Dubai’s Expo 2020 Public Art Program has unveiled its first permanent piece by Senegal-born Kuwaiti artist Monira al-Qadiri, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.
The piece is an iridescent, oil drill-shaped sculpture by the Kuwaiti artist.
“We are thrilled to be launching the Public Art Program with ‘Chimera’ by artist Monira Al Qadiri. Her bold sculpture, with its magnified size and reflective color, makes it seem like a futuristic creature from outer space,” Public Art Curator for Expo 2020 Dubai, Tarek Abou El Fetouh, told WAM.
“Through this sculpture, the artist attempts to merge the pre and post-oil eras into one body. She creates aesthetic connections between pearls and oil, through their color, materiality, symbolism, ecology and economy in order to reimagine the past, present and future of the wider Gulf region," he added.
The program brings together 11 leading artists from the UAE, the rest of the region and the world, according to WAM. Alongside al-Qadiri, some of the other commissioned artists are Hamra Abbas, Afra al-Shaheri, Shaikha al-Mazrou, Abdullah al-Saadi, and Asma Belhammar, among others.
The Public Art Program takes inspiration from famous Arab mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn al-Haytham’s seminal work, ‘Book of Optics’ which was published in the eleventh century. He is most renowned for his groundbreaking theories and foundational principles of visual perception and optics.
Expo 2020 will run from October 2021 to 31 March 2022, inviting visitors from across the world to discover a wide range of cultural, artistic and futuristic initiatives dedicated to bringing people, communities and nations together for the greater good.