+Media - Spiritfest 99 at DFC ( Article in Gulf Today by Muhammad Yusuf )

Gulf Today 

Dubai Festival City Hosts Art Noor's SpiritFest99 till end of Ramdan 

by Muhammad Yusuf

 Published on April 26. 2021 

As the Ramadan arrives, so does the news of Art Noor’s Event, usually with a few surprises. For two years in a row, it was the LED show at Burj Khalifa, comprising of his paintings of 99 Names of Allah.

This year, Aslam Noor,  who widely known as Art Noor has set a gigantic 10m x 2m canvas at Dubai Festival City Mall, and undertaken to Live Paint not only one but 4 of those during the month of Ramadan.

Live Painting’ at a public venue is not easy and has numerous challenges. But Noor says, “It’s the difficulty of doing a project that excites me, and gets my creative juices flowing”

The live painting is part of Art Noor’s SpritFest99, the month long event planned and implemented by Dubai festival City. An exhibition of Noor’s 99 paintings of the 99 Names of Allah, showcasing his new works of the subject his name is synonymous with.

SpiritFest99 was conceived when it was scheduled to be held during Ramadan 2020. And then the Corona Lock down happened before Ramadan and it was put on hold.

Dubai Festival City is also giving the iconic  “99 Names of Allah” art book to 3,000 lucky visitors, who have just walk up the customer service desk and ask for it. They will get it if the quota of the day is not exhausted.

Most of work which is now displayed was created or initiated during the lockdown, in total isolation from any of the worldly events or distractions “The lockdown period was very intense for me, spiritually, and regenerating in many ways. Most of my small works, which are displayed on paper, manifested during this time, as a solution of paucity of materials. Even though it was a variation from the large scale works that I usually do.”

Art Noor’s SpiritFest99 is unique by way of the variation of the scale and media that it showcases on the same subject. In sizes that range from 30 cm x 40 cm up to 2 m x 10 m for a single artwork, the exhibition lives up to its name by celebrating diversity of the style, scale and mediums, while staying focussed on the divine attributes.

Noor moved out from his studio located in SAIF Zone to Dubai last year after the Covid lockdown ended. He is now in the process of the setting up a new one with a gallery as well, in the coming months.

“After quite a while, I am in fluid state moving from area to the other, while painting at various locations all over UAE. The next spot in schedule is Fujairah for a week, for which the arrangements are being made.” He says “I had organised a live painting day with a few dozen artist friends during Ras al Khaimah Fine Art Festival and I want to promote collaborative art events if logistics of time and space allow.”

Aslam Noor, arrived in UAE in the year 2002, as a sabbatical from a successful career in advertising and decided it to leave it behind for a passion for painting.

After struggling to learn the craft for two years, and many group exhibitions under the auspices of Sharjah Art Foundation, his first solo art exhibition was organised by Directorate of Art, Sharjah. It was on the subject “Asma ul Husna”, the Arabic for 99 beautiful of Names of Allah. He has stayed on course with the same subject for almost two decades.

With more than a dozen solo exhibitions on a grand scale at high profile venues, usually during the month of Ramadan,  he has exhibited more than a thousand  works on the subject till date.

In December 2019, a retrospective, showcasing his two decade long journey was organised by Gallery Seven and comprised of seven events dedicated to one name of Allah with participatory art talks involving the doyens of the art industry in UAE

On being asked as to why he has not experimented with other subjects, his said “There is an inseparable connection between art and spirituality. The source of ultimate creation is divine, and infinite. I feel, many lifetimes is too little time for any artist to even comprehend the extent of infinite possibilities that exist. Personally, it’s not just an art practise for me. It stimulates my spiritual, intellectual and artistic realms.  Newer paths and avenues keep opening up and I keep walking on.”

Candid spontaneity appears to be main force in Noor’s paintings. He paints like his is thinking on the canvas, most times unpredictably, and defying the norms of structure, style and genre. On being questioned on this, he says “When you stay with a work and divine name for hours together, it’s like dhikr in action. I was painting the name Al Fattah just yesterday, which means the Opener. All of a sudden an image of a bird which is released from a cage came to my mind, and I recorded with a single stroke on the canvas. Then I started to introspect on how we get to understand ideas and concepts leading us into a kind of opening. Into something we never knew existed.”

If the aim of art is to spiritual realization, then Noor seems to have found a unique path that has helped him build a vast body of work, focussed on the single subject. He has also done some works on Rumi’s verses of love, wide his series called Ruminiscence. “Rumi’s message appeals to the human spirit, while connecting to that divine spark. And there is so much inspiration in them for us to learn from and live by.”

“What next is the question that is difficult to answer”, he quips. “Even after two decades in art, I feel I have just begun. I will continue to paint and write books. My next one is in the final stages, and will be ready to print soon. Yes, the online exhibitions and events are a good way to integrate art practice with. NFT’s are another interesting development in the art world. Let’s see where the challenges of life take us. But I am confident human spirit will overcome will the odds and find ways evolve further.

That’s the core message of Art Noor’s SpritFest99 too this year, if you read into the Art exhibited there. And listen to his thoughts expressed candidly, like his paintings with spontaneous strokes.






Art Noor's SpiritFest99 at DFC

This year, Aslam Noor, widely known as Art Noor has set a gigantic 10m x 2m canvas at Dubai Festival City Mall, and undertaken to Live Paint not only one but 4 of those during the month of Ramadan.

Read Full Article

Art Noor's SpiritFest99 at Dubai Festival City

This year, Aslam Noor,  who widely known as Art Noor has set a gigantic 10m x 2m canvas at Dubai Festival City Mall, and undertaken to Live Paint not only one but 4 of those during the month of Ramadan.

Read Full Article

Devout Display

The Ramadan inspired LED show that Noor designed and produced for Burj Khalifa depicting the divine names, which was chosen to be played on the façade of the world’s tallest tower many times in the evening, during the whole month of Ramadan.

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The rhythm of life is expressed through colour harmonies and contrasts. "It is a ceaseless flow. Old leaves die, new ones take their place. Emotions, passions, and vulnerabilities coexist on the canvas and across many canvases."

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"Retrospective" at Studio 7 Gallery

At “ArtNoor Retrospective” visitors featured a wide genre of artworks that Noor has created, shedding light on the Artists Journey and for the first time a show has been so integrally planned to engage visitors.

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For two consecutive years 2018 & 2019, Burj Khalifa showcased Art Noor's 99 Names of Allah series of paintings, via the multiple LED shows, that ran every day for the whole month of Ramadan. Noor reveals his insights in the interview with Art & Lusso.

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Being held at St Regis Dubai until July 2, the exhibits consist mainly of large scale works both in size and depth.Emphasising the need for learning to love one another.

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Noor Speaks to Panorama about his works and current exhibits.

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Art Noor broke away from his highly successful corporate career in advertising in 2002 to dedicate his time to art, and more particularly, to all topics related to the Creator, and Love.

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"One of the great lessons painting can teach you is not to be afraid of making mistakes. Every mistake is a doorway which leads to some
discovery. Every flawed attempt gets one closer to the desired outcome " Art Noor shares his process of creating.

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Alive & Sublime 99

Alive and Sublime 99 shows by Art Noor – The latest Exhibition of paintings, Inspired by the glorious names of Allah at Dubai Mall and Marina Mall, have been on display through Ramadan,

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Painting the Soul

Ruminiscence is a solo exhibition of thirty lyrical paintings by Art Noor, reflecting his admiration for the celebrated poet Rumi.

The paintings demonstrate the diversity of his artistic endeavours and the universality of his appeal.

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"He experiments with various styles and techniques and uses, for example, both wash and hard brushstrokes. But the spiritual dimensions of his work are selfevident, whatever the medium or technique."

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Solidarity, to help rebuild Kerala

".. Art Noor, famous for his abstract paintings based on Arabic calligraphy of Allah's
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Aslam (Art) Noor’s ‘Sailing in the Same Boat’ that started out as a live painting project in Abu Dhabi on a four-part canvas measuring 4mx1.5m. Reinterpreting the natural shape of the UAE map as a large dhow, sailing with many nationalities on board.

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Wings of Light

Perhaps this is what Noor’s mission is. To touch the hearts with interpretations of the divine attributes through his memorable strokes of emotion and faith and put them in touch with the sacred within.

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