Jonathan Calugi for Dubai Expo 2020

Photo: Mohammad Baroon

Jonathan Calugi for Dubai Expo 2020

Jonathan Calugi for Dubai Expo 2020

The Power of Collaboration: Jonathan Calugi for Dubai Expo 2020

With less than two months before the gates of Milan Expo 2015 will be open to the public, Dubai has already unveiled the big plans it has in store for their upcoming celebration of global technological excellence. 

Together with McCann London, Dubai has commissioned 21 artists from all around the world to represent in the form of 4m high modular sculptures the 21 topics that embody the core values of Expo 2020; these sculptures, placed in key locations around the capital of the United Arab Emirates, combined together will form Expo 2020’s logo.

As Dubai is planning to go further beyond bringing people together and to facilitate the exchanges that will build the future, Jonathan was chosen to interpret the key topic of collaboration.
“I was given a lot of creative freedom,” says Jonathan, “and initially my attention was drawn to the pentagonal shape of the sculpture rather than the artwork, which was a bit tricky; but when I focused on the topic of “connection”,  the whole work came together really quickly and I’ve designed a one-line artwork where all the elements are joined together. It was fun to do and also really interesting to channel different ethnicities with my one-line style whilst keeping the minimalistic effect.”

Together with the sculptures, McCann has produced a series of videos shot in the studio of the artists involved in the project. “When we did a video call from my studio before the crew came here to film, “ recalls Jonathan, “my studio was a total mess! And the heating was also broken so I had this massive beard and one of those improbable hand-made woollen jumpers on — I thought I’d scared the people at McCann!”

“Anyway, I really like how the video came out, especially as it shows how messy I am and how neat my work is! The whole project has been great and it’s so fascinating to see the differences in style and personality of all the artists involved.”

See more of Jonathan’s work here.


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