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Art & Culture

[Un]stitched: A fusion of art, culture and ... thobes!

The new generation of contemporary artists challenges the boundaries stitched deep into the skin of our society by subtly loosening them one stitch at a time. [Un]stitched, an exhibition that opened on Tuesday in Riyadh, is an initiative created and organized by Lomar, and managed and curated by “onqoud.” [Un]stitched reaches out to the community of passionate art appreciators, collectors, and artists to be part of the process. [Un]stitched puts the spotlight on thobe as an important part of Saudi culture and heritage, and as an artistic subject.
Ten contemporary Saudi artists that share a clear connection and attachment to the Saudi culture were invited to deconstruct the thobe and reframe both art and thobe.
Conceptual artist Marwah AlMogait took visitors deep within the fabric of aged thobes and garments through microscopic images, “to trace this hidden life within the layers of its texture, threads and stitches.”
Artist Ayman Zedani’s 4x5inch ambrotypes depict the tales revisited while reproducing “Lost Family Portraits” left behind by an older generation.
Khalid Oraij’s work was all about “The Good Old Times” when life was free from extravagance and resentment.
Self-taught artist Nouf Al-Semari’s painting juxtaposes the Western white shirt with the long white Thobe in two canvases joined in the middle, portraying that they have more similarities than differences.
Dania Al-Saleh deconstructs the thobe and reconstructs it with the underlying colors of white using Islamic ornaments and geometry.
Mixed media artist Heba Farahat’s 94cm thobe miniatures act as mirrors and strings that connect us to our ancestors and their stories.
Fashion designer and artist Nawaf Bin Saud’s installation using thobe sleeves narrates the lifecycle of thobe and how it is eager to leave the desert to enter the modern world.
Noorah Kareem puts a humorous twist to the flexibility of thobe in a witty frame-by-frame digital animation.
Writer and artist Saad Bin Mohammed invites the audience to allow their imagination to flow in interpreting his paintings.
Soraya Darwish ‘s participatory art installation invites the audience to be more than consumers and encourages them to be part of the creative process.
Through the “Meet the [Un]’s” art talk by [Un]stitched artists and onqoud, and #CasualArtTalk discussing “[Un]stitching Boundaries,” and the participatory art workshop for children, community members of all ages will be involved in [un]stitching boundaries!
Lomar is a Saudi men fashion brand, aims to redefine thobes into more innovative designs to be more appealing for the old generation and fulfill the taste of younger natives, with a vision of aspiring and encouraging the society to [re]think .. [re]define.
The exhibition runs until Sept. 28 in the Naila Gallery, located in Al-Takhasussi street in Riyadh. It is open from Saturday to Thursday between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., and on Friday between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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