The many faces of people from across the globe living in Dubai is what inspired artist Flordeliza Pesigan to create her latest painting.
“Dubai is such a cosmopolitan city and the gift this city has given me is the diversity of cultures you have here,” she said.
Pesigan’s painting was on display on Thursday at an exhibition titled ‘Outdoor Art Project’ alongside the works of 11 other artists near the Executive Towers. The 12 pieces of art are a representation of how the artists see Dubai, and will be on display until the end of the year for free public viewing.
Having lived in Dubai for 15 years, Pesigan says her painting illustrates the many people she has seen living in the city.
“It represents Africans, Pakistanis and Indians, Caucasians, locals and veiled women,” she said while pointing at the faces in her painting.
“I wanted to show people what I really like about Dubai, and that is everyone is co-existing and co-mingling in Dubai in peace,” Pesigan said.
It’s not peace, but Dubai’s bustling and crowded neighbourhoods that inspired Darwin Guevarra to create his installation — built using scraps found across the city.
In those crowded neighbourhoods he illustrated in his piece, Guevarra said there are people trying to live out their dreams in Dubai.
“All of us here are dreamers,” Guevarra said.
Many people in Dubai came here because they’re fleeing economic or political turmoil in their home countries and would like a chance at living out the “Dubai dream,” Guevarra said, who is originally from the Philippines.
Passing by Guevarra’s installation, Khalil Abdulwahid of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority — which launched the exhibit — said allowing artists to showcase their work in a public space is necessary.
Such spaces allow people who aren’t art connoisseurs to get a glimpse of some of the artwork the city has to offer while giving artists more exposure, Abdulwahid said.
This is the second public exhibition Dubai Culture has launched. The last one was in 2010, where artwork was hoisted on billboards across the city.
With Dubai’s burgeoning art scene, Abdulwahid said residents should expect more public venues to begin showcasing art.
“This city is a hot spot for art, both in the region and I think internationally Dubai is becoming a hot spot for art,” he said.
“In Dubai we are so lucky because we’re beginning to see art everywhere.
“I do encourage people to see the art exhibitions, to take a look and get involved in the art scene,” Abdulwahid said.
Doing her part in supporting the Dubai art scene was Nasreen Al Tamimi, who was wandering along the promenade, taking it all in.
Al Tamimi said while she appreciated the artwork, she was hoping to see more three-dimensional installations. “This is a public space and it’s free but it’s a wall, and I would have wanted to see more three-dimensional work,” Al Tamimi said, adding that as an architect she would like to see more sculptures across the city.
Executive-Towers resident Natalie Martins said she thinks the artwork is a breath of fresh air in an area that is constantly under construction.
“This place was very empty.
“The art puts life back into this neighbourhood. Before this all we saw here was dust and construction,” Martins said, noting that behind the boards where the artwork is displayed is a large construction site.
Strolling along the promenade with her two young children, Martins said the artwork gives her another reason to be outside, even in the heat.
“I would never be out here in this hot weather if this artwork was not up,” she said.
The first time I heard about Dubai...I didn’t have any idea about it...because I never planned on going abroad... but I’m here to continue my dream. Design Inspiration [has been] inspired by Dubai’s history and my own curiosity... about life and about living in this city... its traditions, religion and culture...I started to become aware of elements of this city that has given me the opportunity to be part of a Dream...to witness the transformation from a desert to becoming a metropolitan city. —Darwin Guevarra
Living in a multicultural city, I thought it vital to portray a piece that reflects on the harmonious connection between the local and expatriate community. I did this by using a young expatriate child (Kayla) as my main reference, and painting her in the midst of Dubai’s ever growing beautiful architecture symbolizing her growing fascination and curiosity for the city.” —Amal Al Beiti
This project crosses the line between that of architecture and visual communication, transcending the notion of a billboard to that of an interactive intervention. During the day, it serves as an abstraction of the urban layout of Dubai: random 3d patches of building projections rising from a flat desert canvas. While during the night, the billboard allows its citizens to dematerialize it with their shadows.” — Farah Nasri
The classic harmony, symmetry and balance of the Islamic grid is deconstructed and reassembled to express a contemporary perspective on Dubai. A complex city with multiple layers, a society fused with cultures, growing from its heritage and moving forward.” — Lucas Surtie
When selected for this project I knew immediately that the Mashrabiya would be the cornerstone of my installation. The concept was to create a contemporary interpretation of this traditional latticed motif. I used brightly colored metal to symbolize the vibrant energy, cultural individuality and strength of survival that I have found while living in Dubai. — Elise Vazelakis
From the towering shiny buildings down to the dusty streets, the stencil wall takes inspiration from the urban environment. A busy city under construction, local wildlife and cultural icons are juxtaposed to create stories of everyday Dubai.” — Sandra Surtie
What fascinates me about Dubai is how it is a vast construction site, where everything is constantly shifting, much like the desert sands it is built upon. This naturally lead me to use orange safety fencing, found around construction sites, to mirror patterns left by the wind as it blows across dunes.” — Michal Teague
Dubai is a fascinating city, full of opportunity and saturated with numerous experiences. Cat in the Big City was inspired by that notion; a sense of what it would be like a cat, a curious adventurer, experiencing the city like we do. The concept is based on how each of our experiences vastly differs from the person standing right beside us. Having it printed on vinyl draws the viewers in to be a part of the story and give it their own touch; a connection between the viewer and the artwork.” — Areej Al Hammadi
The city of Dubai serves as a great inspiration for my piece in the ‘Outdoor Art Project’. In fact, it is my only motivation. My work is influenced by my surroundings and life experiences. Dubai, being the city that I grew up in, serves as that main source of thoughts, vision, and encouragement. I want my piece to show viewers that Dubai does not just inspire me to create this piece, but also inspires others to proudly be a part of it. — Hadier Shihabi
Dubai, being cosmopolitan with a cultural diversity of almost 200 nationalities that made this city their home, is what inspired my artwork. This fantastic blend of people, learn and respect each other’s ethnic background. Integrating...commingling.” — Flordeliza Pesigan
Dubai the quintessential metropolis has a glow at night that surround us with Rainbow colors and ray of light’s that you can’t just avoid it, but you just have to enjoy it and capture it, I lived to see the glow from a simple Lantern to an amazing ray of lights that covers the city with it rainbows glow” — Mohammed Ali Abdulla Mohammed Al Marzooqi
A very young but growing city; A global city and a business hub; A city with profound culture and tradition that is also modern. The initiative behind our concept is to portray diversity within the city that we live in. There is so much more beauty to this city deeper than the eye can see. A multi-layered city where one can discover many characteristics within. You can lose yourself or find it in “Something” city.” —FN Designs