James Clar

<em>Time Out</em> probes the New York artist.

Interview, In the studio

What are you up to?
I’ve got a studio at Traffic to work on the experimental light pieces and products that I create. I’m here indefinitely right now, and I’ll be showing some new artworks and installations for ArtDubai.

Are you going to do any big public light pieces for the city?
I can’t mention it just yet, but we have some pretty largescale installations to go in the public domain. We have one which is in the downtown area, that’s like an old area that’s being redeveloped. Not Satwa, somewhere that’s staying an Arabic-like area, but that’s going to be changed to reflect the newer influences in the city.

....Bastakiya?
I can’t confirm that, but it’s pretty close.

As an artist working with light, what do you make of the buildings in Karama and Sharjah that are draped with masses of blue and green lights?
Amazing and ridiculous. I think a lot of that is coming from the India community, which is a very dense community of people. You see the same thing in China. The buildings have to get people’s attention because it’s so dense and populated. They’ve kind of brought that over here. Visually I think these people are very adept at lighting, but I think the design side needs to be treated better.

What do you make of the art and design scene that’s coming up here?

I think it’s growing at such an exponential rate. It’s small but everyone’s really performing. I presented at one of the Pecha Kucha events, and since then I go back to every one. I’ve noticed more and more people are showing up, and it’s getting interesting to see what people are doing in the city.

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