Launched by DCT Abu Dhabi, Public Art Abu Dhabi is an initiative that furthers the emirate’s long legacy of investing in culture and cementing it into the fabric of the city.
There are three main projects that fall under the initiative; Public Art Abu Dhabi Biennial, which is planned to open in November 2024 featuring new commissions across the city; and Manar Abu Dhabi, a platform showcasing an array of light artworks that celebrate the natural beauty of the city’s unique vista; and finally, direct commissions across the city to take place yearly.
Its programs will reflect the capital’s intrinsic cultural identity, anchoring a sense of belonging and fostering creativity. Integral to this initiative is its community engagement efforts. Acting as a catalyst for creativity and artistic expression in the public domain, Public Art Abu Dhabi will offer opportunities for everyone to engage with new cultural programming.
The initiative was inaugurated with the unveiling of WAVE, a public digital media artwork by the artistic collective d’strict, in Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation. Using an anamorphic illusion technique, the 2D installation recreates perpetually surging three-dimensional waves and was first showcased at COEX K-Pop Square, Seoul, South Korea.
Public Art Abu Dhabi will contribute toward the conservation of significant architectural and urban spaces, enhancing their historical, aesthetic, social, scientific, and technological value to the community. It will extend the ambitions of DCT Abu Dhabi’s Modern Heritage Conservation Initiative (MHCI), which identifies, safeguards, and maintains sites that narrate the country’s more recent past.