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The Foo Dog x MEGA
May 21, 2012
Meet the man behind the urban art collective The Foo Dog and MEGA, a custom toy that is bringing together 150 of Dubai's most colourful visual artists
- Text by Simone Sebastian
The Foo Dog is an independent design collective that focuses on urban art and cultural fusion within the U.A.E. What started off as a small project in 2008 has since led to the launch of a custom toy brand, MEGA, and a series of exhibitions around the city featuring work by local artists, designers and illustrators. The next MEGA toy exhibition will take place on June 24 and will feature customized toys by 150 artists. Satellite Voices speaks to the project’s young Emirati mastermind, Mohammed Abedin.
Satellite Voices: Tell us about the MEGA series?
Mohammed Abedin: MEGA is a do-it-yourself designer toy, or rather a 3-dimensional canvas. MEGA was designed to feature the basic elements of a living being whilst also incorporating futuristic aspects such as the back rocket and robotic ears. But most importantly, MEGA is the ideal blank canvas since the gender, specie, race, and personality is completely undetermined and exists completely in the eye of the beholder.
We are soon releasing a new edition of MEGA dubbed "2.0", which for the first time includes new accessories that opens new doorways for customizations. The first of the new edition is called the "Urban Child" and features a baller cap, backpack, and headsets. The "Celestial Spartan" is the next in the "2.0" installment which features, winged ears, a shield, and a sword.
SV: As a Dubai-born custom toy designer, how has the city inspired your work?
Mohammed Abedin: I have had a very diverse upbringing - I was born in Bangkok and I'm not only Emirati but also from Thailand, Saudi, and China. Most of my inspiration comes from my childhood from mainly being raised in Asia. But in saying that, Dubai is my home and I wouldn't say the just the city itself has inspired me but more the people from all around the world who live here.
SV: Who are some of your locally-based artists to watch?
Mohammed Abedin: There is true talent here. You just have to look a little harder and cultivate the scene for them. After scouting for over six months for truly talented artists and met with over 300 of them, I can confidently say that the artists to watch include Lina Al Amoudi, Akram Al Amoudi, Ella Orencillo, Liz Ramos, Kristy Anne Ligones, Mark Ganzon, Victoria Viray, Flordeliza Pesigan, Mohammed Hindash, Sasan Saidi, Guillermo Munro, Rob Gibbs of robotandspark and Ibrahem Suwaid.
SV: There have been a number of major culture happenings in the city, including the recent Sole DXB Sneaker Summit and perhaps most importantly, the emergence of The Alserkal Avenue as a hub for independent art spaces. Which spaces and projects are you most interested in at the moment?
Mo Abedin: That is a tricky one. Since we are an urban collective that focus on collaborations and invading public spaces we tend to choose our spaces differently for different purposes. At the moment, we want a lot of artists to get discovered in our new exhibition and also introduce the urban arts and designer toys to a new crowd. So we prefer places that are well known, have a high foot fall and a concentration of diverse people. This is simply because, art spaces have a regular crowd and by venturing beyond that we can cater to people who are not aware of the scene yet.
Follow The Foo Dog on facebook for more updates of the Project MEGA exhibition in June
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