For nearly 40 years, the Cultural Complex in Abu Dhabi has been able to occupy a very special place in the hearts of the residents of the capital, not only as a center for culture and the arts and an incubator for talents. And a window that opens up for adults and children horizons of knowledge, insight and experimentation, even during the period of its closure to restore it, it kept this position through indelible memories from the memory of its fans.
In celebration of this busy march of the Cultural Complex, the exhibition, which was opened yesterday morning, came under the title “The Complex”, which is the name that Abu Dhabi residents used to give to the place, an expression of belonging to it and embracing all aspects of culture and arts.
The exhibition, which runs until February 15, 2022, combines the archival aspect, installation artwork, and short films.
The archival side of the exhibition tells the story of the “cultural complex”, starting with the vision set by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace, which resulted in the establishment of the cultural complex in 1973 and its opening in 1981.
The exhibition also tracks the progress of the complex until its closure in 2010 and its reopening in 2018, according to what the curator of the exhibition, Aisha Al-Humairi, told “Emirates Today”, noting that it consists of six sections, the first of which deals with the stages of establishing the building, which began as an idea and then a decision. With the establishment of the National Library and the Cultural Foundation in 1971, and until the issuance of the law regulating work in the Cultural Complex in 1981, addressing the location of the building and its architectural design, while reviewing part of Sheikh Zayed’s visits, may God rest his soul, on various occasions, when he used to invite the rulers of the Emirates, and even Foreign envoys, to the complex, and attend the opening ceremonies of exhibitions and events in person.
While the second section includes the activities and programs organized by the complex, such as the book fair, cultural weeks, and others, the third section focuses on the National Library, which displayed 680,000 volumes on its shelves, as well as 1.5 million volumes in additional closed spaces, in addition to the children’s library. While the fourth section deals with the fine arts in the Cultural Complex, the art exhibitions it organized and contributed to the flourishing of the cultural scene, and the art groups that formed between its corridors, such as “The Wall” and “Friends of Art.” The fifth section of the exhibition was devoted to poetry in the Cultural Complex, while The last section presented information on the restoration phase of the building from 2010 to 2018.