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Saudi artists excel in first conceptual photography event

The top 20 winners of the conceptual photography contest by Bab Rizq Jameel saw their works exhibited at “The Gallery” premises on Saturday under the umbrella of Bab Rizq Jameel and in cooperation with Arabian Wings.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Hani Abu Ras, the mayor of Jeddah, in the presence of Husain Mohammed Jameel as well as other dignitaries and honorable guests. Abu Ras honored the first three winners, Yusuf Al-Jabri, Abdul Rahman Aldkheini, and Abdulaziz Al-Harbi, with prizes of SR 30,000, SR 15,000, and SR 10,000, respectively.
The mayor admired the efforts of Bab Rizq Jameel (BRJ) and their projects. He said BRJ’s efforts and contributions had become a role model for national and social life by providing training programs, job opportunities, and education on business and small enterprises. BRJ motivated young people and engaged them in new areas of work within its scientific and practical programs, he said.
“Such projects, contests, and exhibitions will be a milestone in the success of Saudi photographers and artists. Their work is amazing and outstanding.”
According to the mayor, the youth had shown excellent skills, and he could see them having an excellent future and scope in photography. “With their creativity, they are preparing to compete on an international level. We found excellent potential in them, and I wish them the best of luck for the future,” Abu Ras said.
Bab Rizq Jameel organized the conceptual photography contest for the third consecutive year with the aim of enhancing the talent of Saudi photographers and introducing them to conceptual photography as a technique adopted by international photographers since many years.
The main idea behind organizing this contest was to prepare the Saudi artist to compete on an international level, as the idea of conceptual photography is new in this region, stated Al-Hakami, the senior general manager at Abdul Lateef Jameel Community Initiative (ALJCI), of which Bab Rizq Jameel forms part.
The contest was announced early September by Bab Rizq Jameel under the supervision of artist organization Arabian Wings and an art committee consisting of Mohammed Bahrawi, cofounder and director of Arabian Wings; Najlaa Felemban, cofounder of Arabian Wings; artist Sultan Mandily; artist Saud Mahjoob; and artist Kamal Banjar. Its goal was to enhance the talent of Saudi photographers and introduce them to conceptual photography.
Mohammed Bahrawi said this was the first time Saudi photographers took part in conceptual photography, a truly new idea for most of the contestants. “This contest was the first step toward the success of Saudi photographers in the field of conceptual photography,” Bahrawi said.
Expressing pleasure with the contest and the outstanding results achieved during this year’s contest, Fady Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, president of ALJCI international, said, “We are all very proud that we have this phenomenal event in Saudi Arabia, and it will be the cornerstone for the new art movement in the Saudi photography scene.”
The jury committee, who selected the top 20 works that were displayed at the exhibition, consisted of five professional and expert judges: Abdulrahman Alhasani, professional photographer; Khalid bin Afif, professional photographer; Dr. Hamdy Mehelba, general physician and photographer; Kholoud Attar, CEO of Design Magazine; and Dalya Islam, owner of art consultancy Maddei Red. The jury stated that the works of Saudi artists would improve with time, as they needed to learn techniques and explore the subjects. However, taking into account that this was the first experience for the talented photographers, the jury members considered the outcomes as excellent.
“The main idea behind organizing this contest was to create job opportunities in the art field and prepare the Saudi artists to compete on an international level, taking into consideration that the idea of conceptual photography is new not only in Saudi Arabia, but in all Arab countries,” said Abdul Rahman Al-Fihaid, the BRJ executive director. He said the first three winners would get employment contracts to take photographs of various Bab Rizq Jameel programs.

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