The Malaysia Pavilion, in collaboration with Emirati artist Shatha Essa Al Mulla, today held a ceremony to officially hand over to Expo 2020 Dubai a beautiful art installation in honour of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Golden Jubilee.
Ahmad Al Enezi, Senior Manager of Arts & Culture, Expo Pavilions & Exhibitions, received the gift on behalf of Her Excellency Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi, UAE Minister of State and International Cooperation and the Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai.
The masterpiece features 50 cones in various sizes representing UAE’s 50 years of success as a nation. The 50 upward-pointing cones represent the ascending momentum towards the next 50 years of development and continued prosperity for the nation.
The shape of the cones represents the iconic sand dunes of the UAE, reflecting its charm, beauty, and mystery. Each cone is hand-crafted from natural screwpine leaves (Pandanus amaryllifolius) from Malaysia. Renowned Emirati designer, Shatha Essa Al Mulla, designed the art installation which was then woven together by an artisan at the Malaysia Pavilion. It took five days to weave the 3-meter material of dried pandanus leaves. The art of Pandanus weaving has a long and rich heritage in Malaysian culture.
Al Mulla said, “The inspiration behind the art installation comes from the rich heritage of both Malaysia and the UAE. The Golden Jubilee of the UAE is a time for everyone to appreciate where the UAE started and where it is now. With that in mind, we have added a thin gold line on every cone to mimic that gold strand – the Golden Jubilee. Coming together and appreciating different cultures and traditions is another quality that the UAE holds, and with that I collaborated with artisans from Malaysia to present this art installation.”
Michelle Lau Sook Yee, Malaysia Pavilion Director said, “I am delighted that this collaboration came from a business matching meeting between Malaysia Pavilion and Miss Shatha who connected with us through Expo 2020’s official business platform. Thus, an organic idea takes root and sprout into a beautiful piece of artwork with strong symbolism anchored by a shared artisanal tradition of weaving in both our countries.
This truly epitomises the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai – Connecting minds, Creating the future. We are proud that we are doing exactly that, connecting the creativity of two artisans from our countries based on a similar traditional craft which binds us together as global citizens.”
El Enezi said, “Expo 2020 Dubai is honoured to receive this prestigious artwork from Malaysia to celebrate the UAE’s Golden Jubilee. Today, we are reminded more than ever of the importance of rekindling our relationship with Mother Nature, to create a more sustainable way of life, and to find more sustainable ways of production, consumption, and overall wellbeing for a better humanity.”