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Happy birthday, Hamdan: Artist makes giant card for Dubai CP

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Putting 38 portraits together, a Dubai-based artist was able to create a foldable birthday card that is approximately 42 feet long and 1.25 feet wide.

Visual artist Sugat S. Priyadarshi has come up with a unique, artsy way to greet Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, on his 38th birthday — which is today.

The Dubai-based artist, who has been contributing to the visual art world for the past 30 years, has created a giant birthday card for Sheikh Hamdan and he hopes to get a chance to present it to him.

Putting 38 portraits together, Sugat was able to create a foldable birthday card that is approximately 42 feet long and 1.25 feet wide.

“I’ve not come across a body of work that showcases his personality in a form of a huge card. I, like many others, believe he is the future of Dubai. The vision he has put forward through his work reinforces our faith in him.”

The idea to create the card came to Sugat when he first landed in Dubai more than 11 years ago. He recalled how in one of his first posts on social media (Facebook) he had expressed a wish to be able to meet the youth role model one day.

The artist said he wanted to express his wish in Khaleej Times, for it was this newspaper that recognised his art in 2010. “I was very new to Dubai and my artwork on the UAE National Day was published in the paper. I can never forget that welcome gift.”

The 38 Sheikh Hamdan portraits have been created in various mediums like watercolour on paper, digital drawings, pencil shadings, pop-up elements, and more.

While a handful of portraits are part of Sugat’s old works, most were created in the last two months. A few aspects that the artist has focused on include the leader’s kindness, his love for animals, passion for poetry, and his adventurous escapades. “My gratitude towards him has made its way into my work. The idea was to use art to depict varied aspects of his personality,” he added.

The portraits in varying sizes were photographed and then printed on paper to be included in the card.

Being the head of the art department at JSS International School, Dubai, Sugat has also encouraged his students to create their own card for the emirate’s Crown Prince.

“In the future, I’d like to combine Sheikh Hamdan’s poetry with my art,” Sugat said.

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