13 October 2022 – 20 March 2023

The collective exhibition “Life is a Circus” highlights the Cultural Foundation’s role in emphasizing the importance of media and new platforms in the UAE during the 80s and 90s of the past century.
back to the early 80’s, the Cultural Foundation was the first Arab arts and culture venue to host a Digital Art Exhibition for the artist “Jalal Luqman”, in the region back in 1996.

With this group art exhibition, the Cultural Foundation are re-visiting the history of the first digital art exhibition in the Cultural Foundation, but in a new concept and twist. The exhibition will take the viewer on a rollercoaster ride between the past and the present, experiencing the first digital art exhibition in the UAE through videos, pictures and news clippings, and at the same time seeing how Digital Art evolved into video art and animation.

The exhibition adapts a concept of how we’re so overwhelmingly astonished by the ideas that are unusual, how the absurd materials and content are now reaching millions of views, and superficial topics are now the drivers of dialogue and conversation, especially among youth. In an ideal world, people who work hard to achieve noble goals and dedicate their efforts to maintain the welfare and well-being of individuals and our planet would be rewarded with all the appreciation and attention, but that is sadly not the case in the world we live in. The exhibition “Life is a Circus” tries to represent this cynical ironic life we are living today.

“Life Is A Circus” showcases the works of 23 UAE based Digital Artists, all whom are commissioned specifically under the same theme and concept that describes the ironic life we are processing at the moment.

This exhibition is the first exhibition held to display NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) at the Cultural Foundation, and it aims to encourage digital artists residing in the UAE to explore the technology of blockchain. The digitalized innovative artworks tokenized as NFTs are unique for the inability to transform or change.

The exhibition visitors will be able to buy the art pieces by scanning the barcode next to each piece, which will directly transfer them to the non-fungible token of the artwork.(1)

Jalal Luqman: “Sleeping with the fishes”, 2022, courtesy of the artist.


1. “Life is a Circus” exhibition catalogue, the Cultural Foundation, October 2022.

“Al Tashkeel” Magazine

he first issue of “Al Tashkeel” Magazine was published back in 1984, four years after the formation of the Emirates Fine Arts Society. The fine arts movement was witnessing growth and gaining traction on all other artistic levels.