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JAW is humbled by the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information, and The Abdulatif Jameel Community initiatives. JAW has certainly become a time of year where creative forces from all communities can collide, gather and share, and we very much look forward to welcoming all cross sections of society to celebrate Jeddahâ€™s vibrant art scene
For more information and a full list of events, please visit
It is with great honor that Jeddah Art Week, under the Patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information, and Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, announces the launch of its annual showcase of the Arts from the 1st through the 6th of February, at AlFursiya, Jeddah. With the support of the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts, and in collaboration with international auction house, Sotheby’s, EoA Projects, and Arabian Wings JAW2014 intends to build on the success of last year’s inaugural event, which saw attendance from over one thousand five hundred visitors. Jeddah’s rich cultural heritage, dating back thousands of years, as well as the City’s port location and position as gateway to the holy city of Mecca, has uniquely positioned Jeddah as a city at the crossroads of the world’s diverse peoples and cultures. JAW-2014 is dedicated to furthering its platform mission; to showcase Jeddah’s creative art and design culture, all the while increasing the City’s involvement with the international art community. The weeklong schedule of events will be centered at Al Fursiya, and will showcase an exciting program including art and design exhibitions, a series of public performances, a oneday international conference on global visual culture, and highlights from an international contemporary art auction
Jeddah Art Week is a contemporary art initiative established in 2013 to encourage the burgeoning art scene in Jeddah and the Kingdom. As its name suggests, JAW- pronounced Jaou in Arabic, and translated as ‘fun’ in my native Tunisian dialect-hopes to ignite sparks of arts and culture in a playful and inclusive fashion. This year, the second edition of JAW has expanded to offer a more ambitious program, where the disparate, organically grown elements of Jeddah’s art scene can come together in an open, cohesive and transparent forum. JAW 2014 aims to nurture grass roots movements, whilst opening up its horizons to the global contemporary art family. We like to think of it as ‘C2C’ initiative, by the community, for the community. No pedestal. No pretence. Just a time of year where the Kingdom’s creative forces can unfold and inspire!
LINA LAZAAR Advisor, Abdulatif Community initiatives
CALENDAR OF EVENTS SATURDAY 01 FEB
MONDAY 03 FEB
18.00 Unveiling of Jeddah’s Open Air Museum, Jeddah’s Corniche.
10.00 – 17.00 Ibraaz Symposium in collaboration with Dar Al Hekma, Global Contemporary Art and it’s Networks in Dar Al Hekma.
21.00 Poetic Ballad, eL Seed Mural performance in Jeddah’s old town, accompanied by 5 Saudi street artists.
19.00 Ayyam Gallery, Contemporary Kingdom, Three Generations of Saudi Artists.
SUNDAY 02 FEB
TUESDAY 04 FEB
19.00 PARK HYATT AL FURUSIYA GRAND OPENING FEATURING THE 12 EXHIBITIONS BELOW:
18.00 Al Alamia Gallery, A Celebration of Saudi Contemporary Art.
Al Kistas, Solo Show by Ahmed Hussein.
20.00 Saudi Art Centre / Markaz Al Saudi, Abdilaziz Bube Asher Solo Exhibition.
Orientalism, A collection of works by Dr. Mohammed Abu Al Naja. EoA Projects, Edition #1: A border crossing exhibition of iconic prints and works on paper by international artists.
WEDNESDAY 05 FEB
ESC, Virtual Reality by Nour Kelani & The Loft Creative Hub.
18.00 House of Artists, Saudi Colours.
I Dream Kingdom, Khalid Zahid’s First Solo Show in Jeddah.
20.00 Dama Art, Shift, New Perspectives.
Kaikabang Jeddah! Jeddah through the lenses of 15 Filipino photographers. Limited Edition 3, Arabian Wings featuring the works of 22 Saudi Artists. Maha Malluh, Distributed Objects, London / Jeddah by Selma Feriani Gallery.
THURSDAY 06 FEB 18.00 Rochan Gallery, Festival of Small Paintings. 20.00 Art and Culture Association, Al Corniche Exploration.
Mapping Azimuth: Two Calligraphic Ascensions: Nja Mahdaoui & Khaled Ben Slimane by Galerie El Marsa. More than Paper, A Collection of Works by Abdulaziz Ashoor. Sotheby’s International Contemporary Highlights from the upcoming Contemporary / Doha Auction in April. Single Saudi Women, Solo Show by Wasma Mansour.
VISIT JEDDAHARTWEEK.COM TO DISCOVER THE FULL PROGRAMME OF EVENTS. Photo: Susie of Arabia / Susie Johnson Khalil. Design: A+B Studio, London.
Saturday 01 Fe b
18.00 Poetic Ballad, eL Seed Mural performance in Jeddah’s old town, accompanied by 5 Saudi street artists. 21.00 Unveiling of Jeddah’s Open Air Museum, Jeddah’s Corniche.
Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives Open-Air Sculpture Park The largest port on the Red Sea, Jeddah is one of the major gateways to Mecca,
Given the increased importance of the sculptures, alongside
Islam’s holiest city. It is also one of the largest open-air galleries in the world. Born
their pivotal place in the civic life of Jeddah, a new location
of cultural investment into civic areas in the city in the 1970s and 80s, Jeddah’s
has been dedicated to them following their crucial conserva-
open-air sculpture collection is comprised of work by major international modernist
tion. Working under the guidance of British restoration experts
artists, including Henry Moore, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Victor Vasarely, Jean
Plowden & Smith, local contractors have been brought in to
Arp, and Jacques Lipschitz, shown alongside artists such as Salah Abdulkarim and
conduct welding and steel works, while ALJCI has set up a
Shafik Mazloum. Formerly in a state of disrepair, due to decades of exposure to the
special workshop of 700 sq. m. inside Abdul Latif Jameel Co.
elements, a new initiative by Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) is
for the restoration work to be carried out under controlled
restoring these sculptures to their former glory.
conditions. Over 20 sculptures were dismantled and transferred to the workshop to be restored, while six others were
In terms of conservation, this is no easy task and the work of Henry Moore is a
restored on-site. Fadi Jameel, President of ALJCI International,
case in point. Widely recognized as one of the leading Modernist sculptors of his
has indicated that this is but the first stage in a broader project
generation, Moore’s work is usually completed in bronze — a difficult material to
to restore Jeddah’s hundreds of public sculptures. The initiative
conserve — and can weigh as much as nine tonnes. Temperature fluctuations and
has also inspired a book by the British writer Edward Booth
humidity affect bronze adversely even in temperate climates; however, when you
Clibborn, Sculptures of Jeddah: An Encounter With a Rare Col-
add a scorching sun and sand storms you have a perfect storm, so to speak, in
lection of 20th-century Public Art (Booth-Clibborn Editions,
terms of conservation. Four of Moore’s characteristic curvilinear figures grace the
Corniche Road in Jeddah, overlooking the Red Sea. His sculptures, like others in the collection, have become part of the landscape of this seaside city, transformed into landmarks or points of reference for local residents. Other works, such as those by Vasarely, Calder and Mazloum, use paint on their surface which, over time, and even in benign conditions, wears away and erodes, leaving works rusting and looking lacklustre. Although it is unclear as to when the collection was started, two key figures played a role in the growth and development of this open-air museum: British architect George Duncan, who was appointed to oversee the sculpture project, and local mayor Mohamed Said Farsi, who ordered the recycling of metal pieces from the city’s first desalination plant into abstract sculptures. As the oil boom across the Kingdom spurred on the growth of Jeddah as a port city and urban centre, Farsi began to purchase and commission sculptures by local and international artists to adorn the city’s seafront, installing the majority of these works along the corniche in the 1980s.
This sense of renewed vigour in maintaining Jeddah’s strong tradition of art and culture is likewise manifest in the pioneering arts event, Jeddah Art Week, also supported by ALJCI. Now in its second year, Jeddah Art Week (JAW), founded by contemporary art specialist Lina Lazaar, brings together a unique collection of contemporary arts from Saudi Arabia and beyond. Running from the 1 – 6 February this year, JAW will showcase 12 different exhibitions, including a showcase of work from the international auction house Sothebys as part of its travelling exhibition. The programme also boasts an international symposium at Dar Al Hekma University entitled ‘Global Contemporary Art and Its Networks’, a series of lectures, panels and round-table discussions which propose to take contemporary art from the region out of the gallery and put it into its historical and global context. The inauguration of the sculpture park, in turn, will do something similar and put a spotlight on what remains one of the world’s most impressive array of public sculpture.
POETIC BALLAD eL Seed Mural performance in Jeddah’s old town, accompanied by 5 Saudi street artists. To provide us with some context to your work and to graffiti
Given the role that calligraphy plays in your work we can
as an art form, please share your thoughts on those artists you
assume that you remained close to your roots as an Arab
consider to be the most significant to the genre, and tell us
growing up in France. We can also assume that you were
what it is you admire about their work.
at first inspired by Latin tagging and bombing and Western stenciled motifs. Can you walk us through the development
There is a Chilean artist called Inti, who I really admire. He
of your unique style?
does really large-scale murals free-hand and his paintings reference his South American heritage. He appropriates a Chil-
As a quest for identity I started learning Arabic and classi-
ean cultural character and transforms it, borrowing the sym-
cal calligraphy without even thinking about graffiti. When I
bol and incorporating it into his own themes. By expressing
didn’t find any teachers I just started reproducing the callig-
himself through a universally recognized symbol that is rooted
raphy by hand. Step by step I started creating something as I
in Chile’s consciousness, he achieves something significant: he
felt it, expressing calligraphy without any limits. Not having
takes graffiti and makes it something that speaks to the people.
any formal training helped me develop a new art form out of
And that is the power of street art. Actually, it’s that which is
missing from the Arab world because we don’t have enough people working with culturally relevant symbols and motifs.
I was in to graffiti from the late 1990s but was not that serious about it. It was only when I was pushed by an artist called
There is another artist I really like called Dal, from South Africa.
HEST that I started working. HEST was a French artist who
He creates crazy pieces in black and white. Figurative work
used to write his name but with an Arabic shape to his letters-
made out of spray paint, but that looks like wire. He developed
he wrote in French with dots- he made the letter ‘E’ looked
his own technique- something unique that he is now recog-
like an the Arabic ‘Ain’. I didn’t’ want to do western graffiti
nized for. I like it when an artist takes spray paint and creates
I just wanted to something that spoke to me. My techniques
their own unique style. That’s when you know they are a real
evolved naturally, and grew out of his encouragement.
When you are designing these works of art do you begin with
How was Calligraffiti received initially by your peers in France?
an aesthetic concept and match the calligraphy, or do you start
Was it a struggle or were they open to the forms, concepts and
with a phrase and build the design around that? In other words,
what is the design process of creating a work of Calligraffit? Some were, some weren’t. Some found it a great innovation – a I know what I’m going to write and then depending on that I
new form of expression, whilst some said it wasn’t graffiti at all.
choose the wall and I adapt the painting to the shape of the wall.
That’s why you can’t give a definition of what graffiti is, because
I try to make the calligraphy and the dynamics of the work fit
it’s personal opinion. Like all art.
the space, so it’s cohesive. I don’t choose colours in advance; I just work spontaneously. I write phrases that have meaning, but
Given that concept and message is key and your message is pre-
there is no explicit relevance to the rest of it, like the colours or
sented in Arabic, do you find that your work loses something in
the secondary design motifs. I just work these out for the aes-
translation to your audience in the west?
thetic value. No not at all, it’s even better because there is something really The phrases are inspired by poetry and literature. The phrase
special in Arabic script: it speaks to the soul not the eyes; you can
depends on the place; it has to be relevant to the people and in
just see the script and feel something.
context. For instance, for my work in the 13th district in Pariswhich has changed totally in 15 years from being a ghetto to a
If anyone comes across me actually painting a mural and asks,
chic gentrified area- I chose a poem from Baudelaire written to
of course I will tell them the meaning of the text, and if someone
Victor Hugo. It said ‘ the shape of the city is changing faster than
wants to find out later they can find it through social media which
the heart of the people’. It spoke of Paris 200 years before, and
everyone has immediate access to. But it’s a sum of its parts, and
yet it was applicable today. I didn’t write it in French though, I
that is only part of it.
translated it from French to Arabic. I am doing some research now for the piece I’m going to do in
Do you find that your work is received and perceived differently
Jeddah, but I’ll make the final decision when I’m there. When I
in the Middle East than it is by Western audiences?
get to see the wall itself and meet the people. No I think it’s the same, because the primary reaction is to the aesthetic, to the beauty and the shape. Although the message is important and meaningful to me ultimately it is more the form that is the vehicle of expression, because it is totally personal and limitless in what it can convey. Modern graffiti developed hand in hand with the underground music scene. The advent of punk in the 1970s saw the scrawling of names and symbols advertising events and bands and more recently stenciling emerged alongside the hip hop and break dancing scene of the 1980s. Has music been an influence on you at all? I used to be a B-Boy and into the hip hop culture, that’s how I got into graffiti. But no, I wouldn’t say my artwork is particularly influenced by music or hip hop.
Many major corporations, such as IBM, Nike, Sony and Coca-Cola, have used graffiti to advertise their products. What is it about graffiti that makes it such a potent form of advertising and what do you feel? Street art is in the street. It’s something designed by a street artist. Advertising isn’t street art, it’s marketing. These guys know that graffiti speaks to the youth. There is an exciting dimension to it because of the street factor. If playing piano was subversive they would use piano players to advertise their products. I collaborated with Louis Vuitton and I’ve been criticized for that, but Louis Vuitton is a French brand, from the country where I was born and raised. It was really flattering to be invited to work with them, I did my research and it didn’t go against my values and principles to collaborate with them. I thought it was an opportunity to speak to a wider audience. It really depends what you do with it whether it’s cheapened or not. You will be participating in a public art performance in the It was the subversive American artist Keith Haring who brought graffiti to the attention of the formal art world in the 1980s when he opened Pop Shop, selling reproductions of his street artwork on clothing. He said “It’s about participation on a big level… this is still art as statement.” What are your thoughts on the transition of graffiti from an underground movement to the mainstream? Street art is there, it’s open to everyone, that’s the power of it. Historically speaking graffiti and street art is the longest active art movement, a lot of people don’t get that. When people with no academic background are creating art in the street they are communicating, then the rest of society becomes aware and invested. You can’t walk around the streets and keep ignoring what’s in front of you. At some point everyone is going to start wondering what this is, what’s going on, asking questions, then it graduates to an official platform. It has to transition from ‘underground’ to ‘mainstream’ otherwise it wouldn’t be democratic; it wouldn’t be developing.
Balad here and working with a local graffiti crew. In your extensive experience of working with young people- as you did with the Museum of Arab Art in Qatar amongst other foundations and institutions- what part, if an, can graffiti play in the development of young people? Graffiti inspires people. People love creating. Giving the chance to kids, or older people, to get into the creation of a piece of art when they don’t have the skills, showing them the processes, involving them, is inspiring. Maybe it will help them to work through personal issues. Maybe they will explore avenues that they wouldn’t go down if no one had pushed them. Here in Jeddah I’m going to paint with some local kids, I will take them through the creative process and the execution. Explaining what has to be done and why, giving them some insight into the way I work. Some of them will assist me with the mural creation. It’s a form of mentoring, helping them discover new techniques and teaching them. I’m looking forward to it.
02 DAY TWO Sunday 02 Feb
19.00 Park Hyatt Al Furusiya Grand Opening featuring the 12 exhibitions below:
Limited Edition 3, Arabian Wings featuring the works of 22 Saudi Artists.
Al Kistas, Solo Show by Ahmed Hussein. Orientalism, A collection of works by Dr. Mohammed Abu Al Naja. EoA Projects, Edition #1: A border crossing exhibition of iconic prints and works on paper by international artists. ESC, Virtual Reality by Nour Kelani & The Loft Creative Hub. I Dream Kingdom, Khalid Zahidâ€™s First Solo Show in Jeddah. Kaikabang Jeddah! Jeddah through the lenses of 15 Filipino photographers.
Maha Malluh, Distributed Objects, London / Jeddah by Selma Feriani Gallery. Mapping Azimuth: Two Calligraphic Ascensions: Nja Mahdaoui & Khaled Ben Slimane by Galerie El Marsa. More than Paper, A Collection of Works by Abdulaziz Ashoor. Sothebyâ€™s International Contemporary Highlights from the upcoming Contemporary / Doha Auction in April. Single Saudi Women, Solo Show by Wasma Mansour.
Park Hyatt Grand Opening 19.00
featuring the 12 exhibitions below:
Al Qustas, Solo Show , currated by Arabian wings by Ahmed Hussein. The Qustas, according to Arabic Dictionary Al-Waseet, is the most precise and accurate type of balances, and as such is the uniqueness of the experience; second, intellectually, the collection tackles a common human concept, “Justice”. The artist managed, when choosing the concept of “balance” as a symbol of justice, to represent it in three different ways, it is as if the artist provides through his artworks his personal answer on that old-new philosophical question that seeks the answer to the relationship of right and justice and to determine which of them founds the other. Is “Justice” as a reality based on institutions and laws is the foundation of “right” as a supreme example, or that “right” as a whole and standard is the one that represents the foundation of “justice” in its part and relativity? As the recipient reads or rather as I read it, is that justice, while symbolized by the balance by its three different representations, is the foundation of right.
Orientalism, A collection of works by Dr. Mohammed Abu Al Naja.
Here he was clearly and representatively re-launching Orientalism to show the overlapping and confusing aesthetic in the concept of Orientalistic ambiguous aesthetic through the use of fabrics and tourist outfits and also configurations inspired by the paintings of the early Orientalists in order to throw a new concept mixing Orientalism and its first task and the New Orientalism , which became part of the reality transcending its geography only to become part of a contemporary aesthetic producing a political and economic situation due to different sites and centers of economic power in the world. The New Orientalism did not stop at the borders of Western conspiratorial perceptions as Master of Orient or as cultural control, but it has become more complex in the light of globalization and the evolution of media and means of communication. Orient has no pure aesthetic it but became mixed difficult to be contained or partitioned... Hence Orientalism has become from Oriental and Western view a start of new contemporary beginnings artistic experiences.
EoA Projects, Edition #1: A border crossing exhibitionof iconic prints and works on paper by international artists.
EOA Projects is proud to participate in Jeddah Art Week with EDITION #1, a border-crossing exhibition dedicated to international fine art printmaking and collage. The exhibition brings together over 100 iconic works on paper by artists from Europe, America and the Middle East.
ESC, Virtual Reality by Nour Kelani& The Loft Creative Hub.
The new fashion and photography medium entering the art scene by young enthusiatic talents Nour kelani and The loft team show us how new young blood can shock the art scene. There is an evident duality in our lifestyle. We lead one real life in which we give in to the dictated costumes and societal expectations, and once weâ€™ve had too much, we escape into a virtual world. We step onto social media platforms where suddenly conventions are no longer a barrier. We register ourselves under creative usernames, and start role playing until we get addicted to the endless possibilities of this virtual persona that contrasts everything mundane about our real life. It is with this concept that they present their show.
I Dream Kingdom, By Khalid Zahidâ€™s First Solo Show Khalid Zahid has decided to make his first Solo show in jeddah during JAW. After exhibiting in Dubai and khobar several times he will now share his dream for a better kingdom , Through his art pieces that challenges sever local social issues with a creative and a bit of dark humor. Zahidâ€™s idea of simplifiying and humrously presenting these deeply rooted social issues in our kingdom makes the viewer feel that the best solution to these issues is just to simplify enjoy the art.
Kaikabang Jeddah! Jeddah through the lenses of 15 Filipino photographers. JAW It all started when the Lina Lazaar, founder of Jeddah Art Week (JAW), was introduced to an unknown community of amateur photographers of Filipino origin, who were passionate about the medium despite having no formal training. Whilst thriving in Jeddah’s underground cultural scene, Lazaar felt that JAW provided the ideal platform for these photographers to hold their first public exhibition. ‘Kakaibang Jeddah!’ can be roughly translated as ‘Unique Jeddah’ and the photographs that are being exhibited as part of JAW, all present the city as it has never been seen before. The photographers find beauty in the destruction and ruin of ancient buildings, empty streets seem alive with charm, and colours are vibrant and rich. The lenses manage to capture the diversity that exists within Jeddah, whilst celebrating the history of the port city.
Historically, relations between host and migrant communities have been fraught with tensions, and only recently, changes in Saudi laws have lead to the cancellation of residency permits of some migrant workers. Nevertheless, many are optimistic that general attitudes are changing. Dialogues about these subjects are beginning to open up within Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf region, and art is the ideal vehicle to carry these discussions forward. Indeed, the pictures in ‘Kakaibang Jeddah!’ are demonstrative of the sense of belonging and love that the photographers have for their adopted city.
The photographers participating in ‘Kakaibang Jeddah!’ are: Alain Quisumbing, Alfer Jimenez, Arnel Angeles, Arnel Villavicencio, Danyl Lada, Direk Camua, Elmer Limpiado, Francis Alan Aquino, Francis Tinga, Jeffrey Perez, Jimmy Villa, Jolly Nisperos, Jon Soriano, June Adonis, Lynne Fiolita Jimenez, Merlyn Cahalim, Melvin Alejo, Mia Mangaliag, MiSaudi Arabia is home is very large migrant population, that has contributed chael Malijao, Richard Nicolasora, Rodolfo DelaCruz, Romy Israel and massively to the Kingdom’s development. Whilst migrants have embraced Thesz Fontanilla Clariza. the country as their own, they have created their own sub-cultures within their own communities, away from the mainstream. It is initiatives such as JAW that are giving these communities the opportunity to express themselves in the wider public arena. When asked about why ‘Kakaibang Jeddah!’ was so important, exhibiting photographer Richard Nicolasora said: ‘This exhibition is a great opportunity for us to showcase our talent to a wider audience; not to mention doing it alongside internationally known artists. I hope that this will be a good start of the new horizon for budding artists like myself to have a proper venue to freely practice my passion for art and also have the freedom to show it to the public. I really wish that this exhibition will open the minds of the local Saudis and that they can understand the importance of freedom of expression through art.’ The show will bring together more than 45 works by 23 photographers in what Lazaar has called ‘a testament to the diversity and cultural awareness slowly emerging from Jeddah.’
07 Limited Edition 3, featuring the works of 22 Saudi Artists. By Arabian Wings As part of Jeddah Art Week the Limited Edition series, now in its third edition, is the brainchild of Mohammad Bahrawi and wife Najlaa Felemban. Initially incepted to dig up the hidden talent in Saudi Arabia, this series has gained prominence over the past three years with successes unforeseen by Arabian Wings. Aimed at giving exposure to the art in the Kingdom, Arabian Wings has strived to support the artists throughout the process to reach better results and has worked with renowned consultants to ensure the production of high quality artworks. The Limited Edition exhibition is comprised of a set of artworks by local artists who have studied and specialized in the Kingdom. It is accompanied by this book which catalogues the artwork and gives information of the artists and their backgrounds. To complete the educational aspect of this exhibition, Arabian Wings has organized an educational seminar to further enrich the purpose of the exhibition by creating a dialogue between the artists and guests. The versatile exhibition brings together works of various Saudi artists who practice different disciplines of art. With that the exhibition aims to be a point of exchange of knowledge between artists, enthusiasts and viewers and provide a sensual search of meaning.
Work by, Nada Asa
Work by, kholoud albogami
Work by, Saad bin Mohammed
Maha Malluh, Distributed Objects, London / Jeddah by Selma Feriani Gallery. Maha Malluh will be exhibiting her newest mixed media installations works. Greatly influenced by her spiritual connection to the historic region of Najd, Maha has witnessed the growing changes in her beloved country over the recent decades with an observant eye, and a heavy heart. She has focused on the use of objects in her work as a means of portraying these changes and the resulting confrontation between modernity and cultural heritage. Shown for the first time, Maha’s work ‘Food for Thought 4’ an installation of twenty two towers composed of colorful chinco plates welded together. The towers symbolize modernity and urbanisation. Maha’s use of these dishes, traditionally used to feed the entire extended Saudi family, is an appeal to the younger generations to hold onto these traditions and to resist succumbing to a fast-paced life with all its modern temptations of fast food and preprepared meals. Traditions as simple as sharing a family meal are what bring us closer and reinforce our relationships, and thus should always be preserved. ‘Food for Thought 13000’ is an installation of old cassette tapes of religious lectures from the 80’s that are installed in old wooden baking trays from the same period. This decade saw an adverse fundamental reaction to the fastpaced modernisation and westernisation that was gripping the country. When asked what she felt the point of art was, she replied: “To make people understand things in a different way. We need art more than ever in Saudi Arabia because life has become more hectic now. People forget about things like watching the sunset. They don’t look at nature in the way they once did. Good art works against that in the sense that it forces you to pause, to contemplate and think harder about your surroundings”. (Malluh, from Hemmings interview, 2008) With this, Malluh clearly defines the content and strategy of her practice. Her work is an insightful amalgamation, which discusses the importance of heritage, balance and growth.
Work by, Khalid Ben Silmane
09 Mapping Azimuth: Two Calligraphic Ascensions: Nja Mahdaoui & Khaled Ben Slimane by Galerie El Marsa. Khalid Ben Slimane, A “ceramist painter”. These two words suffice to introduce himself. Even though they may well summarize what he does and exhibits to the world, these two words are unable to tell us about what kind of a person he is. Khaled Ben Slimane is not the type of artist who claims anti-conformism, yet he is also dissatisfied with the role of a mere follower; he is an explorer. He explores his own self. Largely drawing from the treasure trove of tradition - his own as well others’- while adding his personal touch, Khalid Ben Slimane does not mind to be guided, but never to be told about what he has to do. He fully assumes, therefore, his dedication to freedom. He has not only been able to achieve the feat of growing to maturity, but he has also managed to become a modern man, through a slow and sedate process...
Work by, Nja Mahdaoui
Nja Mahdaoui A visual artist, an explorer of signs. He has been portrayed as a “choreographer of letters”. His work, inspired by Arab calligraphy, is remarkably innovative as the aesthetic dimension of letters brings forth a sense of the poetic - highly rhythmic– arresting us with its rich abstract compositions. Thus, his creative approach is conveyed through the choice of material and medium. He has illustrated legendary or sacred myths, tales or manuscripts. For instance, he has illustrated stories from the collection of tales “One Thousand and One Nights” which have been the subject of an outstanding French edition, thus reminding us how the influence of Arab literature and culture on our world is immense
Work by, Nja Mahdaoui
10 More than Paper, A Collection of Works by Abdulaziz Ashoor. The exhibition attempts to explore the use of paper in the Arts as a vital element and organic form. Showing how it varies visually , Whether pasting, collage, abstract art or if it has manifested on the walls of Curettage , sculptures and poster remnants of daily newspapers. Even if its Paper and Papier- tinged color or any of the material it Could come in terms with. Â I believe that paper is not a common or consuming material. It is a living sensory organism, That we can creat a deal or relationship of some kind with it. Paper being a promoter of the capacity for each of our souls out of being a tool of the initial message of science ,humanity, knowledge and art. In a result paper remains an exciting form of substance for the senses. It intices the creativity And gives more joy that we usually loose in the material world.
11 Sotheby’s International Contemporary Highlights from the upcoming Contemporary / Doha Auction in April.
Work by, Damien Hirst.
International auction house Sotheby’s will unveil an exhibition of Contemporary art by both Middle Eastern and International artists. Highlights include works by leading regional artists such as Ali Banisadr’s, The Chase, as well as acclaimed international artists such as Damien Hirst.
12 Single Saudi Women, Solo Show by Wasma Mansour.
A dominant feature in recent discussions of the Middle East, nowhere more so than in the so-called West, concerns the totemic value placed in the veil and women’s clothing in Muslim societies. The hijab, which is defined by Islamic legal systems as that which covers everything except the face and hands in public, is the subject of controversy, not so much in the Middle East as it is in Europe and elsewhere. Operating on a number of symbolic levels at once, it is easy to forget that the garments that come under the hijab dress code range from the khimar (or shaylah) which covers the head, to the chador, a loose fitting cloak worn by many Iranian women in public spaces, to the burka (or Afghan chadri) which covers the entirety of the body including, but not always, the eyes, and the abaya, a full-length, sleeveless outer garment worn by many women across the region. An increasingly contested sign of Muslim consciousness, these items of clothing come to define different things to different people. In the West, they have secured a place in the popular imagination as a sign of the lack of women’s rights in Islamic societies and, in the guise of the veil, a signifier of unavailability and repression. Amidst these often conflicting meanings, artists such as Wasma Mansour have explored the symbolic codes and values associated with, in particular, the abaya, and questioned the often narrow interpretations of it. In a package, of a package, of a package, Mansour portrays the abaya as an objective fact of life, an item of clothing that has many different associations and meanings across North Africa and the Middle East; ranging, as the artist notes, from a symbol of personal choice (in Egypt, for example) or a religious duty (as in Iran, where women are not required to wear full chador or a veil but many do). The abaya and the veil can also represent a socio-religious obligation (in Saudi Arabia) or be a compelling sign of resistance (as it is in Algeria). The point, eloquently made by Mansour, is that clothing is adaptive and indeed adaptable. Rather than show women wearing abaya, however, Mansour shows it in various packages, neatly folded away for use at a later date. The abaya here is not a defining factor in the lives of women but an element, amongst many others, in their definition of their own identity.
The accoutrements of life and living are likewise key to Mansour’s Still Life series where we see the personal space and belongings of Saudi women living in England. The genre of ‘still life’ is often seen as traditional in a formal context and it still maintains a resonance in photographic work that suggests a degree of artifice or arrangement; however, Mansour’s images seem to take these rooms as she finds them and ‘still life’ here becomes an image of lives lived and the places they are lived in. In one image, clothes are piled in no order; in others, beds are neatly made and rooms seem tidy and orderly. In others, personal items, such as shoes and make-up become the focus and the everyday seems touched by a human presence that is nevertheless absent. Emptied of human presence, these items become invested with a sense of identity, albeit the displaced identity of their owners. As a viewer, there is a also degree of discomfort in viewing someone else’s bedroom, a highly personal and private space, and yet this is not about voyeurism as much as it concerns, according to Mansour, the stories and anecdotes that are attached to these objects and places. The ‘still life’ element here is very much connected to another timeless genre: that of the portrait. Working closely with her subjects, Mansour’s photographs manage to creatively sidestep narrow modes of representation, whether it is of the so-called veil or the abaya, or the lives of women. By opening up a dialogue with her subjects, in the process of creating what she calls the ‘photographic event’, she provides them with the opportunity to discuss and explore their own sense of identity at a remove from the expectations placed upon them, by both the artist and the viewer. ‘The challenge’ Mansour says of the project, ‘was to aesthetically narrate the multifarious ways in which Saudi women assert their subjectivity [and] to represent that rich world in a plethora of settings and spaces, and hope to transmit some of its texture and flavour.’ Wasma Mansour’s work will be on show this year at Jeddah Art Week (1 – 6 February 2014). BY : Anthony Downey
Monday 03 Feb 10.00 – 17.00 Ibraaz Symposium in collaboration with Dar Al Hekma, Global Contemporary Art and it’s Networks in Dar Al Hekma. 19.00 Ayyam Gallery, Contemporary Kingdom, Three Generations of Saudi Artists.
10.00 – 17.00
Ibraaz Symposium in collaboration with Dar Al Hekma, Global Contemporary Art and it’s Networks in Dar Al Hekma. JAW-2014 will also offer participants and visitors a chance to engage more interactively with art culture, as well as the city of Jeddah through a variety of additional events. As part of its commitment to education, JAW will host an international conference at one of Jeddah’s leading female universities, Dar Al Hekma. The conference, Global Contemporary Art and Its Networks, is to be organized by Ibraaz (www.ibraaz.org), the leading critical forum on visual culture from North Africa and The Middle East], and will include a series of lectures and panel discussions that will look at the development of contemporary art in its historical and global context. Saudi artists Abdulnasser Gharem, Ahmed Mater, Maha Malluh and Faisal Samra will be joined in discussion by international academics and celebrated art world specialists.
AHMED MATER FAISAL SAMRA MAHA MALLUH ABDULNASSER GHAREM
19.00 Ayyam Gallery, Contemporary Kingdom,
Three Generations of Saudi Artists.
In Contemporary Kingdom, Faisal Samra, Maha Malluh, Abdulnasser Gharem, Rashed Al Shashai, Shaweesh and Huda Beydoun will exhibit artworks addressing, as well asembodying the spirit of, the rapid modernity that has impacted the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ranging in age from twenty to sixty, the varied perspectives and diversity of media will present a truly inclusive exhibition, engaging audiences with the wide spectrum of ideas present in Saudi Arabia and starting a creative dialogue. Representing the younger generation, Huda Beydoun and Shaweesh both utilize Western Pop cultural symbology. While documenting the prevalence of undocumented immigrants in theKingdom, Beydoun hides their identities and fears of deportation behind the form of Mickey Mouse, a character globally symbolic for innocence and joy. Street artist Shaweesh juxtaposes important political figures and events with iconic sci-fi and superheroes, paralleling the strengths and achievements of the mortal with those of the superhuman in an often humorous critique. In the second generation, Rashed Al Shashai and Abdulnasser Gharem both comment on the ecological impact modernity has had in the region and larger world. Though playful, Al Shashai’s oversized stopper installations cleverly reference not only our innate necessity for water but also highlight its storage, supply and conservation in a world plagued by draught and shortages. Gharem’s performance piece Flora & Fauna, captured in video and photography, focuses on the conocarpus erectus, a draught-resistant tree imported into the country, which caused those trees indigenous to the area to perish. His simple performance poignantly explores the ongoing, oftenstrained relationship with technology and the natural environment. Representing the third generation is Faisal Samra and Maha Malluh. Samra’s series The Other Body explores the possibilities of industrial media, placing his work at the intersection of sculpture and painting. Alluding with his mesh and wire works to body parts or forms occurring in nature, Samra demonstrates how the ravages of time can bring about new richness and even give rise to a second creation. Maha Malluh will present three photograms from her Tradition and Modernity series. With a process inspired by pioneering photographers Man Ray and William Fox Talbot, Malluh chooses objects relevant to the cultural heritage and present material makeup of Saudi to place on photographic paper and expose directly to light. With inverse, X-ray-like results, Malluh also comments on the lack of privacy associated with modern-day travel and employs photograms to reclaim her objects and their power, their arrangements speaking in ways that are not possible when unceremoniously screened by security officials. Ayyam Gallery Jeddah hopes the Contemporary Kingdom exhibition will add value to the cultural events of 21,39 and Jeddah Art Week, which are taking place in the beginning of February.
Work by, Shaweesh
Work by, Rashid Alshashai
Work by, Maha Malluh
04 . 05 . 06
04.05.06 DAY FOUR. FIVE. SIX Tuesday 04 Feb
18.00 Al Alamia Gallery, A Celebration of Saudi Contemporary Art. 20.00 Saudi Art Centre / Markaz Al Saudi, Abdilaziz Bube Asher Solo Exhibition.
Wednesday 05 Feb 18.00 House of Artists, Saudi Colours. 20.00 Dama Art, Shift, New Perspectives.
Thursday 06 Feb 18.00 Rochan Gallery, Festival of Miniatures & Contemporary Art 20.00 Art and Culture Association, Al Corniche Exploration.
18.00 Al Alamia Gallery, A Celebration of Saudi Art.
Work by, Ibrahim Al Khabrani
20.00 Saudi Art Centre / Markaz Al Saudi, Abdilaziz Bube Asher Solo Exhibition.
Work by, abdilaziz Bube Asher
20.00 Dama Art, Shift, New Perspectives.
18.00 House of Artists, Saudi Colours.
Work by, Ahmed alkaznari
18.00 Rochan Gallery, Festival of Miniatures & Contemporary Art
Work by, Nja Mahdaoui
20.00 Art and Culture Association, Al Corniche Exploration.
Work by, Sheikh Idriss
Work by, Nezir yavuz
20.00 CREATORS DRAWING CENTER,
FURUSIYA EXHBITION MAP
AN INTERNATIONAL GATHERING FOR JEDDAH’S CREATIVE COMMUNITY.