Art of a multitasker

Mohammed Abedin curates Art Wars Dubai, an exhibit of modified Star Wars memorabilia. Ravindranath K / The National
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If you ask Mohammed Abedin what he does, the 26-year-old says he is an urban arts enthusiast, a fan of Asian culture and history, a designer and collector of toys and a lover of games. Even that list fails to adequately describe the full range of his interests.
In November last year, Abedin was named as one of the inaugural candidates for the Abu Dhabi Art UAE Designer Programme, an accolade that will see him design a prototype product that will be unveiled at the capital's art fair later this year. It's a project Abedin manages to balance with his day job as a senior executive for projects and events with the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.
"Before this I used to work in a bank," Abedin laughs. "But this job fits me perfectly. It's fun to have a job that allows me to be me."
Abedin has curated Art Wars Dubai, an exhibition of 21 pieces of artist-modified Star Wars memorabilia that has just opened in Dubai Mall (see our Oasis on pages 8-9).
"In a way this is a continuation of things I've done before, but it's also a bit nerve-racking. This is a high-profile event and we're dealing with a lot of names and a lot of established people. You have Andrew Ainsworth, the creator of the Star Wars Stormtrooper mask, you have Damien Hirst's helmet that's worth US$100,000 (Dh367,250)coming through, we also have some of the most iconic Emirati artists working on the exhibit."
Despite the workload and the pressure, Abedin has even more projects on the drawing board and sees his ideal job as an opportunity to give something back to Dubai.
"I love this country and I love this city – it's my home – and instead of just doing stuff for myself I want to give something back to the community as well. There's a lot of local talent to represent here and it's an extremely exciting time to be working in the arts."
* Nick Leech