Imagine being in the center of Al Wasl Dome at Expo City Dubai, with beautifully designed Arabic letters floating around you and glowing Japanese artwork. That is the spectacle that awaits visitors to the square tomorrow, October 21, at 7:15 p.m.

Pioneering Japanese virtual reality (VR) artist Aimi Sekiguchi will present a groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind virtual reality show as part of the Dubai Calligraphy Biennale on October 21. It will combine elements of Japanese history, Arabic calligraphy and UAE Heritage to bring to life a work of art that will transform Al Wasl Dome for one night only.

“I’m very excited about this,” Aimi said, speaking with Khaleej Times through a translator, before their scheduled performance.

“I love Dubai for the way it embraces technology and gives artists like me the freedom to explore our creativity.”

He will demonstrate his skill and creativity in three separate shows on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. There will also be a special one-night-only collaboration between the newly opened Al Wasl Plaza Café and Japanese bakery Yamanote.

Aimi said she was looking forward to this as it would involve people using multiple senses. “People will be able to see me paint and smell Japanese delicacies,” she said. “This will be a truly immersive experience for them.

A fan of calligraphy.

An accomplished digital artist in her own right, Aimi has performed several virtual reality performances around the world. Aimi continues to dabble in new technologies like NFT and metaverse and said that she has a special place in her heart for Arabic calligraphy.

“No matter what technology emerges, it is difficult to recreate the magic of Arabic calligraphy as written by a calligrapher,” he said. “I grew up in Japan and my creations are greatly influenced by natural elements such as the sea and vegetation. I can feel the same principles of nature in Arabic calligraphy. “It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever found.”

Returning to the UAE for her seventh visit, Aimi said she is also fascinated by the region’s oud and perfume culture.

“The smells are so rich and deep that I’m in love with them,” she said. “I hope that one day in the future I can do an exhibition where I can combine my drawings with the perfumes of the region.”

Art and technology

Prior to its exhibition, there will be a panel on the intersection of art and technology at Pearl Terrace in Al Wasl Plaza, where several leading experts in digital art will share their experiences and observations.

Aimi said what she likes most about digital art is how it pushes boundaries and blurs limitations. “When you paint in real life, you have a certain size canvas,” she said. “But when you paint in VR, you have a full 360 degrees to paint. It removes all the limitations of an artist.”

He said he also loves the way digital art makes it more accessible for determined people to unleash their creativity. “With so many different avenues and tools, people with limited mobility can also paint digitally,” she said. “For me, that is the most beautiful thing about digital art. “It crosses borders.”

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