New UAE art installations you must check out

The weather is just perfect for a walk around the city to take note of the latest art installations on display


Purva Grover

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Pillar of Fortitude at DIFC
Pillar of Fortitude at DIFC

Published: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 11:40 PM

Grab your shoes and a hoodie, if you must, and make these stopovers to acquaint yourself with the arty happenings in your neighbourhood.

A celebratory piece

Malaysia Pavilion, in collaboration with Emirati artist Shatha Essa Al Mulla, have presented the ongoing Expo 2020 with an artwork honouring the UAE’s Golden Jubilee. Al Mulla worked closely with Malaysian artists, under the guidance of the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), to build 50 cones that represent 50 sand dunes of the UAE. “The inspiration behind the installation comes from the rich heritage of both Malaysia and the UAE. The Golden Jubilee of the UAE is a time for everyone to appreciate where the UAE started and where it is now. With that in mind, we have added a thin gold line on every cone to mimic that gold strand — the Golden Jubilee,” said Mulla. Representing a movement to incorporate traditional practices into contemporary art, the piece reflects the aims of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Hammour House project — a celebration of local knowledge that invites visitors to rediscover traditional tactile methods of creating art, such as knitting, quilting and weaving.

At: Malaysia Pavilion, Expo 2020

Paying tribute to the UAE

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has expanded its public artworks with two new sculptures that pay tribute to the UAE. The unveiling comes at a time when the country is focused on boosting the cultural and creative sectors to support the economy and reflect the inclusive participation of young people and global stakeholders. The Pillar of Fortitude by renowned artist Helidon Xhixha, alluding to the numeric 1, represents the seven emirates of the UAE. The work was also a winner of the 2016 London Design Biennale Public Medal (best installation). Next up, contemporary artist Mia Fonssagrives Solow, known for her refined and whimsical aesthetic in both figurative and abstract forms, is showcasing four art pieces in Red (Bone Form), Green (Apple Form), White (Sale Form) and Black (Eggplomb), representing the colours of the UAE flag. Using enamel on fibreglass, the uniquely displayed pieces are strategically placed in front of the Gate Building flags.

At: Gate District 6 (Podium Level), Dubai International Financial Centre

Meet the Artist-in-residence

ME Dubai’s creative collaboration with contemporary artist James Goldcrown will see one of the world’s most innovative creative talents, who has built a cult following for his #LOVEWALL murals, take up a pop-up studio in the hotel. The partnership will also feature James’ take-over of the hotel’s luxurious suite, resulting in a ‘Love Suite’ just in time for Valentine’s Day. Throughout his residency, visitors to the hotel will be able to witness firsthand his extraordinary creative skills and a display of his most iconic works across the worlds of art, fashion, and social media. Goldcrown shared, “I’m delighted to be bringing my Bleeding Hearts and #LOVEWALL creations to Dubai and to the Middle East for the first time. I’m hoping to learn and get to know the region, the people and the communities that have contributed to its creative scene and be taught by them.”

At: ME Dubai, The Opus

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