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1497, Installation view at Green Art Gallery, Dubai, 2016

1497, a group show curated by Dubai-based Chinese artist Lantian Xie, sets up an interesting dialogue between various artists about the idea of home, belonging and “unbelonging”. As an expatriate who grew up in the Middle East, Xie has an interest in the theme of belonging and gulfs. He has brought together works by artists from different histories and geographies who share the same sentiments, offering various perspectives on the idea of home and what it means to have a home, or to long for one.

The numerical title of the show hints at temporary, permanent or forcibly occupied residences. “‘1497’ refers to three different inflections of homeliness. It could be the number of a room in a hotel or the address of a house. It is also the year in history when Europeans first arrived by sea into the Gulf region and in North America as colonisers. The artworks in this show include images, aromas, texts and objects that allude to a home in which history has taken place, addressing ideas about who a home belongs to, who it is intended for, who is the outsider, and the people and power that goes into the making of a home,” Xie says.

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