WATCH: Unique outdoor installation WATERLICHT makes debut in Dubai

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The opening programming of Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park saw the regional premiere of WATERLICHT (2018), an immersive outdoor installation created by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde.

The installation is presented by Dubai Holding and curated by Art Jameel, the independent organization that supports arts, education and heritage in the Middle East.

Described as a ‘dream landscape on the power and poetry of water’, WATERLICHT is a monumental, interactive public art installation that uses a combination of LEDs, lenses and site-specific software to create an ever-changing layer of light, the effect of which is to feel immersed under water.

The undulating atmosphere created by the work shifts according to the elements of nature and creates an overwhelming experience for the attending crowd.

Its creator Daan Roosegaarde is best known for his interactive social designs that play with the boundaries between man, technology and space.

Following a successful tour across Europe and North America, the award-winning performance has reached audiences of nearly 2 million.

Power, poetry of water innovation

Roosegaarde explains, “WATERLICHT is about the power and poetry of water innovation, showing the importance of our relationship with nature. The artwork inspires the sustainable city of tomorrow in the United Arab Emirates, where technology and people live in harmony. We are proud to work together with Jameel Arts Centre and Dubai Holding.”

Throughout Dubai’s history, water has been an essential element – physically, socially and economically connecting the emirate with the rest of the globe. Dubai’s ambition to be one of the world’s leading sustainable cities, moving from fossil fuels to green energy and redefining the region’s relationship with water, is a central component to its future plans, reflecting a core theme of Expo 2020: sustainability. WATERLICHT creates a collective experience around this issue, indicative of the power of art to foster new ideas.

WATERLICHT will be staged three times during Jameel Arts Centre’s opening week. Free and open to the public, WATERLICHT can only be viewed after sunset due to the installation’s unique blend of technology and natural atmospherics (advance registration is essential as capacity is limited).

The next two performances are on November 15 and 16 (Thursday and Friday) from 7pm to 10pm (doors open 6pm). Admission is free but due to limited capacity, it is recommended to register online.

Listen also to the WATERLICHT Dubai podcast.

The installation launches a series of public events and activations curated by Art Jameel for the Park.

Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel, added: “Coinciding with Dubai Design Week, WATERLICHT is an exciting way for us to collaboratively celebrate not only the opening of Jameel Arts Centre and the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park but also the city’s incredibly innovative design scene, writ large. It is indicative of the range of performances, installations and events we have planned for the park and we look forward to sharing further details on future happenings soon.”

Strengthening communities

Khalid Al Malik, Chief Real Estate Officer at Dubai Holding, said: “We at Dubai Holding, together with Art Jameel, are very excited to bring WATERLICHT to Dubai, which is one of the few cities in the world and the first in the region to host this grand spectacle. We believe this moment is truly a celebration of our shared values of enriching our society and strengthening our communities for a prosperous tomorrow.”

Al Malik added: “Jaddaf Waterfront is a fantastic addition to Dubai Holding’s portfolio of iconic destinations that we have proudly delivered over the last 14 years. Hosting remarkable spaces such as Jameel Arts Centre and others, it is primed to become Dubai’s arts and culture hub, in addition to a cohesive community where people live, work and relax.”

Created by the award-winning, UAE-based architecture studio ibda design, Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park is the first open-air art park located in the heart of Dubai. Adjacent to the new Jameel Arts Centre, the park serves as a bridge between the public corniche circling Jaddaf Waterfront and the Centre.