Al Kaabi inside his Rain Memories at the festival. He says the secret behind his artworks leverages what is known as 'BioArt'. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The ‘Rain Memories’ artwork by Emirati artist and inventor Salem Al Kaabi in Al Ain Square is captivating visitors at the week-long Al Ain Book Festival 2023, which ends on Saturday night.

Al Kaabi described his new piece saying that many people feel nostalgic for rainy days, and the smell and sound that they evoke. This artwork offers visitors a simulation of rainfall in Al Ain city, with its effects on the formation of rocks.

The artist pointed out that this artwork is inspired by the atmosphere of Al Ain, revealing that he collaborated with Saudi perfumer Munifa Al Salman to create a fragrance that captures the scent of soil, rain, and some local wild plants, offering visitors the chance to take in the scent that emanates from the air during and after rainfall, which allows them to immerse themselves in the process of rain formation and its effects on rocks.

Al Kaabi highlighted that the artwork blends light, sound, fog, clouds, and the scent of rain emitted from the city, along with other natural elements, offering visitors an opportunity to experience the various stages of rain formation on rocks. The distinctive feature of this concept lies in its Sabkha rocks, which are typically formed in shallow seawater and develop vibrant colours through exposure to rain.

The incorporation of black in the artwork came after a study, which indicated that it adds dimension and depth to the limited space covered by the piece, making visitors feel as if being inside a cave with its shape, sound, and scent.

Relying on BioArt

Al Kaabi added that the secret behind these innovations lies in leveraging his expertise in engineering, and relying on what is known as BioArt in his creative works, which is a modern artform practiced by scientists in scientific laboratories. This approach involves conducting research in the lab on living tissues, bacteria, and organisms, and transforming them into artworks.

The Emirati artist and inventor asserted that his creative artworks are inspired by the diverse environment of Al Ain, which boasts a variety of landscapes that motivate him to “create something out of nothing and think outside the box”.

Al Kaabi expressed gratitude to Al Ain Book Festival management for offering him the chance to showcase his new piece, concluding that the artwork’s rocks will be collected and placed at a tourist attraction in Al Ain City after the festival.