Since the launch of the first satellite into space in October of 1957, many decades have passed and many other missions and conquests have been carried out in the quest to explore outer space. The interplanetary adventure continues today with new nations on the scene, including the United Arab Emirates. In the month of July, from Tanegashima in Japan, the first space probe ever built by an Arab country was launched. To celebrate this mission, the name of which is Hope (Al-Amal in Arabic), Dubai Culture has commissioned the designer of Indian origins Amna Basheer, young Arab Emirate artist Reem Al Mazrouei, with the coordination by Art Painting Lab, to create a mural of over five metres in length in the historic neighbourhood of Al Fahidi. The choice of the location is no coincidence as the desire was to underline the powerful connection between past and future, a theme which can also be found in the work itself. The centre of the scene is dominated by Mars, an Emirate woman to its right, adorned by the typical jewels of a celebratory function, floating in space but still tied to her roots, while to the left is a portrait of the mathematician Ibn Yunus who is looking at the planet. The result is a surrealist-inspired work which combines contemporary aspects with traditional cultural elements because, as Reem Al Mazrouei points out, “…no matter how far we go, we are still connected to our roots and traditions.”
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