UBIK is an Indian artist who lives and works in Dubai, UAE. His work charts various mediums and is influenced by street art, anarchism, beatnik, gonzo literature, and existential thought. It urges viewers to explore their reactions in a cynical, often sarcastic, way.
“Having lived in Dubai for almost half of my life, I’m no stranger to the city. About six years ago, I came back from having spent some time in New Delhi. This means that I got to witness the peak and crash of this über-absurd, yet highly entertaining, desert city.
Dubai has been the home for my family for as long as I can remember. This means that I get to criticise not only this city, but also the cultural and socio-political aspects of the Arab world. Some might argue that criticism is a harsh word, but I prefer to see it as opinions and sharing of ideas from an outsider’s perspective. Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m neither confused about my identity nor bothered by the dilemma of wandering far from my homeland. I don’t mind being an outsider in Dubai and the region. If anything, it has enriched my art.
The current Arab Spring, to say that it’s inspiring is quite a cliché. As an artist, you’d be a fool to not be inspired by such a cataclysmic event. Myself, I’ve been at a safe distance from all the madness unfolding in the region (including nearby Bahrain). Like everyone else in Dubai, I’ve been able to comfortably process, digest and tweet my thoughts.
When documenting things around me, I prefer to take a lighter approach. This is not because I don’t want to choose sides, it’s because I’m not interested in choosing one. In my head, everything is just good pop-culture. I want to question, document, and investigate people’s reactions by employing humour and satire. This isn’t rocket science, but often the best way to get a message across.”