Expo 2020 Dubai: Ukraine pavilion to engage with the world using art

Dubai - Visitors will be able to interact with a drink-making robot and a multi-sensory wheat field as well as displays of Ukrainian heritage.

by Anjana Sankar

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Published: Mon 23 Aug 2021, 2:17 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 Aug 2021, 9:29 AM

Ukraine is all set to leave its mark at Expo 2020 Dubai. From a robot that makes custom drinks to an exhibition that captures the essence of a Ukrainian wheat field down to its scent, the Ukraine pavilion is determined to spark dialogue.

In line with the pavilion manifesto, ‘In dialogue with...’, Ukraine will engage with the world and member countries at Expo 2020 to encourage conversation about technological, business, economic, socio-cultural and artistic advancements through art.

“It is the conceptualisation of socially significant events, discourses and transformations. Art can be used as a tool to raise awareness of everyday life problems, such as social justice, environment, health care and more. Art helps to improve critical thinking and self-reflection. It can make social culture more intense,” the organisers said.

As part of the theme, Ukraine will present works by contemporary Ukrainian artists at an exhibition called ‘Ellipsis’. The name alludes to a series of three dots that signifies something powerful and unspoken.

Renowned Ukrainian artists such as Viktor Sidorenko, Serhiy Melnychenko, Oleg Tistol, Yehor Zigur and Stepan Ryabchenko are among those who will participate.

Art project curator Anna Avetova said the theme and the name ‘Ellipsis’ was born shortly before the pandemic, at a time when fear of the future was less explicit.

“Because of the project we are taking part in, I wanted to imagine what will happen next, and not reflect on what has already happened. After all, Ukraine is a young and ambitious country that takes confident steps to meet the world communities, wishing to take a worthy, competitive place among them,” she said.

As a curator, Avetova said it was essential for her to convey her country’s dreams, desires and readiness for dialogue and joint plans with the rest of the world.

In addition to art, the Ukraine pavilion has a lot more in store for Expo 2020 visitors. Exhibitions and events at the pavilion will be divided into four themes — smart life, smart health, smart thinking, and smart feelings.

Upon entering the pavilion, visitors will get to know Ukraine on a sensory level. A wheat field will open up, where guests will breathe fresh air and inhale the natural scents of Ukrainian wheat fields. The exhibition ‘Field’ consists of real wheat and its innovative forms. Visitors can walk along the ‘wheat field’, hear birds chirp and get a first-hand look at how nature combines with achievements of the future and exists in harmony with technological progress.

Another installation, titled ‘Thinking’, is a cube art object with a multi-textured surface that symbolises Ukraine’s ‘smart thinking’ potential and allows the visitor to understand the ‘thinking’ of Ukrainian people.

On the second level of the pavilion, visitors can experience the atmosphere of Ukraine’s cultural heritage. The area is designed as an open space filled with a series of 26 embroideries. The installation reflects the dialogues that unite Ukraine and Ukrainians with the world over the centuries.

Finally, guests can head to the ‘SkyLab robo-complex’, an interactive bar with a robot, for refreshments. There, visitors can interact with the robot using buttons that are built into the surface of the bar. The guest must then select a drink that he/she wants to taste by pressing the appropriate button. The robot will fulfil the request by preparing a drink.


Anjana Sankar

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