RIYADH: The Misk Art Institute of the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation is shedding light on Asiri arts in a contemporary way, explaining details of Al-Khatwa art for visitors, via interactive scenes documenting Al-Khatwa through drawing.
The institute’s Al-Khatwa exhibition coincides with Al-Soudah Season to promote national arts.
Al-Khatwa is a traditional way to express happiness using performance in the Asir region. The art is performed collectively through dances accompanied by drums, and raising daggers and sticks in the air. Each tribe in the Asir region has its own traditional versions.
While Misk organized a number of artistic programs and activities in Abha for August, visitors of Mount Al-Soudah went to see the Al-Khatwa exhibition and learned about what it involved.
It included interactive photos, visual segments reflecting the popular culture of Al-Khatwa dance, the expression of the authenticity of the southern people through movement and its relation to the area’s mountainous nature and costumes that reflect the individuality of Asir.
The music wall in the Al-Khatwa exhibition presented instruments such as al-zeer, al-barmeel, al-zalfa, al-mifraz and al-tanka, and their roles in composing harmonious and divergent tunes that distinguish Al-Khatwa from other forms of artistic expression.
Asiri costumes — especially women’s attire — attracted a big audience, and the exhibition included jewelry worn by brides on wedding nights, as well as other traditional Asiri ornaments.
The exhibition also included a section named “Panoramic Khatwa,” giving visitors a live image of Al-Khatwa performances through meticulously introducing and presenting it via a live show, as well as giving the chance for visitors to participate in it.
Misk Art Institute’s other activities and programs for Al-Soudah Season consist of 40-minute daily workshops for a number of mediums, and short sessions for artists which require pre-registration, in addition to a bazaar for artists at the end of every week in Al-Muftaha.
Al-Muftaha village programs include the “Ard Al-Toud” exhibition dedicated to various artistic oeuvres reflecting Asir’s environment. The exhibition presents the culture of the region through art, focuses on the concept of time and space in shaping the area’s identity and history, and showcases its cultural and artistic repertoire.
As for Al-Soudah, it includes Al-Khatwa exhibition and 40-minute daily workshops for amateurs and children to learn different styles of the dance to motivate young talent and spread visual arts culture.