M.A.D. Gallery Dubai brings mechanical kinetic art to the region

Dubai is the location that independent horological lab MB&F has chosen to open its third M.A.D. Gallery. M.A.D. (short for Mechanical Art Devices) is a concept that was launched in 2011 with the opening of the first gallery in Geneva, on Rue Verdaine, just a short distance away from MB&F’s offices. Since then, MB&F has opened a M.A.D. Gallery in Taipei and, now, Dubai.

Maximilian Büsser and Chicara Nagata greeted visitors at the official opening of the M.A.D. Gallery Dubai.

Maximilian Büsser and Chicara Nagata greeted visitors at the official opening of the M.A.D. Gallery Dubai.

A collaboration between MB&F and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, M.A.D. Gallery Dubai will follow in the footsteps of its forbearers, and will curate kinetic art pieces from independent artisans. Getting into the M.A.D. Gallery however, requires that the creations boast original concepts, are intricately detailed and expertly finished. In short, the M.A.D. Gallery provides a platform for independent artists to reach out to a broader audience by leveraging the know-how of a brand that puts creativity and artistry front and centre.

Much like MB&F’s various Machines (watches, desk clocks, music machines etc.), each of the pieces that find their way into the M.A.D. Gallery serve an obvious purpose but are meant to be viewed and appreciated as works of art. Buying these pieces for their primary purpose is very obviously a case of missing the point (at least that’s what we thought).

More than 7000-hours go into each Chicara Art piece. Nagata says he starts with the engine and builds from there.

More than 7000-hours go into each Chicara Art piece. Nagata says he starts with the engine and builds from there.

After a somewhat protracted gestation period, the M.A.D. Gallery Dubai has officially opened its doors, with a thoroughly engaging collection of pieces. The works of Frank Buchwald, Xia Hang, Laikingland, Quentin Carnaille, and Japan-based Chicara Nagata can all be enjoyed, and Nagata was even on hand for the official launch.

“It is a great pleasure to be a part of the grand opening and having the opportunity to present two of my ‘road machines’ at the first mechanical art gallery in the Middle East,” said Nagata. “My art works are a reflection of my passion and an expression of my gratitude for life, and it is a rare privilege to encounter a gallery like M.A.D.Gallery that is open to pushing the boundaries of the traditional definition of art.”

Something for everyone. There's a broad collection of pieces already on display, including the Machine Lights from Frank Buchwald.

Something for everyone. There’s a broad collection of pieces already on display, including the Machine Lights from Frank Buchwald.

Two of Nagata’s creations, each requiring over 7000-man hours to create, were on display at the Gallery – the Chicara Art I and Chicara Art III. Nagata began creating custom motorcycles in 1993 but took his passion to the next level in 2004, when he first launched the Chicara Art series. The series has received international acclaim, having won six consecutive awards at shows in Belgium, France and Germany. Nagata’s creations have also won the first and second place positions in the highly coveted AMD Championships, in the freestyle class.

The M.A.D. Gallery Dubai has a full complement of staff on hand, and will host the art, and various artists, over the coming months. MB&F Owner and Creative Director, Maximilian Büsser, gave visitors at the launch event a guided tour of the exhibits, and will continue to look for new talent to welcome into what he affectionately refers to as his “orphanage”. Büsser is always keen to work with local talent, and says he is already in talks with a couple of Emirati artists.

We were taken with the Böhm Stirling engines, which require just a flame/heat to become animated. They made us nostalgic for steam locomotives.

We were taken with the Böhm Stirling engines, which require just a flame/heat to become animated. They made us nostalgic for steam locomotives.

On choosing Dubai as the third location for the M.A.D. Gallery, Büsser comments, “Dubai is the most influential and dynamic art hub in the region, and we are excited to introduce these international artists to the local audience for the first time. In Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons we found the perfect local partners as they have believed in and supported the M.A.D. Gallery concept from the very beginning. We saw the M.A.D. Gallery as the perfect platform to showcase kinetic art by creators we greatly admire. The artworks we have chosen for M.A.D. Gallery speak to the creative, youthful and playful spirit within us and encourage the viewer to engage on a personal level.”

Büsser has worked with Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons (AS&S) for well over 15-years, it’s a relationship that began when he had the top job at Harry Winston. MB&F is, of course, represented by AS&S in a number of markets in the Middle East.

A few of MB&F's Performance Art machines were also on display. We've been told that is the last Melchior piece in the world.

A few of MB&F’s Performance Art machines were also on display. We’ve been told that is the last Melchior piece in the world.

On the launch of the Dubai-based M.A.D. Gallery, Mohammed Seddiqi, CCO, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons said, “Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons have had a longstanding relationship with Maximilian Büsser who represents the true spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship, and we are delighted to bring M.A.D.Gallery to Dubai, where this unique concept will be well-positioned within the bustling creative environment of Alserkal Avenue.”

Have a look at some of the other exhibits in the gallery below but we highly encourage you to visit the M.A.D. Gallery Dubai in person to get the full kinetic art experience.

The M.A.D. Gallery is located at the Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8 in Al Quoz 1, Dubai, and will be open from 10:00am to 7:00pm daily. The gallery is closed on Friday.

To learn more about the M.A.D. Gallery Dubai, click here.

To learn about Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, click here.

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