Look: 10 Instagram-worthy art pieces at Dubai's new light festival in Expo City

The installations collectively tell the story about UAE and its culture

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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KT Photos: Nasreen Abdulla
KT Photos: Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Sat 27 Jan 2024, 10:13 AM

Last updated: Mon 29 Jan 2024, 9:13 AM

Dubai residents can enjoy breathtaking light art installations and a fun, free family day out at the Dhai Dubai Light Art Festival at Expo City.

The first Emirati-led light art festival was inaugurated on Friday when all seven artists and the curators of the event came together to unveil the art pieces that collectively tell the story about UAE and its culture.

“Every artwork is like different personalities in the same family,” said Amna Abulhoul, one of the curators of the event. “They vividly tell the story of Dubai and each one unfolds into the next art piece.”

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For co-curated Anthony Bastic, the event is a platform for the world to understand the UAE better.

The festival, which runs till February 4, will also host interactive experiences, talks, workshops and activities. Here are the top attractions of the event

This beautiful artwork by Reem Al Ghaith perfectly captures the ambivalence of rapid societal changes in the UAE. The arched gates offer a glimpse into the past of Dubai and reflect the cultural identity of the country.

Apart from the light installations, there are several other Instagrammable spots at Expo for the festival. This inflatable tunnel is great to walk through and pose of selfies.

This art piece by Maitha Hamdan is titled Afterlife and features 12,780 pixels arranged meticulously to create an emotionally resonant artwork. It tells stories of profound narratives and personal reflections

This interactive solar canopy encapsulates the festival’s focus on activity and participation. Linked to a cycle, the unique canopy opens and lights up with bright colours whenever someone pedals it. A firm favourite among children and families, it is where you will hear cheers and laughter.

This light art piece is by celebrated self-taught Emirati calligrapher Mattar Bin Lahej. Known as the Man of Steel, he has created a masterpiece that stands tall against the beautiful facade of Expo City.

From creating mesmerizing light paintings to mastering the art of low-light photography, there are several workshops available to both youngsters and adults alike. Younger children can craft their own wearable art pieces while older ones can create solar-powered lanterns using recycled materials or craft their own kaleidoscopes.

With this installation, Dr. Mohamed Yousif brings to life his childhood memories and community tales. It captures a vivid street scene, portraying a community in motion- from dancing girls to women in procession.

In addition to the installations and interactive exhibits, the Al Wasl Dome transforms into an illuminated area that offers a unique experience to visitors.

Inspired by the rhythm of the daily prayers, Abdulla Almulla pays tribute to the spiritual cadence of life in Dubai with his artwork Minaret 2.0. It represents the five prayer times as light dances through its form.

The unique installation is a room in which a light show unfolds. At the centre of it is the bark of the palm tree and around it are seats. Designer Khalid Shafar explained how the piece is an ode the Masjlis culture of UAE and encourages strangers to talk to each other.

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