Staff Reporter, Gulf Today
A gorgeous view of Mobility Pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai.
India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, has conveyed his country’s best wishes for the success of Expo 2020 Dubai to Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade.
Goyal said this at a joint media appearance with Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi to mark the launch of bilateral negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi and a high-level UAE delegation are in New Delhi to hold talks aimed at improving bilateral economic relations, including expanding the existing trade and investment relationship.
Goyal expressed confidence that India’s multi-dimensional participation in Expo 2020 Dubai will help increase bilateral trade and investment in both directions. Goyal, along with B V R Subrahmanyam, India’s Commerce Secretary, and a high-level delegation, will attend the opening ceremony of Expo 2020 Dubai.
On Oct. 1, the day after the ceremonial opening of Expo 2020 Dubai, Goyal will formally inaugurate the India Pavilion at the world exposition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will read a three-minute video message at the opening ceremony, where the Commerce Secretary will deliver the welcome address.
Subrahmanyam also participated in the joint media interaction by Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi and Goyal. According to the Commerce Secretary, “the India pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will showcase a resurgent India’s march to becoming a five trillion-dollar economy. India’s exceptional fightback against COVID-19 and the country’s emergence as a global business hub presenting huge opportunities for the world will be the overarching theme of India’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.”
The opening night at the India Pavilion will be cultural extravaganza displaying India’s diverse cultural heritage, according to details released here.
Meanwhile, with Expo 2020 Dubai readying to open its doors to the world on Oct. 1, four Emirati artists from different generations are finalising the installation of their permanent public artworks on the Expo site, as part of Expo 2020’s Public Art Programme.
The artworks by Emirati artists Afra Al Dhaheri, Abdallah Al Saadi, Asma Belhamar and Shaikha Al Mazrou will be exhibited alongside other works by leading colleagues from the region and the world, creating an unprecedented space for creativity across the Expo site, not only during the six-month duration of one of the world’s most anticipated events, but also for many years to come.
The Public Art Programme is curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh and designed in alignment with the ambitious urban plans that will transform the Expo 2020 site into the future city of District 2020. The programme is curated as a platform for contemporary art in the neighbourhood, with 11 permanent substantial public artworks interwoven within its urban fabric and offering the possibility for many more artworks in the future.
Abdullah Al Saadi’s work, Terhal, is a permanent public intervention in a seating area, and embodies the result of his immersion in the unique natural surroundings of Wadi Tayyibah in the emirate of Fujairah. In this work, the artist’s map-like paintings are inspired by different orientations on stones from the Wadi Tayyibah region. The stones are organised according to his own symbolic code, in an invitation to discover a kind of poetic archaeological language.
The Plinth by Shaikha Al Mazrou embodies her aesthetic language, which diverts materiality and creates dynamic forms with an interplay of tension and balance, demonstrating the artist’s intuitive, keenly felt understanding of materials and their physical properties. The work conceptually and formally references plinths, and its form allows the possibility of other artists to create artworks that can be exhibited in relation to it. Al Mazrou intends the sculpture to function as a tool for future dialogue with other artists, whom she might not know or meet.
A special part of the Public Art Programme is curated by Muneera Al Sayegh and Mohammed Al Olama and includes two works that explore the role of monuments in the local landscape and their connection with memory, architecture and nature.
One work is a large-scale marble sculpture by artist Afra Al Dhaheri entitled Pillow Fort, which is inspired by the tikkay, traditional Emirati floor pillows, revisiting childhood moments of impromptu play when building a pillow tower or a fort with them. These childhood forts existed within our rooms within our homes, as a space within a space within a space. The viewer’s presence and interaction are essential in activating this work, which becomes a tool that connects society in a mass recollection of memory.
The other work titled Distorted Familiarities by artist Asma Belhamar confronts perspectives of nature and the built environment, marrying the two realities. Belhamar speaks to the visual distortion experienced when commuting from mountainscapes into cityscapes, where the change from landscape to architecture and from topography to iconography feels like a journey through shifting scales and times.
All 11 artworks are interwoven within the urban fabric of the city of Dubai, forming lasting landmarks along a path across the site of Expo 2020 Dubai that creates a narrative of concepts, ideas and aesthetics – a creative journey that sets the tone for the site of Expo 2020, encouraging innovative thinking and sparking the imagination of its visitors.