Digital Art Theatre: Dubai Gallery lets you step inside works of art


(CNN) — In a luxurious modern souk in Dubai, famous works of art are transformed into psychedelic 3D dreamscapes projected 360 degrees onto the walls of a progressive contemporary art space.

The Digital Art Theater (ToDA) is a cultural space in Souk Madinat Jumeirah for tech enthusiasts and art lovers. Featuring works by historic masters and contemporary digital artists, ToDA allows visitors to experience art in an immersive multi-sensory space, and even view NFTs in physical form presented in digital frames.

Its first exhibition, in 2020, included iconic works by nine of history’s most famous artists, including Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne, digitized and paired with multimedia elements, such as surround sound music.

Offering immersive 360-degree experiences, the Dubai Digital Art Theater offers tech-focused artists a place to showcase their work.

At ToDA, works are presented in three formats: multimedia exhibitions, contemporary immersive installations and virtual reality art. The exhibits use state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment to transform the artworks into a multi-sensory experience with music and animations.

Daria Prodaevich, Managing Director of ToDA, says educating the public about technological approaches to art is an important pillar of what ToDA does, especially when it comes to NFTs.

“What makes our exhibits unique is that we have an amazing immersive space,” says Prodaevich. “We create immersive experiences from contemporary digital art, and we are the only ones in the region to do so.”

ToDA’s first exhibition showcased famous historic artworks in a high-tech way, putting animations and music to huge 360-degree projections of paintings by Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne.


A multisensory experience

The ToDa Group organizes exhibitions all over the world, with dedicated spaces in Dubai, Thailand, Germany, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and Russia. She says one of ToDA’s main goals is to give representation to new digital talent in the art world, like Dubai-based Serena Abou Daher.

For artists like Daher, there is no separation between art and technology. Daher’s work “Ether”, an NFT, was displayed in 3D splendor in ToDA’s “Metaverse Room”.

“It’s an audiovisual work,” she says. “I created the visuals and I also created the sound.”

“Digital art is growing,” Daher told CNN. She predicts that artists will use more technology and even AI in the future to make art. “But it’s not like the physical is going to be replaced by the digital,” she says.

ToDA isn’t the only place in Dubai showcasing digital art in creative ways. The Enlightenment’s Infinity art space also brings classic artwork into the modern age – each exhibition sees a different famous painting take over the space, with its brushstrokes and ink marks illuminating the walls and floor. But for now, no other gallery in the region works with NFTs like ToDA.

Prodaevich says ToDA plans to continue pushing the boundaries of art and technology.

“Last year, ToDa presented the first NFT exhibition in the region,” she says. “Since then, we’ve had three exhibitions of contemporary digital art, and we don’t plan on stopping there.”


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