New digital art project celebrates UAE's heritage through its currency for National Day

Rohith Jagadisha's video aims to bring coin collection and the country's landmarks to life

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Indian coin collector and 3D artist Rohith Jagadisha has produced a video celebrating the UAE's landscapes and landmarks for National Day — as depicted through its currency.

The video begins with a series of sweeping shots, depicting various versions of the Dh1 coin, alongside storied scenery. An oryx strides past a huge dallah coin towering over the desert, gazelles rest next to a gazelle coin, a coin commemorating Gate Tower looms over DIFC, an abra jets past a pair of coins depicting creekside landmarks.

Watch the full video here:

Halfway through, a UAE flag appears, draped in a full set of commemorative coins, before the video immerses viewers into the country's most recognisable bank notes.

Jagadisha brings them to life with stylised 3D scenes, which illustrate the range and depth of landmarks depicted on the UAE's banknotes — including Deira Clock Tower, Fujairah Fort, Umm Al Quwain from above, the Ruler's Palace in Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah city, Khorfakkan Amphitheatre, Al Jahili Fort and more.

Jagadisha says the project draws on a life spent collecting currency. "During my childhood, my father used to get a lot of mail, and I used to collect stamps. Inspired by that, I got into art, because there's a lot of art involved in the stamps. And in those days, we didn't have the internet, so that was the only way I could find references for art.

"Then I moved into coins and banknotes, and saw how much art was involved in that too. After moving to Dubai, I started collecting coins." He was struck by how many versions of the Dh1 coin there were.

Indian artist Rohith Jagadisha creates videos centred on the UAE's landmarks and history for his daughter aged 8. Photo: Raorohith

"Every time I went to the grocery and got change, I would check what image was on the reverse. Whenever I got something different, I'd keep it aside. My daughter started asking, 'Why are you always looking at coins?', so I want to pass on this hobby to her."

Jagadisha produced the National Day video as a fun way of bringing the hobby, and the UAE's history, to life; not just for his daughter, Vipanchi, aged 8, but also for children across the entire community.

It marks the third video he has made for Vipanchi, after reimaging the Dubai skyline, first overrun by giant origami figures and later by fridge magnets.

Jagadisha says he wanted to bring the banknotes to life. "I want children to become curious about this hobby, I want them to see these landmarks and think 'I want to visit, I want to learn about its history'."

Scroll through images of Jagadisha's origami project below

Updated: December 02, 2022, 10:13 AM