KT Photos: Nasreen Abdulla
Dubai residents can enjoy stunning light art installations and a free family fun day out at the Dhai Dubai Light Art Festival in Expo City.
The first Emirati-led light art festival opened on Friday as the event’s seven artists and curators came together to reveal works of art that together tell the story of the UAE and its culture.
“Each work of art is like different personalities from the same family,” said Amna Abulhoul, one of the curators of the event. “They vividly tell the story of Dubai and each develops into the next work of art.”
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For Anthony Bastic, co-curator, the event is a platform for the world to better understand the UAE.
The festival, which runs until February 4, will also host interactive experiences, talks, workshops and activities. Here are the main attractions of the event.
This beautiful work of art by Reem Al Ghaith perfectly captures the ambivalence of rapid social changes in the United Arab Emirates. The arched doorways offer a glimpse into Dubai’s past and reflect the country’s cultural identity.
In addition to the lighting installations, there are other Instagrammable spots at the Expo for the festival. This inflatable tunnel is great for walking around and posing for selfies.
This artwork by Maitha Hamdan is titled Afterlife and features 12,780 pixels meticulously arranged to create an emotionally resonant work of art. It tells stories of deep narratives and personal reflections.
This interactive solar canopy encapsulates the festival’s focus on activity and participation. Linked to a bicycle, the unique canopy opens and lights up in bright colors every time someone pedals it. A firm favorite with children and families, it is where you will hear cheers and laughter.
This work of light art is by celebrated self-taught Emirati calligrapher Mattar Bin Lahej. Known as the Man of Steel, he has created a masterpiece that stands out 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 for both young and old. Younger children can create their own wearable art pieces, while older children can create solar-powered lanterns using recycled materials or create their own kaleidoscopes.
With this installation, Dr. Mohamed Yousif brings his childhood memories and community stories to life. He captures a vivid street scene, portraying a community in motion, from dancers to women in procession.
In addition to the interactive installations and exhibits, the Al Wasl Dome is transformed into an illuminated area that offers a unique experience to visitors.
Inspired by the rhythm of daily prayers, Abdulla Almulla pays tribute to the spiritual cadence of life in Dubai with his work Minaret 2.0. He represents the five times of prayer as light dances across his form.
The unique installation is a room in which a light show takes place. In the center is the bark of the palm tree and around it there are seats. Designer Khalid Shafar explained that the piece is an ode to the UAE’s Masjlis culture and encourages strangers to talk to each other.
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