Gharem Studio helping budding but undiscovered artists

Gharem Studio has served as a launching platform for many young Saudi artists across multiple artistic disciplines. (Supplied photo)
Updated 14 January 2019
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Gharem Studio helping budding but undiscovered artists

  • Gharem Studio has collaborated with the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran
  • It has toured 10 art exhibitions within the US, with each exhibition featuring between 30 and 35 artists

JEDDAH: Saudi artists and brothers Abdulnasser and Ajlan Gharem are the founders of a not-for-profit art studio dedicated to encouraging individual thought and self-expression. 

Having first opened in 2013, Gharem Studio has served as a launching platform for many young Saudi artists across multiple artistic disciplines. 

The Gharem brothers founded their art studio with the goal of helping kick-start the careers of budding but undiscovered Saudi artists. 

The studio has collaborated with the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran and has toured 10 art exhibitions within the US, with each exhibition featuring between 30 and 35 artists. 

Their dedication to cultivating the Saudi contemporary art scene has helped expose many talented up-and-coming local artists.

“Art has become a platform to which audiences and curators can gather and conversation can begin,” said Abdulnasser.

“As artists, we always look to light the spark of a conversation. Right now, we are living in a time of great change, especially with Vision 2030, which has invigorated the cultural body with energy and vibrancy, and I believe it is now up to young men and women to invest in those resources.” 

Ajlan is a multi-disciplinary artist with an interest in how Saudis articulate their culture through art. 

In a world of increased globalization, he is particularly interested in Saudi culture and the constant change of power dynamics. In the current climate of rapid development across the Gulf region, Ajlan’s work focuses on the balance of power between the individual and the state, with an emphasis on his generation’s ability to create change.

Ajlan received his undergraduate degree in mathematics at King Khalid University and he has frequently used his formal analytical training to influence his art. 

His most famous art installation has been his conceptual work, “Paradise Has Many Gates.”

The art piece has been displayed in Saudi Arabia, the US, Bahrain, and most recently in Canada’s Vancouver Biennale. 

The life-sized conceptual art installation has the structural appearance of a mosque consisting completely of chain-linked steel fence materials. 

While the controversial artwork may invoke feelings of restriction or unrest through its caged structure, it also symbolizes religious transparency. 

Being exhibited in a Western country, the piece invites viewers to recognize the way Islam is unfairly perceived. 


MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

Updated 25 March 2019
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MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

  • Interns will work on entertainment mega-project
  • Program open to university seniors and new graduates

RIYADH: A new internship program for young Saudis has been launched in the Kingdom, following a partnership between Misk Foundation and the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).

The program runs from June 16 to Aug. 31, 2019, and provides an opportunity for university seniors and recent graduates to be part of Qiddiya, an entertainment mega-project located 40 minutes from Riyadh.

Interns will have the chance to work at Qiddiya’s corporate offices alongside professionals from around the world and will be placed across 12 departments.

They will learn and develop skills that are required to succeed in their professional lives.

They will also gain exposure to QIC’s culture and learn from executives with over 20 years of experience across several sectors. 

QIC CEO Mike Reininger said: “We are contributing directly to the Saudi Vision (2030 reform plan) by creating a richer lifestyle for Saudi citizens while spurring innovation in the creative, hospitality and entertainment sectors. This unique opportunity allows students and fresh graduates to experience what it takes to be part of the change in Saudi by giving them the chance to work alongside a group of both local and international seasoned professionals. Thanks to this partnership with MiSK, we will be training the next generation of industry leaders.” 

Application to the program is open for those with fewer than two years of professional experience. Candidates must show strong academic credentials and submit a short video as part of their application.

King Salman led the Qiddiya ground-breaking ceremony in front of a global audience last April.

The project is aimed at helping to stem the $30 billion a year which Saudis currently spend abroad on tourism, and has the backing of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

It targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s preeminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination.

It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km.