Essay on Place Making in UAE Dubai

The importance of artwork in the community expresses a lot about the environment itself and therefore choosing the right art piece in the right place plays a vital role. The purpose of this essay is to bring about a specific artwork in the UAE “Chorus” designed by Jaeyho Lee. This sculpture is located in Down Town Dubai mall, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard and it is found as a masterpiece. The research paper will explain why the sculpture is presented and located in the correct place in Dubai. The search will be supported by evidence from resources related to principles of public artwork and the importance of public art. Public artwork is known to be as a “part of our public history and our evolving culture.” Knowing that Dubai is a fast developing modern city, the selection of the artwork presented in public areas must be fit to where it is located.

Abstract 2
Introduction 4
Closer Glance at Community Art and Creative Placement 5
Creative Placemaking 6
Conclusion 7
Bibliography 8

Research Question: To take a closer look at Place-making and the important role it plays within community art projects
The current world scenario depicting urban areas and metropolitan cities as just a corporate jungle demands to show a deeper bond between the locale and its people and their culture through community art. The subject matter which is going to be discussed further is about COMMUNITY ART AND CREATIVE PLACEMAKING which is a rising idea about creating a whole public space using art, but it’s not just about art, but creating a usable and comfortable environment. It requires a strong opinion as creative placemaking is creating a wave around the world but it is still under observation how the public should react to it and to realize the feasibility and usefulness of the idea. The work of Art in focus is “Chorus” by Korean sculptor Jaehyo Lee which is located in Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in front of Vida, Downtown Dubai. As Dubai is developing substantially in the field of architecture and infrastructure it needs community art to garnish the Dubai city infrastructure with art to increase its cultural value. Also the importance of specific placemaking is in need for a discussion as it should follow the concept of community art.
Figure 1″Chorus” A closer view

Closer Glance at Community Art and Creative Placement
Community art and creative placemaking have been going on for some time till now but it is still uncommon to the majority, but it is creating a wave for itself in metropolitan cities and urban areas of the world. UAE has been seeing a lot of community works of art in Dubai, but the thought in question is; whether the sculpture in question (“Chorus” by Jaehyo Lee) is in presented in a proper manner and located at a current place. The sculpture “Chorus” is located at Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in front of Vida, downtown Dubai mall which is like the heart of Downtown Dubai. It is in a very proper place as the place is a place of hustle and bustle surrounded with corporate parks as well as malls which are filled with family crowds, and such a place requires a work of art or a piece of culture which makes it a landmark and adds cultural and artistic value to the place. The artist wants to inspire people to connect with their emotions, the sculptor has also utilized natural materials like leaves and wood branches with stone and steel to depict culture and its various aspects and it signifies the dynamics of the togetherness of people and also to show the signification of individuals in a group with some specific firmness. The sculpture’s location is in the opera district which is under development is aimed to be made a centre of arts and culture which makes it a very good reason for “Chorus” to be in the perfect possible location. (Emaar unveils Chorus, 2013) ( An Arty addition to downtown Dubai, 2013)
Figure 2 “Chorus” by Jaehyo Lee

Creative Placemaking

Creative Placement is aimed to bring public and private spaces to life and to reinvigorate the buildings and streetscapes also keeping in mind public safety and business vitality of the surrounding area. It is not about a single piece of artwork or a group of them, it is about using the space as a creative cauldron. (Gadwa & Markusen, 2010) Fred and Ethan Kent offer a definition of Creative Placement as following, “Placement is the art and science of developing public spaces such as parks, libraries and public buildings that attract people, build community and by bringing together, and create local identity. It is the creation of a built environment that creates community, simulates interaction, encourages entrepreneurship, fosters innovation, and nurtures humanity”. (Gibson, 2010) The definition suggests that placemaking is more than just buildings and art; it is a social tool which simulates culture and growth through community art and buildings. It constitutes as part of planning for a mall, a town center, or a public place of value. According to other aspects of placemaking there should be art in a metropolitan locale in any part of the world to create a bond with the people around it and it also makes a corporate area surrounded by juts buildings seem less like a corporate jungle filled with structures and rejuvenates life in it through art. If it implements place making it will stimulate growth and revitalize corporate growth and togetherness along with making a mark in history. (Spayde, 2012)
The implantation of the artwork named “Chorus” in the heart of Downtown Dubai is a correct move in many aspects. The first reason can be as it was earlier mentioned that it reinvigorates the surroundings in many ways it is perfect for the serene surroundings of a public mall and it is in a public place where many types of people meet, work together and enjoy so in contrast to that the sculpture defines cultural togetherness.
Another Reason for the placement of the sculpture to be accurate can be that it doesn’t hamper transportation and perfectly fits to the serene environment surrounding it. It was inaugurated by Ahmad Al Matrooshi, the managing director of Emaar properties who supports the idea and overall, it doesn’t seem like a corporate move but a method of making the surrounding aesthetic and likeable by people to be generally acceptable.
The sculpture is one of the many in the opera district, but it is made by a renowned sculptor which makes it a landmark for the area and makes it an area filled with art and people from different culture or people coming from other countries will also like it. It has the potential to be a tourist attraction and the number of people visiting the surrounding area or the mall will appreciate it as a part of the culture of the new part of Dubai.
Another view of this subject can also be expressed in a manner that this piece of art came with a huge cost as it was made from 3.6 tons of steel and 7.6 tons of wood, and also it took so much wood from the environment which may not be taken positively by some. And if not maintained properly then it can be a hazard. (Emaar unveils Chorus, 2013)


As it was expressed previously, “Chorus” has many aspects and reasons to be a public attraction and it can make an impact on people that how a piece of Art can affect the corporate and the society and has the potential to initiate various other businesspeople and leaders of society to Placemaking and make community arts a new way to inflict culture on various classes of people. It emblemizes urban culture and empowers people to look to a new direction of culture and togetherness.

An Arty addition to downtown Dubai. (2013, Dec 18). Retrieved May 20, 2014, from
Emaar unveils Chorus. (2013, December 16). Retrieved May 20, 2014, from
Gadwa, A., & Markusen, A. (2010). Creative Placemaking. Washington: National Endowment for the Arts.
Gibson, C. (2010). Place making: mapping culture, creating places: Collisions of Science and Art. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from
Spayde, J. (2012). Public Art and Placemaking. Public Art Review , pp. 23-25.


Posted on

March 8, 2018

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