From its ancient past to the present day, the people of Bahrain continue to reinvent themselves to meet the various challenges of life, and the abundance of local handicrafts have survived and evolved through their reinvention and embrace of modern technologies while maintaining their original gestures of making. Weaving and handicrafts form part of the fabric of Bahrain’s rich culture, past, present and future.
During the month of December, the Bahrain Pavilion at the Expo inaugurated its second theme “Weaving Innovation”, transforming the main pavilion area into a theater displaying a number of physical and interactive exhibits providing visitors a first-hand look at the innovative technologies used to manufacture woven composite materials such as carbon fiber, and the common gestures and crafts that connect these technologies to ancestral weaving methods. Throughout this exhibition, visitors will discover the partnership between the Kingdom of Bahrain and McLaren, as the exhibition showcases McLaren’s longstanding knowledge and use of carbon fiber technology, culminating in the launch of their newest vehicle “Artura” that utilizes lightweight carbon fiber engineering and electric car technology.
The Kingdom of Bahrain’s advancement in the field of carbon fiber manufacturing and ability to form a solid partnership with one of the most significant automobile companies in the world was made possible through the work of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company “Mumtalakat”, the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Mumtalakat completed its first international investment in 2007, acquiring the majority stake in McLaren thus committing to support the growth of the company, first established in 1963.
Technology is crucial to the melding and evolution of traditional crafts. A special collaboration between the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture & Research, and Al Zain Jewellery, one of Bahrain’s most distinguished jewelers, reinterprets traditional Kurar weaves into 21-karat gold jewelry and ornaments, achieved using advanced 3D printing technologies in Bahrain.
The Kingdom of Bahrain Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai will be open to visitors until March 2022, and will showcase periodic, two-month long installations inspired by textile and weaving crafts that translate the notion of density central to the pavilion’s theme while highlighting this important aspect of Bahrain’s rich history and heritage.
The Kingdom of Bahrain Pavilion at Expo 2020 is entitled “Density Weaves Opportunity”. Designed by Christian Kerez Zurich AG, the pavilion is an open and slightly submerged space, accessed by a ramp that creates a transition between the outer and inner world of the pavilion. The structure of this central space consists of 126 columns, 11 centimeters thick and 24 meters high. This central space of the suite includes the main exhibition space, the gift shop, and the café, and is distributed liberally between the columns of the building that form the tactile and spatial experiences of density.