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Robotics and the new humanoid paradigm


November 13 - November 27, 2017

In collaboration with Dr. Nikolaos Mavridis
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ideas and realities of artificial intelligence (AI) have been with us for almost a century. More recently we are seeing an expansion of a new kind: the humanoid robot, with Japanese design teams being at the forefront of this r/evolution.

Highly complex, increasingly human-like, emotionally intelligent companions are being designed. These humanoids will be as common as TVs and we will find them contemplating on our Eames loungers sooner than we can imagine.

‘Design has a central role to play in this process, for it is designers who shape the interfaces between humans and machines. Whereas robotics used to be the exclusive domain of engineers and IT experts, today designers are helping to shape the current boom in robotics in key ways. It is they who decide how and where we encounter robots, what kind of relationship we form with them, and how we interact with them – or they with us.’ - #hellorobot

In doing so, they are faced with one of the biggest challenges yet; the design of emotions. Emotions expressed; emotions recognised; in some cases, even emotions shared and controlled. Is it even possible?


At CHI-KA, in collaboration with Dr. Nikolaos Mavridis, PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Director of ‘Interactive Robots and Media Laboratory’ (IRML), and creator of the first Arabic language dialogic robot ‘Ibn Sina,’ we will give visitors a creative, interactive insight into this uncanny and still surrealistic world of designed robotic futures and new human paradigms.

Learn about and experience ancient Automata from Egypt, Greece, and Japan - robot predecessors, and the first Arab robot.

In addition, the exhibition ’Design of Emotion’ will conduct collaborative and interactive research through visitor participation and a series of conversations. 

  Alaa Edris, Reem Dream 02, 2015

Alaa Edris, Reem Dream 02, 2015

  BABU, Go HIgh, 2016

BABU, Go HIgh, 2016


EAST - EAST: 2020, Vol 3

October 18 - 11 November 2017

Alaa Edris
Farah Al Qasimi
Ali Al Shehabi

Curated by Sophie Mayuko Arni


Opening reception

7pm | October 18th, 2017 with curator and artist-led tours 


CHI-KA is pleased to announce the opening of ‘EAST-EAST: 2020, Vol.3’, the third edition of the EAST-EAST exhibition series which aims to explore invisible bridges and links between the UAE and Japan through the works of emerging artists. Curated by Sophie Mayuko Arni, this edition’s theme is 2020, the coinciding year of Dubai Expo and Tokyo Olympics.

In a wave of ambitious projects for brighter and better futures, 2020 stands as a catalyst for megalithic urban development and social high tide for both Dubai and Tokyo. 2020 will be the year that Dubai and Tokyo shine under global spotlight, welcoming millions of curious visitors. 2020 marks the celebration of a vision and master plan realized. 2020 stands as a cultural model: a race to a more efficient, sustainable, convenient,

technologically advanced, happier future. Moreover, Dubai and Tokyo’s upcoming events will inspire global collaborative agendas and promote inclusiveness in a world that is gradually retracting in ethnic divides.

For EAST-EAST: 2020, Vol.3, curator Arni places the two cultures side by side, UAE and Japan, both preparing for their ‘big moment’. She raises the idea of ‘Gulf Futurism’, a term coined by Qatari- American artist Sophia Al Maria, which examines this state of permanently looking ahead, relating particularly to the Gulf sates, while expressing concern over the social and environmental costs of hyper-development. Essentially, Gulf Futurism warns us of a potentially displaced global future.

(read more)



MAR 13 - APR 13, 2017


Opening reception March 13th, 2017  |  6-10PM

A contemporary tea ceremony will be held at CHI-KA on the evening, surrounded by a plethora of exquisite kimonos in all gradient colours.

Every culture has its own sense of color, and Japan is no exception. From prehistoric times to the present day, the Japanese have developed their own collection of traditional colors, known as dentouiro, which are still recognized and used today. Their use in textiles such as kimono is one of the most notable.

Colours displayed in kimono are not random. They have been cautiously selected in creating an expressive work of art that is the kimono. 

Purple, for example, is a metaphor for undying love, the imagery deriving from the fact that gromwell (murasaki), the plant used to create the dye, has very long roots. The exhibition 'Colour Code #Kimono' dives deep into the depths of these delicate colours, exploring their strong metaphorical and cultural meanings, cosmological dimensions and poetic significance. 

The opening of ‘COLOUR CODE #KIMONO’ coincides with ‘Galleries Night’ at Alserkal Avenue on March 13th, between 6-10pm. The evening marks the opening of exhibitions, artist commissions and pop-up projects taking place across the Avenue through Art Week. 



JAN 27 - FEB 27, 2017


Opening reception January 27th, 2017  |  7PM

With performances in Japanese Taiko drumming and contemporary dance (more info)

Held in collaboration with edgy Tokyo-based Einstein Studio, CHI-KA presents the opening of 'New Japan Photo - Issue 3'. Showing for the first time in Dubai, the exhibition features award-winning young Japanese photographers leaving a mark on the contemporary fine art photography scene in Tokyo and beyond. They are recipients of the prestigious Japan Photo Award; currently the largest photography award in Japan, held biannually and involving over 3000 participants.

The opening of the exhibition coincides with Alserkal Avenue’s ‘Quoz Arts Fest‘ (Jan 27, 2017). ‘New Japan Photo - Issue 3’ is also a part of GPP Photo Week 2017 (Feb 10-17, 2017) - MENA's longest-running international photography festival, organised by Gulf Photo Plus. 

EAST - EAST: UAE meets Japan Vol 2

13 - 30 November 2016

'EAST-EAST: UAE meets Japan Vol 2', an exhibition that explores ways young voices of the Emirati art scene choose to regard cross-cultural contact with the arts of Japan. It aims to draw parallels between Japanese and Emirati culture as both traditional societies move rapidly into our postmodern age and strive to keep a balance between heritage and futurism.

'EAST-EAST: UAE meets Japan Vol 2' is curated by Sophie Mayuko Arni and coproduced by NYU Abu Dhabi.

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23 - 29 October 2016

CHI-KA teams up with world renowned trend forecasting agency Edelkoort Arabia, presenting a window into the future of craft. The public is invited to view craft-infused Japanese kimonos, and browse through Edelkoort's coveted trend books. These handmade, highly tactile books address societal changes expressed in sensory experiences. They are valuable tools for strategists, designers and future enthusiasts. 



23 October 2016  | 10:00 - 21:00

24 - 29 October 2016 |  10:00 - 19:00


29 October 2016 - 4 PM | Nadi Al Quoz space in Alserkal Avenue