In honor of the United Arab Emirates’ 40th anniversary, Obscura created a series of elaborate projections that illuminated two culturally significant landmarks: the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and the historic Al Jahili Fort in the oasis city of Al Ain.
The show was largely inspired by Sheikh Zayed, the first president of the UAE and a driving force behind the country’s independence. His passion for the country, its heritage, and the environment came to life through Obscura’s visual narrative. Native botanicals, architectural details of the mosque, and growing vines that replicated design motifs in the building covered the façade and reached to the tops of four minarets.
The projections also highlighted the visual geometry throughout the mosque, with patterns that shifted symmetrically. The show included optical illusions that transformed the architecture into a shimmering glass mosaic.
A series of images depicting cycles of the moon—the foundation of the Islamic calendar—and stars twinkling at night concluded the show. As the illuminations came to an end, a solitary moon rose over the mosque, and the earth rotated over the building’s entrance, representing Sheikh Zayed’s eternal vision for a country and its people.