Art on the ground
Updated: 2015-03-10 07:46
By Agence France Presse in Dubai(China Daily USA)
The Middle East's first three-dimensional pavement art festival, starring works by international artists that appear to rise from the ground, kicked off last week in Dubai.
The Dubai Canvas Festival features 3-D artworks in chalk or paint, many of them depicting eye-catching images of the Emirati city.
Kurt Wenner, creator of the 3-D pavement painting technique, says the setting of Dubai provided a "wonderful" chance to incorporate art into the city's ever-expanding landscape.
"What happened in Dubai as far as I can tell is that the concentration of vision has been architectural and I think they're still working on how they're going to be incorporating the visual arts," he says.
Noora al-Abbar, director of communications and innovation at the government of Dubai, says the festival was part of a wider initiative to transform the city into "an open air art museum".
One of the festival pieces, a chalk drawing by Wenner, shows a boy aboard a traditional Emirati fishing boat surrounded by children carrying baskets of pearls and shells. Dubai's landmark high-rise skyscrapers are seen in the background.
Syrian visitor Omar Adi says the festival was "a huge opportunity for artists to showcase their talents and it is a new form of 3-D art that we haven't been used to in the Middle East".
Dubai, famous for its glitzy buildings, is home to Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, as well as Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centers on Earth.
But the city has recently been investing in cultural projects, with plans afoot to build an opera house and a modern art museum.
Later this month it will hold the ninth edition of Art Dubai, billed as the leading contemporary art fair in the Middle East and North Africa.
A man walks on a chalk 3-D artwork by US artist Kurt Wenner on March 4, near the Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai during the Canvas Festival.Agence France Presse
(China Daily USA 03/10/2015 page10)