DIRIYAH: Saudi sculptor Ali Altokhais’ career has reached a major highlight with the design and carving of the foundation stone of Diriyah Gate.
The five-surfaced stone went on display Wednesday night, finalizing the dream project of the first Saudi capital and the “Jewel of Saudi Arabia.”
The sculptor’s components were excavated from Diriyah’s land.
It is a yellow pure stone free from pores and cracks, with similar color grades and elements. After hard and fun work, he worked on a small rectangular brick with five surfaces, with the external side showing symbols for Diriyah. “The Jewel of Saudi Arabia” was written longitudinally, and six triangles that symbolize popular old letters were distributed on the brick.
Altokhais, who specializes in stone carving, said that sculpting is a tough profession and “the mother of arts,” as it requires finding the convenient material for the idea, before you carve, model and assemble the sculpture, which requires great concentration since mistakes are costly.
Abstract rock carving, a style which Altokhais regularly works with, relies on abstract shapes and forms disassociated from visuals in their natural and realistic image.
It is characterized by the artist’s ability to draw the form they imagine, whether it be realistic or imagined in a new way that may or may not resemble the original form of the final drawing, away from geometrical shapes.
He learned the skill of abstract art from the founder of sculpting in the Kingdom, the late Abdullah Al-Abdullatif. Its advantage is that it is indirect and challenges the recipient to understand the sculpture, with each person having the possibility of making their
While Altokhais’ children did not want to inherit carving from their father and continue his journey, he saw his instruments — the point chisel and hammer — as deserving children that he spends his time with to customize rocks and indulge in his hobby.
It also fascinates people and allows him to represent the Kingdom in continental and international exhibitions.