Expo 2020 Dubai unveils Hammour House, one-of-a-kind community art project

Hammour House will bring together fishermen, scientists, artists, school students and many institutions at Expo 2020 Dubai to showcase a selection of visually striking and emotionally inspiring installations on-site

  
Expo 2020 Dubai. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Expo 2020 Dubai. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

DUBAI - Expo 2020 Dubai has unveiled Hammour House, its one-of-a-kind community art project, at an exclusive preview attended by Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Hammour House will bring together fishermen, scientists, artists, school students and many institutions at Expo 2020 Dubai to showcase a selection of visually striking and emotionally inspiring installations on-site.

Inviting communities around the world to connect with the sustainability issues, Hammour House examines the coral reefs of the UAE and its inhabitants, particularly the orange-spotted grouper, commonly known locally as hammour.

Sheikh Nahyan said, "Hammour House embodies Expo 2020’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, which links creativity and engagement, and aims to bring the whole community together to build awareness, and enable action towards addressing our biggest challenges from the viewpoint of the arts." During the six-month mega-event, the project will showcase a vibrant tapestry depicting marine life created by school students using batik technique and sustainable dyes. It will also feature Hammour Fish, a sculpture made from ghost nets (fishing nets lost and/or abandoned at sea), by Australian artist Sue Ryan.

In an exciting and creative programme that includes daily knitting experiences and innovative workshops led by UAE-based artists and art teachers, visitors can contribute to an "ever-growing" coral reef sculpture, made from recycled materials, which will be showcased on-site at Expo 2020.

The programme also presents musical evenings in collaboration with the Centre for Musical Arts (CMA), where students will compose and perform an exclusive soundtrack, especially for Hammour House.

Bringing together diverse segments of the community and organisations, Hammour House narrates crucial stories that respond to Expo 2020’s subtheme of Sustainability (one of three subthemes, alongside Opportunity and Mobility), celebrating the underwater world.

One of its inspirations is the "One Thousand and One Nights" story of Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman, particularly the introduction of the story where the fisherman develops a friendship with the merman and learns about underwater life and begins to appreciate that fish are not only a source of food but also organisms subject to complex systems and hierarchies similar to those found on land.

Dr. Hayat Shamsuddin, Senior Vice President, Arts and Culture, Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "Through our programming, we are highlighting connections between seemingly disconnected narratives and community members. By bridging arts with science, we aim to engage with serious topics to develop a deeper understanding of sustainability issues. By facilitating connections between fishermen, scientists, artists, schoolchildren, and institutions, we aim to address the future of our oceans. We also want visitors to consider that whatever happens in any ocean body, affects the entire environment globally.

"Through our collaborative art project, we want to create connections between communities around the world to inspire a better future for everyone, while also realising our common values regardless of the differences among us." One of the first global mega-events to take place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 runs from 1st October, 2021, to 31st March, 2022, inviting visitors from around the world to join the making of a new world and experience a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.


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