DUBAI: A new museum in Dubai invites visitors to explore the world of ‘trick art’ or 3D art.
3D World Dubai, which opened on December 12, contains more than 185 paintings all of which are illusions. According to co-founder Schakun Singh, it is the world’s largest 3D art museum. “We have a total area of 23,000 square feet, and as far as the number of artworks is concerned, we can say very comfortably that we have the largest museum in the world,” Singh told Arab News.
She explained that 3D art originated in France in the 1800s, using a technique called ‘trompe-l’oeil,’ which translates as ‘deceive the eye.’
“This technique turns two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional images through the use of optical illusions,” Singh said.
Singh and her husband, Ramman Ticku, were inspired to open the museum after visiting a similar establishment while on holiday.
“We visited one such museum with our then-seven-year-old child,” she said. “We all had so much fun as a family; we were engaged and active.
“We then started to research museums in other countries and found that it was a successful business model. We wanted to bring this here and for Dubai to have the first one in the region.”
3D World Dubai is based around nine themes (to add “a sense of adventure, mystery and fantasy,” Singh said): Illusion, Egypt, Water World, Animal Kingdom, World of Classics, Fantasy, Jungle, Humor, and the Arabic Zone (“essential to showcase the UAE and Dubai,” she explained). Singh said ‘Egypt’ is her personal favorite: “You’ve got the pyramids and the flying carpet; there is lots of interaction there,” she said.
It took 18 artists six months to produce the images, according to Singh. “The process includes choosing the artwork, designing and fine tuning on the computer, sketching and projecting the outline on the walls and finally painting,” she said. “Each artists was specialized In their own field.”
Singh and Ticku traveled extensively, searching out the best artists and visiting other 3D art museums in Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and the Philippines.
Financing was a major challenge. “We saved and saved and then we fell back on family and then the bank,” Singh said. Now the project is finished, the couple — who run a tourism company — are focused on marketing the museum to residents and visitors alike. Singh said they plan to create a franchise model to enable them to open in other countries in the region in future.
The main draw of the museum, Singh believes, is that it can “bring the entire family together in one place.”
It’s been a long and expensive journey for the couple, but Singh said she would advise all aspiring entrepreneurs to stick with their dreams.
“If a thought or idea gives you sleepless nights and consumes you, it is worth chasing that dream. There will be delays and road blocks but don’t give up,” she said. “Nothing can replace hard work, so work hard.”