Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri’s ‘Chimera’ becomes first permanent sculpture at show
Dubai: Expo 2020’s Public Art Programme was launched on Sunday with the unveiling of Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri’s ‘Chimera’, an iridescent sculpture resembling an oil drill.
“Her bold sculpture with its magnified size and reflective colour makes it seem like a futuristic creature from outer space. Through this sculpture, the artist attempts to merge the pre- and post-oil eras into one body,” says Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Public Art Curator for Expo 2020 Dubai. “She creates aesthetic connections between pearls and oil, through their colour, materiality, symbolism, ecology and economy in order to reimagine the past, present and future of the wider Gulf region,” he adds.
The programme, which will showcase the works of 11 leading local, regional and global artists, is the first open-air art exhibition in the UAE. Other artists commissioned as part of the Public Art Programme include Hamra Abbas, Afra Al Dhaheri, Shaikha Al Mazrou, Abdullah Al Saadi, Asma Belhamar, Olafur Eliasson, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Khalil Rabah, Yinka Shonibare and Haegue Yang.
The Public Art Programme takes its inspiration from Arab mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn Al Haytham’s ‘Book of Optics,’ written between 1011-1021. His title ‘the Father of Modern Optics’ stems from his principles regarding optics and visual perception. Al Haytham suggested reality is perceived based on knowledge and memories, and individual and shared experiences.
The programme aims to provide a basis for exploring this theory from a philosophical point of view and in a contemporary light.
The 11 chosen artworks will be located across the Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability Districts and Expo’s two parks, forming landmarks on-site. They will remain as part of District 2020, a global community that will emerge from the Expo.
Expo 2020 will run from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.
– The writer is an intern with Gulf News.
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