Sharjah: His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated on Sunday the Rain Room project in the presence of Shaikha Hoor Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF).
Designed by Sharjah Art Foundation as the Middle East debut, the Rain Room building, permanently located in Al Majarah — near Buhairah Corniche in Sharjah, is a site-specific installation created by Random International that provides an immersive experience of continuous rainfall.
When visitors enter the room, they are directed to navigate intuitively and carefully through the dark underground space in order to protect themselves from the downpour. As the visitors walk through the room, which uses 1,200 litres of self-cleaning, recycled water, their movements trigger motion sensors that pause the rainfall when their movements are detected.
During the inauguration, the Ruler of Sharjah, accompanied by Shaikha Hoor and several dignitaries toured the Rain Room building where they were briefed on its working mechanism. Dr Shaikh Sultan then inaugurated the new artwork through walking in the rain.
The building stretches over an area of 1460 square metres and is simple in design. The Rain Room was launched at The Curve, Barbican, London (2012) and then presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2015—2017). The Rain Room is now permanently and exclusively housed in the Middle East through the efforts of Sharjah Art Foundation.
Addressing on the occasion, Shaikha Hoor lauded the achievements of the Sharjah Art Foundation. She said that the Rain Room is an exceptional art experience in the emirate of Sharjah.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Shaikha Nawar Bint Ahmad Al Qasimi, Director of Development at Sharjah Art Foundation, Abdulla Al Owais, Chairman of the Department of Culture, Mohammad Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Director of the Sharjah Department of Protocol and Guesthouses and a number of dignitaries.