Expo 2020 unveils stunning permanent artwork

Chimera © Monira Al Qadiri 2021. Commissioned by, and collection of, Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai’s Public Art Programme has unveiled its first permanent artwork.

It's an enormous iridescent, oil drill-shaped sculpture by Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri.

The Programme brings together 11 leading artists from the UAE, the wider region and the world.

Alongside Al Qadiri, the commissioned artists are 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 11 contemporary artworks will form a creative journey around Expo 2020’s public spaces and will live on as part of the future city of District 2020.

As the first curated permanent open-air art exhibition in the UAE, it will provide an exciting addition to the UAE’s vibrant and thriving arts scene, and boost Dubai’s position on the global cultural map.

The Public Art Programme takes inspiration from the famous Arab mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn Al Haytham’s seminal work, Book of Optics, written in the 11th century.

Ibn Al Haytham has been called "the father of modern optics" for his significant theories and foundational principles of optics and visual perception.

"We are thrilled to be launching the Public Art Programme with Chimera by artist Monira Al Qadiri. Her bold sculpture, with its magnified size and reflective colour, makes it seem like a futuristic creature from outer space," said Tarek Abou El Fetouh, Public Art Curator, Expo 2020 Dubai.

"Through this sculpture, the artist attempts to merge the pre- and post-oil eras into one body," he added.

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