Expo 2020 Dubai: Pakistan unveils pavilion with optical illusions

Visitors will experience South Asian country's diverse culture through traditional artwork, music and food

Thousands of individual glass units of different sizes and colour make up the facade of the Pakistan pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai site, creating an optical illusion for visitors as they walk by the unique structure.

New images posted by Pakistani pilot and singer Fakhr-e-Alam show the remarkable progress made on the pavilion, which will display the history, art and culture of the South Asian country.

The photos were released before the grand opening of Expo 2020 Dubai on October 1.

Rashid Rana, the artist behind the facade, said the multicoloured structure is a representation of Pakistan’s culture, pleasant weather and history.

“This is perhaps one of the most exciting and challenging projects of my career, simply because I was expected to transform architecture into art,” he said.

“The magic, perhaps, lies in the fact that each of these individual units, thousands of them, look similar but all of them are unique, fractionally different from each other in terms of the colour and size, and the viewer gets multiplicity views as they walk around it.”

Covering an area of 3,251 square metres in the Opportunity District, the pavilion theme – The Hidden Treasure – is intended to boost tourism, commerce and investment in Pakistan.

One of the main highlights of the pavilion will be the ‘inner journey’, which has been designed by Noorjehan Bilgrami, the principal curator.

It is divided into eight spaces that offer archaeological treasures, handicrafts, natural resources, tourist sites, food, culture, music and art.

A virtual experience will show visitors Pakistan’s artisan traditions, landscapes and culture.

“We’ve got the most incredible craftsmen. We’ve got this corridor which has been inspired by the Seesh Mahal Lahore Fort, which is a gem of a treasure,” Ms Bilgrami said.

Visitors will be able to see a hand-built vessel inspired by the southern Mohana tribe of Pakistan and folk music of Balochistan will enchant people as they tour the structure.

Navid Sadiq, a visual artist, has spent months creating unique miniature artwork inside the walls of the pavilion that tells the rich history of Pakistan’s origins.

“I’m painting a timeline from Mehrgahr 7000BC onwards to 1947. Being in the Opportunity District, we have the chance to show what we are and where we’re coming from,” he said.

During the six-month event, many cultural and business seminars will be held at the pavilion to boost tourism and investment in Pakistan.

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Updated: September 16th 2021, 9:54 AM
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