x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Welcome to Abu Dhabi Art, please take a seat

Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata began installing the art piece - 1,000 stacked chairs - yesterday at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata begins work on his sculptural installation entitled Chairs for Abu Dhabi yesterday at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata begins work on his sculptural installation entitled Chairs for Abu Dhabi yesterday at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // A colourful "rotunda" made of 1,000 stacked chairs will greet visitors as they enter Abu Dhabi Art next month.

The Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata began installing the piece yesterday at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Called Chairs for Abu Dhabi, it will take about five days to complete, he said.

"It's kind of like a rotunda, a round tower about five metres in height," Mr Kawamata said.

Visitors to the art fair, which is open to the public from November 7 to 10, will be able to walk inside the work and explore.

"It's like a meeting spot," Mr Kawamata explained. "People can sit there, wait for somebody."

The artist has installed previous versions of the piece in France, but the Abu Dhabi artwork will be unique.

"This time I did it, it's not a specific chair at all," he said. "It's more of a mixture of all kinds of wooden, metal, colorful chairs - everything.

"Because here in Abu Dhabi it's such an international city and a lot of people come from all over the world, and I wanted to put a mixture - even a couch."

Abu Dhabi Art will be held in the Saadiyat Cultural District. Chairs for Abu Dhabi is to be part of the fair's BEYOND section, featuring large installations or sculptures.

It will symbolically link the people who enter it, Mr Kawamata said.

"An empty chair is waiting for the people to sit down, and then a chair is connecting to the other chair," he explained. "So it's really like a waiting spot, open for everybody to sit down. That's kind of the metaphor we're using."

vnereim@thenational.ae