UAE Flag Day: artist creates large-scale artwork of 50 paintings to mark the occasion

Calligrapher Diaa Allam has painted 50 canvasses and arranged them to form the UAE flag

A handout photo of Egyptian calligraphic artist Diaa Allam (Courtesy: The Galleria) *** Local Caption ***  al26ju-art-allam01.JPG

As the UAE celebrates Flag Day on Wednesday, calligrapher Diaa Allam wants to showcase a national symbol in a unique way. Using 50 of his calligraphy paintings, the number referring to the anniversary of the formation of the country, the Egyptian artist has hung them together to form the UAE flag.

Unveiling the work on Instagram via a time-lapse video, Allam can be seen filling the walls of a room with his art – installing 50 artworks of green, red, white and black, the colours of the UAE flag, one by one until the image is complete.

Allam, who was born and raised in the UAE, has been working on the project for weeks. Titled UAE 50 Art Project, it includes calligraphic paintings that bear Arabic words the artist specifically chose to represent the spirit of the country. Such words include “determination”, “loyalty”, “humanity” and “unity”. They are gracefully written on the canvas in golden lettering.

In his video caption, Allam writes: “It is time to unveil the concept behind ​​the comprehensive work for the UAE’s 50th National Day … 50 artworks will form the UAE flag, each reflects one of the important aspects of the union.

“[With] 30 days remaining until National Day, I will share 30 artworks which will complement the existing 50 artworks that I started working on 20 days ago."

Each painting also has a digital element. For every physical artwork brought, the NFT version of the piece will be sold alongside it. In addition, the works come to life when seen through the lens of a smartphone camera. Allam has partnered with the platform NFT One for this project and his works will go on sale at the end of the month.

“The love of the Emirates runs in my blood. I love its people. I love its cities. I love its mountains and its fields, its sand and its sea. I was brought up in it and lived the most beautiful days of my life on its land. Its progress consistently motivates me and the Spirit of the Union always inspires me,” Allam says in a video about his work on the NFT One Instagram page.

He says his venture into the world of art and calligraphy began a decade ago. He created an artwork for the UAE’s 40th National Day, with a similar concept as his current project – taking 40 words that he says was his own “interpretation of the Spirit of the Union in 40 words and 40 designs”.

“My dream at the time was to continue my journey to present a special artwork for the 50th National Day, which is a historic celebration of the UAE," he says. "And here we are now on the 50th year of the union, it is time to present that the project that I have been dreaming about for the past 10 years, which will be the biggest personal art project I have done so far.”

Updated: November 3rd 2021, 2:48 PM