In 2013 I had my very first collaborative art project here in UAE, just 9 moths after my arrival. The project was dedicated to the 42nd National Day of UAE, a brain child of singer/songwriter Ziyad Matar alias Z Rain, who passed away far too young in 2017.
He asked me to create a painting for his especially for said National Day composed new song ‘Ya Biladi’. The project was a success, the local newspaper The National printed a special feature about it, which was my very first news mentioning in this country. They introduced me as ‘resident artist’ despite me technically still being on tourist visa for quite some time.
I named the painting made for the CD cover ‘Spirit Of The UAE’, an adaption of the official National Day theme ‘Spirit Of The Union’. The diverse crowd here, people from 202 different nationalities, all living peaceful together – this is in my opinion one of the most impressive things in this country. Intercultural exchange can be nourishing for mind and soul in many ways, not to mention for the body when it comes to food. It amazes me still how much I’ve learned here about so many various things.
Among the buildings I included is the so called ‘Landmark’, to that time Abu Dhabi’s highest tower. Just briefly afterwards the title of the cities tallest building went to the Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower of the freshly completed World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, which still holds it up to date, and is now directly followed in line by ADNOC Headquarters. Also in the picture is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa as highest building not only in the UAE, it still counts as the highest building world wide. Also to see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Aldar Headquarters, a very unique lens shaped building. Some architecture had to be included, the UAE appear to be an exciting playground for architects to realise all kind of new creative ideas.
And that’s the CD for National Day: