sharjah

Taro Shinoda, Karesansui (Dry Landscape), 2015, wood, sand, stone, fabric, holding tank. Installation view, Sharjah Art Museum. Photo: Deema Shahin.

Sharjah Biennial 12

Various Venues

Taro Shinoda, Karesansui (Dry Landscape), 2015, wood, sand, stone, fabric, holding tank. Installation view, Sharjah Art Museum. Photo: Deema Shahin.

THERE’S A HOT SOUTHERN WIND that blows across North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula each year, carrying particles of fine sand that, in a passing moment, coat everything. The horizon clouds into a haze, and as the sands settle, cities change by varying gradations of color. Perspective is altered. In towering, futuristic, neon-flashing emirates such as Dubai, the change feels extreme. But in low-lying Sharjah, the transmutations are of a more subtle kind. Like the positions of the sun, or the light sensitivity of a particular generation of Flemish painters, these slight variations in palette can be transformative.

In ways large and small, curator Eungie Joo’s Sharjah Biennial 12, “The past, the present, the possible,” was an experience of this kind. Nature and the supernatural, myth and magic, minute details of life overlooked in the present or buried in the past, all came together

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