2013 – Dubai, UAE
For Design Days Dubai, Carwan Gallery’s collaboration with Khalid Shafar was themed on the traditional pearl industry of Dubai. The stand featured a performance that included the opening of live oysters and the demonstration of craft techniques for working with pearls. The event also saw the unveiling of the ILLUSION PEARL seat, a unique piece by Khalid Shafar that celebrates a long tradition of the Arabian Gulf and new avenues for contemporary design.
The pearl industry was once the most important economic activity in the United Arab Emirates. It has been integral to the Arabian Gulf culture for at least 7,000 years creating a rich heritage of traditions.
Khalid Shafar also found inspiration for the ILLUSION design in the city life of modern Dubai. The dynamic lines and movement created by the rope woven over the timber frames cast radiant shadows evoking the motion and speed of a city highway by night.
ILLUSION’s optical effect is created by the engineered tension between rope lines and frame. Dubai’s long pearling tradition is revisited in using the pearl’s splendour in a sleek visual design that evokes visual memories of dynamic city life. The ILLUSION PEARL seat was made using 8,856 cultured pearls locally produced by the Emirati Company ‘RAK Pearls’.