FaceOf: Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Maqoushi, Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache in London

Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Maqoushi
Updated 03 September 2018

FaceOf: Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Maqoushi, Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache in London

Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Maqoushi has served as Saudi Arabia’s cultural attache in London, United Kingdom, since March 2017. He also holds the post of assistant director-general for cultural affairs and public information at Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Charitable Foundation. He is also an associate professor of media at Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.
He has previously served as assistant secretary-general for public information affairs at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Riyadh, and also as chairman of the National Products Center in Riyadh. In addition, he has been executive director of Riyadh Chamber Award for Community Service, and the assistant secretary-general of the Disabled Children Association.
He gained a Ph.D. in international journalism in 1994 from the University of Wales in the UK. He also holds a masters degree in international journalism which he obtained in 1990 from Ohio University in the US. Al-Maqoushi earned his bachelor’s degree in media in 1985 from Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.
Al-Maqoushi has written several books in Arabic in the field of media and other topics. He has also written in a number of Saudi newspapers such as Al-Riyadh.
He has been a member of the executive committee and chairman of the information committee at King Salman Science Oasis. Moreover, Al-Maqoushi has been a member of the resource development committee at King Salman Center for Disability Research. He was a member of the established committee to prepare the National AIDS Awareness Strategy in the Ministry of Health.
 


Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. (Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Updated 28 min 28 sec ago

Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Brilliance of the Souls’ comes to Saudi Arabia’s AlUla

  • Visitors are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them

ALULA: Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has made her Saudi Arabian debut with one of her mirrored “infinity rooms” available to visit at AlUla’s Maraya Concert Hall.

The installation at AlUla, titled “Infinity Mirrored Room — Brilliance of the Souls,” is deceptively small at first. A totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on, observers are instantly immersed in a different, ethereal world once the door closes behind them.
Spheres of multicolored light hang at different heights and intervals from the ceiling, bringing to mind stars, planets and galaxies from afar. The viewer is insulated from the outside world, and the space transforms from a confined room barely big enough for two people to an unending wonder.
The exhibit makes for a perfect place to take an ethereal, otherworldly selfie, as demonstrated by many of its visitors, such as Finnish resident Laura Alho, known online as “blueabaya.” Alho took to Twitter to post photos of her experience, saying she had “never seen anything like it.”
The concert hall itself is also covered in mirrors on the outside, designed with the intention of blending into the surrounding rocky landscape of AlUla without disrupting the natural beauty of the location.
Kusama, a 90-year-old artist from Matsumoto, is widely acknowledged as one of the most important contemporary Japanese creatives. Though she works primarily through sculpture and installation, she also paints, contributes to film and performance art, and dabbles in poetry, fiction, and fashion. She is famous for her conceptual art, which shows attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, art brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism.

HIGHLIGHT

The ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ is deceptively small at first. It is a totally reflective space with water surrounding a small platform on the ground for visitors to stand on.

At the age of 10, she began to experience vivid hallucinations which consisted of dense fields of dots, which inspired the Infinity Mirrored Rooms that she is most well-known for. As a way of therapy and self-expression, Kusama began creating these spaces with mirrored walls and multiple dots incorporated into the designs.
Kusama’s work is showcased at museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. There are 10 permanent Infinity Mirrored Rooms in museums worldwide, with several temporary showcases leased to various others. People have reportedly lined up for as long as five hours just to be allowed inside one for 30 seconds.
Interested parties can visit the Infinity Mirrored Room as part of the Winter at Tantora festival, taking place in AlUla until March 20. Access to the room is free to concertgoers with a ticket, details of which can be found at experiencealula.com