French honor Saudi photographers

French honor Saudi photographers
Updated 04 October 2012

French honor Saudi photographers

French honor Saudi photographers

The Cultural department of the French Consulate in Jeddah with the support of Les Amis de la Culture Francaise honored Saudi photographers by organizing a three-day exhibition at the French Consulate premises.
Louis Blin, the new French consul general, welcomed the guests and diplomats on the occasion. He said he hoped the attendees will find the exhibition fantastic and feel at home in the French Consulate.
“Our main aim behind organizing this exhibition was to introduce Saudi artists to the French and European people, as well as to bring the two cultures and people close to each other. As Princess Reem Al-Faisal studied in France, I believe that she has a French touch in her photography, which is very important for us as we are here to develop mutual understanding between the people and cultures of the two countries,” he said.
Blin said the other photographers especially Esa Engawi, famous Saudi and international photographer, also played a huge role in the exchange of culture and mutual understating between the people of different cultures. He also said in future they are planning to bring French artists from all fields and educationists to Saudi Arabia for interaction between Saudi and French artists and educators.
Blin told the Saudi public that they should work together in the cultural field.
Ambassador Mohammed Ahmed Al-Tayeb, director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Makkah Region, praised the efforts of the French Consulate for organizing a marvelous exhibition at their premises.
“Today’s exhibition is fabulous, an excellent collection of 30 pictures representing the taste of the photographers and their philosophy, as Princess Reem’s pictures on Haj reflect the importance of Haj in the life of a Muslim. Through her pictures she communicated to Muslims and non-Muslims about the beauty of Haj and a side of this main pillar of Islam. Esa. S. Engawi also showed old and modern architecture of Makkah. We encourage this kind of cultural activities. We hope such activities will continue,” he said.
He also said he would like to see French artists and photographers in Saudi Arabia as this will help in cultural exchange. “I encourage cultural exchange, people-to-people interaction. This constitutes to building a solid relationship between the countries and people."
The exhibition featured photographs of Princess Reem Al-Faisal, who depicted her experience about Haj through the lens.
Princess Reem’s chosen genre is black and white photographs and her photos not only speak more than a thousand words, they have an ethereal quality, exude piety — whether it is that of a palm raised in prayer, Hajis (pilgrims) in singles, twos or in multitude at any of the holy sites such as Mina, Arafat or Muzdalifah, crossing the Makkah Haram courtyard, or a rural scene. Each of her photos conveys individuality as well as universality.
The work of Esa. S. Engawi was based on his experience of architecture and modern buildings. He said he likes to work in all styles but his favorite is portrait, through which he wants to send or give out a message.
“According to me photography is an art which equals 1,000 words. The thing which you can say in 1,000 words can be transformed and understood through one picture.
So we can communicate and express our feelings through a picture better than expressing ourselves in words, as pictures can be read, seen and even touched to get the feeling. My pictures are based on different messages from peace to lost world, spiritual feelings, change from the old era to modern world,” he explained.
Engawi has participated in more than 120 group exhibitions, 14 solo exhibitions and 59 International exhibitions and is a member of more than 20 organizations.
The photographs of Wedad S. Al-Saban, member of Saudi Photographers’ House, were based on her experience of capturing nature through the lens. Al-Saban explained that she is interested in nature. Her works were displayed the first time in 1995. She is now member of seven photographic organizations.
“In my pictures you can see the message of nature and simplicity of life. I love to capture nature in my lens, the small things around us. Beauty always attracts me and has become part of my work. The lessons we are getting from them can be seen in my work,” explained Wedad.