Urban Fabric is the concept and execution of three second-year NYU Abu Dhabi students: Roudhah Al Mazrouei, from the UAE, Gerald Jason Cruz from the Philippines, and Jennifer Tsai from Taiwan.
The trio were presented The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award in June this year for their innovative and thought-provoking work.
“Producing a work of public art requires creativity, inspiration, intuition and initiative,” said Maya Allison, executive director of NYUAD Art Gallery and the university’s chief curator.
“We have witnessed these traits throughout the years in the work of Christo awardees we have mentored. At this moment, as we ease out of the pandemic, it’s delightful to see a work that so brightly and playfully embodies the idea of our interconnectedness.”
The installation is a series of four sculptures that bear a resemblance to a piece of thread. These forms are connected and intertwined into the ground, turning the physical space around the installation into a canvas for the piece to be experienced on.
Urban Fabric doesn’t only play with ideas of space, the physicality of objects and perception, but it was designed in a manner that invites the public to interact with it.
Mazrouei, Cruz and Tsai come from diverse backgrounds both culturally and from the areas of their study. Combining their knowledge of civil engineering, the arts and art history, the group worked together to create the work.
“The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award provides an exceptional platform for the UAE’s young artists to exhibit their work,” said Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation.
“The thought-provoking work represents connection, diversity and the inclusive nature of our beloved city and we are pleased to have partnered with NYU Abu Dhabi once more to help bring the unique project to life.”
Produced annually since 2013, in collaboration with NYU Abu Dhabi and Admaf, The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award gives winning artists $10,000 to produce the work, along with a further $5,000 from Christo's estate to fund future projects.
Urban Fabric was unveiled at the Abu Dhabi Art fair for the first time in the award’s history and will be on show at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus for a period of time before being shown at Umm Al Emarat Park in Abu Dhabi.