KT file photo
If you’re watching a movie this long weekend, don’t miss this unique popcorn container designed by noted Emirati artist Abdulla Lutfi.
Lutfi has joined forces with Vox Cinemas to create the limited edition bathtub to commemorate the 52nd UAE National Day.
The monochromatic masterpiece authentically captures a wide variety of activities, with skylines, camels, palm trees and characters whimsically adorned in traditional Emirati costumes.
Abdulla skillfully conveys the distinctive essence of the Emirati lifestyle.
Released on November 25, this design is now available in all Vox cinemas in the UAE.
Who is Abdulla Lutfi?
Known for his charming and funny monochromatic cartoon-like drawings, Lutfi, 30, is an autistic savant, a rare condition in which someone with an intellectual or developmental disability demonstrates exceptional giftedness in specific areas. Reflecting on the collaboration, Lutfi expressed his gratitude, saying, “I am honored that Vox Cinemas has given me and my work so much respect.”
The artist also spoke about his first experiences. “They made me realize that I was somehow different from other people at a young age. People often looked down on me for working out.” (Stimming is a medical term for when autistic people talk to themselves to prevent them from having a meltdown and regulate their concentration when they feel overwhelmed by the activity around them.)
Sharing more about her personal journey, she said: “My mother never told me that I was on the autism spectrum. I only discovered my disability when I graduated from mainstream school to attend an art academy for determined people called Mawaheb – From The Beautiful People.”
With the support of his mother and Mawaheb, Lutfi’s talents were nurtured. “My art began to be recognized nationally and that was a source of great pride and joy for me. I feel privileged to be blessed with the gift of creativity.”
Lutfi stands out in the UAE art scene. Her work adorns Dubai International Airport, Etihad Airlines and has created promotions for brands such as Sephora, Apple, Barakat and Colgate. Abdulla’s art also adorned the Sustainability Pavilion in the Expo 2020 project.
Gulshan Kavarana, his mentor, remembers how the collaboration with Vox Cinemas developed. “We saw an announcement on social media about VOX Cinema launching an art competition to mark the national day, with the winners’ work on their popcorn containers. I had no doubt Abdulla would be the winner from the start.”
An ambassador for determined people, Abdulla emphasizes inclusivity and acceptance. He leads drawing workshops at schools and corporate events, using permanent markers on canvas to represent a spectrum of black and white tones.
“There is no pretension in Abdulla’s art. There is an element of playfulness and an intelligent, witty response. His art does not reflect peculiarity; it is inclusive and optimistic. Everyone can relate to his art,” Gulshan said.
Abdulla’s favorite topics include the skylines of Dubai, the Emiratis and light-hearted anecdotes about himself. He says, “I enjoy burgers, video games and spending time with my cousins.” When asked about his future aspirations, Abdulla, in a mischievous tone, replies: “I want to get married, but I don’t want to have children. I also want my work to appear on Emirates planes, the upcoming Emirates railway and the Burj Khalifa.”
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