The Dubai Mall hosted over 50 models on Thursday at a special artistic event at the Catwalk – but these models weren’t exactly human.
Project: MEGA, the brain child of Mohammed Abedin, an Emirati cartoons and games enthusiast, drew a massive crowd to the exhibit featuring all kinds of artistic interpretations of the MEGA toy which he created as his version of a blank canvas.
“It was a long process,” Abedin told Al Arabiya at the Middle East’s largest designer toy exhibition and artistic collaboration, when asked how he came out with the thought of creating the model.
“I wanted to design something that was genderless. I gave it some humanoid features -- little nose, subtle chin, perfect curvature from the body to the head, and some robotic features as well.”
The MEGA dolls were enclosed in glass boxes, and visitors crowded as they examined the individualistic creativity expressed through colors, materials, and character traits.
There was a mermaid called Flordeliza, a pink-and-black Punk Pet reminiscent of Tim Burton’s ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’, a Filipino Totem pole, and a local pearl diver, amidst a spectrum of MEGA characters.
Abedin, who had been scouting talent for six months, stressed that not all contributors had an artistic background.
“I don’t recruit artists, I recruit creative minds…so they’re not necessarily painters, or sculptors, or anything like that. Some of them are, some of them aren’t.”
He said that among the talents, was a baker, a surgeon, some musicians, and photographers. He added that an aim of hosting an extensive exhibition of 125 models is to reach 125 unique views. But the common ground they all shared was that they all live in the UAE – regardless of being Emirati or not.
“I think this is great! I wouldn’t be able to come up with such creative ideas like these people have in designing their models,” said one visitor.
So what are the next big plans for the home-grown, pint-sized MEGA doll?
“Right now, we’ve been talking to the United States -- the distributors, so MEGA will be actually in over 150 retail stores in the U.S. hopefully by next year. So, we’ll be branching out stateside.”
Abedin said the project aims to shed the light on artists from the Middle East to the rest of the world using the designer toy as a platform.
“This toy’s name sums it up – small in size but MEGA in its impact,” he said with a smile.
The exhibition runs until July 8, and will be extended to Bloomingdales, Galleries LaFayette, and the Waterfall Atrium, all in Dubai Mall.
Abedin is a self-taught artist and runs his own design company, Foo Dog.