi women and their representation. The artist’s practice navigates a territory where the personal and the political overlap. A contemporary artist from Saudi Arabia, Al Dowayan currently lives and works between London, Dhahran and Dubai. In 2014 she was a recipient of a research Fellowship from NYU AD and was invited in early 2015 to the Robert Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida. Manal has shown her work in Prospect 3 New Orleans – The American Biennale (2014/15), in collateral shows at the Venice Biennale (2009/11), and at Museums around the world like Gawngju Museum in South Korea, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, The Victoria and Albert Museum in UK, and Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art in Qatar. Her artworks are part of the public collection at the British Museum, LA County Museum, Louisiana Museum, and Mathaf, and the artist is represented by Sabrina Amrani Gallery and IVDE Gallery.


Nawaf AlHarbi has been a part of Misk Art Institute since 2019, he is currently leading the Institute’s Strategy and Development . Prior to that, AlHarbi led multiple national and regional community empowerment initiatives across the non-profit, governmental, and private sectors. With a degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, AlHarbi is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in the Arts and Culture sector. He aims to build a strong foundation for the Saudi cultural sector, empowering artists and local creative talents.


Faisal Al Hassan is the Director of Warehouse421, a leading arts and design center in the region that nurtures emerging creative practitioners and facilitates artistic exchange through exhibitions, learning, research and commissions. Since its establishment in 2015, Faisal has led the center’s strategy, programming and community-driven initiatives, and has developed key institutional partnerships in the UAE and internationally. Prior to his role at Warehouse421, Al Hasan was the Programs Manager at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, and part of cultural projects such as Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn Festival, and Abu Dhabi Art. Dedicating over 17 years of his career to cultural production and international relations, Al Hassan worked in the Royal Court of Jordan and on several major global events, including the World Economic Forum, Petra Conference of Nobel Laureates, the Royal Film Commission, and the Jordan Media Institute. Faisal received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a specialization in International Relations from the American University in Cairo, and later received a diploma from the Institute of Diplomacy in Jordan.


Moza Almatrooshi (b. 1991- Dubai, UAE) in her practice looks at narratives from ancient and contemporary mythologies in the Arabian Peninsula, and the ways in which they uphold nation building techniques. This culminates in fictions and metaphors derived from regional food production practices and food politics. In 2019 Moza gained an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art (UK) and a diploma in culinary arts from ICCA Dubai (UAE) in 2020. Her artworks have been performed in the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), selected by the ICA and BBC for the New Creatives project, and displayed in the second Lahore Biennale. Her writings have been published in ArabLit Quarterly, and by the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo. She lives and works in the UAE as an multidisciplinary artist and pastry chef.


Asmaa Al-Shabibi is the director of Lawrie Shabibi, a contemporary art gallery in Alserkal Avenue Dubai that she cofounded with William Lawrie in 2011. Born in Baghdad but raised from birth in London, Kuwait and Bahrain, she is also the founder of Unit 21 Consulting which provides advisory work for private and public art spaces. Asmaa Al-Shabibi holds an LLM from London University and an LLB from Bristol University. She trained and practiced banking law in the London and Singapore offices of Allen & Overy, one of the world’s leading international law firms, working with clients such as Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. Her career took a turn towards her passion for the arts when she moved to Dubai in 2003 where she currently resides. The gallery Lawrie Shabibi, founded in 2011, works with a multi-generational group of artists with a focus on the Middle East, Africa and artists from the diaspora. Prior to this she was the Managing Director of Art Dubai from 2007 to 2010, initiating the Abraaj Capital Art Prize and overseeing the fair’s initial stages. Asmaa has participated in panel discussions in London and Dubai (such as at the Art Business Conference) and has provided a commentary on the UAE art scene for publications including Modern Portraits, Blouin ArtInfo, The Art Newspaper and The National Newspaper.


Basma Alshathry has been working at the Misk Art Institute since 2018 and leads the Curatorial department. Basma gained a BA in Art History at the American University in Paris and an MA in History of Decorative Arts and Curatorial Studies at Parsons Paris, the New School. She is interested in social impact and her academic research focused on this as well as community building.


Refik Anadol (b.1985) is a Turkish-American artist. A pioneer in the aesthetics of Artificial Intelligence (AI), his practice examines the difficulties and opportunities provided by pervasive computing, as well as what it means to be human in the era of AI, including the shifting perception and experience of time and space. Practicing at the crossroads of art, science, and technology, Anadol’s works include site-specific 3D ‘data sculptures’ and ‘data paintings’, live performance, and immersive installations. Anadol’s works have been exhibited across the MENASA region, Australasia, Europe, and the Americas, including at 180 The Strand, London; Center Pompidou, Paris; Fotografiska, Stockholm; ZKM, Karlsruhe; the National Museum of China, Beijing; the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; and Artechouse, Miami. He has been included in La Biennale Architettura di Venezia, la Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, and the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial, Melbourne. Anadol was awarded the Lumen Prize in 2019. Anadol teaches at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts, where he received his second MFA. He lives and works in Los Angeles.


Laila Binbrek is the Director of the National Pavilion UAE, which presents the United Arab Emirates’ annual exhibition at the Venice Biennale. She has worked to set the pavilion’s ongoing strategy and vision in collaboration with its commissioner, the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and manages its operations and team. Additionally, she oversees the development of the Venice Internship, a training program that to date has sent around 200 interns to Venice as ambassadors for the UAE and its rich culture. Laila has significant experience within the region’s cultural industry. Before joining the National Pavilion UAE, she spent 6 years at The Third Line, one of Dubai’s leading contemporary art galleries, as gallery director she worked to develop a platform for MENASA artists from across the region. Prior to that, Laila managed the Art Centre at the Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre (DUCTAC), with the goal of promoting community engagement within the local community of the UAE.


Elizabeth Dellert is the Chief Business Development Officer at Cromwell Place, London. Cromwell Place is a Membership organisation offering a first-of-its-kind exhibition and working space in central London, located in the heart of South Kensington’s museum district. Housed within five Grade II listed buildings, Cromwell Place boasts 15 unique gallery spaces, permanent and shared offices, co-working facilities, meeting rooms, art storage, a customs warehouse facility and viewing rooms; as well as an full service on site events team and elegant Club Room. As CBDO, Elizabeth’s focus is to advance the Cromwell Place mission as an international arts space where galleries, collectors, dealers, curators and arts professionals collaborate and flourish. Cromwell Place is home to some of the world’s most exciting galleries, collectors, dealers and advisors: with specialties ranging from Antiquities and Old Masters through to the 19th Century. Prior to joining Cromwell Place, Elizabeth was instrumental in launching the art, antiques and design fair Masterpiece London; ran her own art PR consultancy, piloted Frieze Masters and, most recently, was the UK Director of the Affordable Art Fairs, steering them successfully through the pandemic years and delivering growth.


Laura Egerton is a visual arts specialist with twenty years of experience in delivering engaging and inclusive education programmes and activations with a special focus on the Gulf. With expertise in the fields of communications, interpretation, exhibition and event management and publishing, clients have included Akkadia Press, Alserkal Avenue, Art Dubai, Art Jameel, Cromwell Place, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Misk Art Institute, Noor Riyadh, and SAC. She writes regularly on culture in the Arab world for international publications.


Maya El Khalil is an independent curator, based in Oxford, UK and founding director of Athr Gallery in Jeddah from 2009-2016, she pioneered exhibition approaches and cultural exchanges in the absence of local public art institutions, making significant contributions to the establishment and development of the Saudi contemporary art scene. El Khalil holds a Bachelor’s degree in
Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the American University of Beirut and is enrolled in MA Art and Politics at Goldsmiths College, University of London. El Khalil is currently collaborating with international institutions on progressive socially engaged exhibitions, developing multidisciplinary conversations that address the environmental and climate emergency, including the ongoing digital platform Take me to the River in collaboration with Goethe Institute nd Prince Claus Fund.


Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, his country of birth, Matthieu Gafsou studied photography at CEPV art school in Vevey, following a master’s degree in philosophy, literature and cinema at the University of Lausanne. Awarded numerous prizes, including from the HSBC Foundation in 2009 before turning 30, he has exhibited at the biggest photography festivals and fairs around the world, such as Photo 2022 Melbourne, Foto/Industria Bologna, Belfast Photo Festival and Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, France. He has also contributed to many group and solo exhibitions including Galerie C in Neuchâtel and Paris, MUCEM in Marseille, Three Shadows Photography Art Center in Beijing and Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand.


Nour Hage is an award-winning British-Lebanese artist and designer, working across textile and digital. Her practice is centred on the exploration of West Asian identities, culture, history & storytelling with a particular focus on the role of women, the supernatural and mental wellbeing. She was the inaugural Jameel Fellow at the V&A Museum in 2021-22 and was awarded the Boghossian Foundation Prize in 2014. She graduated from Parsons School of Design (Paris) with a BFA in Fashion Design. She has exhibited at Dr Johnson’s House (London), The Albany/Haramacy Residency (London), Nowhere (NYC), Foundation (digital) and has an upcoming solo at Leighton House (London) in 2023. She is based between London and Dubai.


eL Seed uses Arabic calligraphy and a distinctive style to spread messages of peace, unity and to underline the commonalities of human existence. His artwork can be found all over the world and consistently aim at unifying communities and redressing stereotypes. Born in 1981 in Paris to Tunisian parents, he was disconnected from his Arabic roots, speaking only the Tunisian dialect of the language at home. In his teenage years in a kind of quest for his identity, he began to delve into his own heritage and learned to read and write standard Arabic.It was during this journey that he began to develop his artistic style of calligraphy, which would later bring him worldwide acclaim. He found that Arabic calligraphy was a way of building a link between his equally important French and Tunisian backgrounds and as he matured, eL Seed began to use that same calligraphy as a tool to build bridges all over the world. Whenever he works within a community, he spends a long time researching to find an appropriate quote to summarise the voice of the community he is working within and to underline his key principals of love, respect and tolerance. His work has been shown in exhibitions and in public places all over the world including most notably on the façade of L’Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, in the favelas of Rio di Janeiro, on the DMZ in between North and South Korea, in the slums of Cape Town and in the heart of Cairo’s garbage collectors neighbourhood. In 2017, he won the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. He was named a Global Thinker in 2016 by Foreign Policy for his project ‘Perception’ in Cairo. In 2013, he collaborated with Louis Vuitton on their famous ‘Foulard d’Artiste’.


Dr. Omar Kholeif is an author, curator, broadcaster, and cultural historian who currently serves as Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE. Born in Cairo to Egyptian and Sudanese parents, Dr. Kholeif began their career as a filmmaker before settling into what they dub “the picture palace” of museums while also organizing major cultural festivals. They have held curatorial and leadership positions at museums in Liverpool, Manchester, London, Chicago, and Sharjah and have curated over 70 exhibitions of visual art. Kholeif has also authored or co-authored over 40 books, which have been translated into 12 languages. As a scholar and educator, Dr. Kholeif has held positions at the University of Chicago, Hunter College, City University of New York, and the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. In 2012, Kholeif founded the cultural agency, artPost21, which supports creative practices at the nexus of art and social justice. They are the founding series editor of Imagine Otherwise for Sternberg Press and host of the artPost21 Podcast. They are a trustee of SPACE, London, where they serve as Chair of Access, Equality and Inclusion and is a Global Ambassador for Mental Health Research UK. Their most ambitious publishing project to date, a memoir as an art historical document, Internet_Art: From the Birth of the Web to the Rise of NFTs is published by Phaidon in Spring 2023.

Holding a double master in Sustainable Development from PARIS-DAUPHINE University and Profit-Non-Profit Project Management from the ESSEC business school, Cécile Lochard began her career in finance within HSBC’s SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) branch, where she evolved over a period of six years. For eight years she then managed private partnerships for the WWF (The World Wildlife Fund for Nature), the world’s first environmental non-profit organization, where she created a philanthropy department and notably served as spokesperson for topics surrounding luxury and the environment. In 2011, Cécile wrote “Luxury and Sustainability: A New Alliance” (Luxe et Dévelop- pement Durable : La Nouvelle Alliance), a leading reference on the subject of luxury and social responsibility published by Éditions Eyrolles. At the same time she founded a consultancy specifically aimed at guiding luxury Houses in the creation of CSR strategies and assisting Charity Organisations and Foundations in how to create environmentally responsible programmes. She also speaks at conferences internationally and serves as an MBA Luxury Management professor specializing in “Conscious Luxury”. Cécile joined the LVMH Group in 2015 as the Director of Sustainable Development and Communications for Cha Ling, before joining the Guerlain House in 2019 as Biodiversity Programs and Sustainable Communications Manager. She became Guerlain’s Chief Sustainability Officer in September, 2020. Consistently guided by a desire to unite the worlds of luxury and sustainability, Cécile Lochard use her new role to deepen Guerlain’s House commitment to sustainability: innovating sustainably, preserving biodiversity, acting for climate and creating positive social impact.


Louisa Macmillan is an independent editor, writer, curator and researcher specialising in modern and contemporary Arab Art. She was the Eisler curator of modern and contemporary Middle Eastern Art at the British Museum (2010–12) and is currently Head of Research and Archives at Azzawi Art, London (2015–present). Her love of language (especially unusual etymology and fiendish grammar) is matched by a passion for visual art, and a strong conviction that making the arts accessible for all is crucial to promoting mutual understanding between cultures.


Youdhisthir Maharjan (Youdhi), born 1984, is based between Boston and Kathmandu. A visual artist working with written language, Maharjan works with found book pages to investigate and explore language through laborious and monotonous processes, like cutting out individual alphabets, weaving and crocheting strips of book pages, or reassembling parts of selectedalphabets, in search of new possibilities of reading, writing, and interpreting. Maharjan holds a BA in Art History and Creative writing from New England College, USA (2009) and an MFA in Experimental Printmaking from the University of Idaho (2012). He has exhibited his work internationally in solo exhibitions at Prichard Gallery, Idaho (2012), Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu (2015), Tarq, Mumbai (2018), Vadhera Art Gallery, Delhi (2019), Frank Museum of Art, OH (2020) among others. A selection of his participation in group shows include Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2019), Serendipity Art Festival (2018), Scope New York (2018), Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH (2017), Kathmandu Triennale (2017, 2021), Winchester Gallery, UK (2016), Boston International Fine Art Show (2015).


Fiorenzo Manganiello is a private collector and patron of young artists who, at only 30 years old, is already a visionary. As a business owner, professor and expert in the Blockchain Technology, and founder of Lian Foundation – partner of the United Nations of Geneva and the Geneva Red Cross – Fiorenzo, as young collector, sees that the exponential development of technology is transforming our world and its reflection can be found through art. Contemporary art, as the most remarkable transformation of our time, is the dimension in which our young collector navigates. His private collection is composed of NFTS and painting of not only renowned artists such as Oli Epp, Austin Lee and Alexander Gardner, but also of young emergent contemporary artists as Chloé Wise and Marja Djordjevic. Fiorenzo has an eye for artists playing around the evanescent boundary between the digital and physical worlds. All artists share a common dualism between the two realities, exploring movements and techniques confusing the human eye. Fiorenzo Manganiello, as ambassador of the new generation, patron of the young artists and business entrepreneur in the new technologies, for the edition of Art Dubai 2023, will share his vision on how art and new technologies can be intertwined.


MARYANTO (b.1977, Indonesia) Maryanto is an Indonesian artist who creates black and white paintings and installations that examine socio-political structures through the depiction of landscapes. His work often explores the impact of technological development, industrialization, pollution, and resource exploitation on the natural world. Maryanto graduated from the Faculty of Fine Art, Indonesia Institute of the Art, Yogyakarta in 2005, and completed a residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2013. Maryanto has presented solo exhibitions at Yeo Workshop, Singapore (2017 and 2015); Art Basel Hong Kong, Discoveries Section (2016); the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam; ArtAffairs, Amsterdam; and Heden, Denhaag (2013). He has also recently participated in notable group exhibitions at the Koganei Art Spot Chateau, Tokyo (2018); the Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide; the Asia Culture Centre, Gwangju; the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (2017); the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2015); and the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Amsterdam (2013). Maryanto has also been featured at international biennials such as the 2nd Industrial Biennale, Labin, Croatia (2018); the Setouchi Triennale, Naoshima, Japan (2016); the Jakarta and Jogja Biennales, Indonesia (2015); and the Moscow Biennale, Moscow, Russia (2013). Maryanto lives and works in Yogyakarta.


Abigail Miller is the Associate Director of Web3 at Unit London. In 2013, Unit London was built upon the founding belief art is for everyone. In 2021, Unit London led the way for art galleries in entering the NFT space, because we recognised the potential for unparalleled transparency, access and liberty for generations of digital artists who have struggled to build careers in the traditional art ecosystem. Built at the accelerating intersection of art and technology, Unit London Web3 is a blockchain platform of highly-curated digital art programming dedicated to identifying and supporting generation-defining artists. Before transitioning into the art world, Abigail graduated with degrees in Blockchain Security focusing on Terrorism and Nuclear Non-proliferation and worked in Defi since 2014. Additionally, she was a Fulbright scholar in Russia where she worked with various museums and art institutions. She holds a MA from Courtauld Institute of Art and has worked with various auction houses, museums, and private collections based in Eastern Europe, London, and the United States.


Timo Nasseri (b. 1972, Berlin, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. He received his diploma in photography from the Lette-Verein, Berlin in 1997. Nasseri explores themes such as geometry, mathematics, architecture, calligraphy, and most recently, camouflage. Combining Islamic and Western cultural heritages, his work is inspired as much by specific memories and religious references as by universal archetypes described by mathematics and language, and the inner truths of form and rhythm. His work uses the means of natural science to open up a perspective for the poetic and fantastic. Nasseri takes his inspiration from mathematics, geometry and patterns and underlines their interconnectedness in terms of repetition and aesthetics in his drawings and sculptures. His practice is one that tackles the subject of infinity and that aims to solve puzzles, whether they are historical mysteries or the explorations via mathematical theorems to discover an overarching order in the chaos of existence. He has participated in several group and solo exhibitions including Mercedes-Benz Contemporary (2022); Museum Konkrete Kunst Ingolstadt (2022); The British Museum, London (2021); The Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2021); Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2022, 2019); ZKM, Karlsruhe (2019); Sfeir-Semler Gallery (2009,12,15,19); CCA Andratx (2019); Stichting Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen (2018);the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2017); the Melbourne Triennale (2017); Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2017);Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt (2016); AK Vienna (2016); KW-Kunstwerke, Berlin (2015); and the Drawing Room Biennial, London (2021,2019, 2015). He was also the winner of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in 2011.


Sunny Rahbar (born 1977, USA) is of Iranian origin and was raised in Dubai, UAE. Rahbar graduated with a Bachelor of the Arts from Parsons Schools of Design, New York in 2000. During school and after graduation, she worked at the Guggenheim Museum, New York before moving to London where she worked at Sotheby’s on the contemporary decorative art sale. She moved back to New York in 2001 where she was involved with the launch of eyestorm.com’s New York gallery space. At the end of 2001, Rahbar returned to Dubai and worked independently with young and emerging artists. She was involved with numerous private and public art projects with a determined goal to foster a platform for the promotion of a rising generation of artists in the region. In 2003, she took up the position of resident curator at Five Green, known as the first creative space for art in the U.A.E, and curated several exhibitions within the Five Green gallery. In 2005, with her two partners Claudia Cellini and Omar Ghobash, she co-founded The Third Line in Dubai – a contemporary art gallery focused on building an internationally recognized platform for artists from the MENA region and beyond. The Third Line also serves as a platform for other programming and publishing projects, including artist’s lectures, presentations and books.


After receiving her BA from the Institut d’Etudes Superieurs des Arts (Paris) and her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, Cecilia Ruggeri is currently completing a Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She was the recipient of Fondazione Zerilli Marimo’s grant in 2018 and the Association for Art History grant in 2020. Ruggeri is particularly interested in new museum typologies and transnational artistic exchanges. She has contributed to several museum exhibitions during her collaborations with the Vatican Museums (Vatican City) and she has served as the gallery manager at The Third Line (Dubai). She is currently curator at the Misk Art Institute in Riyadh.


A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and HEC Paris, Fabien Vallérian began his career in 2008 in marketing at Baccarat crystal, where he worked hand in hand with numerous designers and artists. Then in 2016 he was called to become Marketing and Commercial Director of the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, establishing a bridge between a unique know-how and contemporary creation. Passionate about contemporary art and design, he joined Maison Ruinart in February 2018 to direct international communications. Today, as International Arts and Culture Director of Ruinart, he works to promote the many links between Ruinart and the art world: commissions to artists, partnerships with fairs, museums and galleries, public relations as well as various Ruinart art prizes around the world.


Isabelle van den Eynde opened her first gallery, B21, in 2006 in Dubai’s Al Quoz industrial district exhibiting artists from the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. In 2010, van den Eynde founded her eponymous space in Alserkal Avenue.


Richard Wagner is an architect, sustainability enthusiast and design technologist, pursuing a non-conventional multi-disciplinary and collaborative design practice. With more than 16 years UAE experience and a keen interest in creative synthesis of architectural detailing, craftsmanship and digital fabrication, he aims to take his design work beyond the frequently confining parameters of an architecture practice in an otherwise mostly commercially and developer-driven property market. Born in former East Berlin and growing up through the reunification years, he went on to study at the Bauhaus (Germany), AUB (Lebanon), SCIArc (United States) and the VU Amsterdam (Netherlands). He holds multiple degrees in Architecture and Environmental Sciences. Living in the UAE since 2005, he has seen cities grow from the sand and experienced both ecstatic and turbulent economic times in the region. Richard is now managing partner and senior design director at WWA, a firm he founded together with business partner Dominic Wanders in 2013. With their diverse team of international architects, they have been developing a diverse portfolio of projects, among them new building designs and retrofits, infrastructure and marine architecture, steel structures, temporary event spaces, interior and product design, even 3D printing with concrete. In times of growing demand for sustainable design, thinking and acting with a solution-based and long-term impact is essential, but a reasonable approach must be paramount.


Thierry Wasser spent his childhood and adolescence in Switzerland. From a young age, he developed a passion for herbs and enjoyed picking and drying them to create herb collections. Able to hone his sense of smell by spending so much time in nature, at the age of 20, Thierry Wasser started at Givaudan’s prestigious school in Geneva and trained to become a Perfumer. In 1987, Givaudan named him as a Fine Fragrance Perfumer in Paris. In 1993, Thierry Wasser joined Firmenich in New York, before eventually returning to Paris nine years later to work in its creation center. In 2007, he began collaborating with Guerlain on two of the fragrances in the House’s Haute Parfumerie Collection: Iris Ganache and Quand vient la pluie. His introduction to Jean-Paul Guerlain was to prove influential, as he learned the many production secrets behind Guerlain’s fragrances. In 2008, Thierry Wasser was named Guerlain Master Perfumer and thus became the fifth Perfumer in the House’s history. Thierry Wasser has imagined many of the House’s fragrant creations, including La Cologne du Parfumeur, L’Homme Idéal, Mon Guerlain and numerous new variations within the Aqua Allegoria and Haute Parfumerie Collections, as L’Art et La Matière last ones.