‘Sense of Women’ art exhibition to be staged at ME Dubai

‘Sense of Women’ art exhibition to be staged at ME Dubai
At the heart of this project is Chilean patron Alejandra Castro Rioseco, a civil engineer, art collector, and director of the MIA Art Collection. (Supplied)
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Updated 30 March 2021

‘Sense of Women’ art exhibition to be staged at ME Dubai

‘Sense of Women’ art exhibition to be staged at ME Dubai
  • Passion for women’s art prompted Alejandra Castro Rioseco to embark on patronage
  • The exhibition opens with the installation ‘Breathe’ featuring porcelain gas masks donned with intricate handmade work consisting of porcelain roses, created before the COVID-19 pandemic, acting on a curious foreboding, by the emerging Spanish artist Noem

BEIRUT: The ME hotel in Dubai, designed inside and out by the late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, the woman who rounded out the corners drawn by men, is staging a curated art exhibition entirely dedicated to female artists.

ME Dubai has partnered with MIA Art Collection, and Arab News and its international editions to bring the collective “Sense of Women,” which will take place from March 28 to April 20 and highlight the creative work of the women.

Arab News has taken a look behind the scenes at the exceptional exhibition and the artists who will be presented there.

Alejandra Castro Rioseco, patronage on a myriad of fronts

At the heart of this project is Chilean patron Alejandra Castro Rioseco, a civil engineer, art collector, and director of the MIA Art Collection.

It brings together works from her own collection of nearly 900 items, the world’s largest private catalogue of all-female pieces.

It was her passion for women’s art that prompted Rioseco to embark on many philanthropic projects, including the creation of the virtual museum MIA Anywhere dedicated to women artists and the awarding of art scholarships, two initiatives that pushed her to travel the world, actively participating in contemporary art fairs in search of new talents.




The exhibition will open with the installation “Breathe” featuring porcelain gas masks donned with intricate handmade work consisting of porcelain roses, created before the COVID-19 pandemic, acting on a curious foreboding, by the emerging Spanish artist Noemi Iglesias Barrios. (Supplied)

As part of her endeavor to promote women’s art, Rioseco also launched the Mujer Opina foundation for the empowerment of women and the preservation of indigenous know-how and languages, notably through the “Ultimate Women” project dedicated to the ancient Mapuche culture.

Rioseco served for five years on the board of El-Museo del Barrio in New York. She now sits on the Latin American Art Acquisition Committee for the New York Guggenheim and the Abu Dhabi-based Guggenheim Middle East Committee, for the third year running.

She is also involved in the musical sector, being the first Chilean woman elected to the board of directors of the International Federation of Chopin Societies in Warsaw, as well as in the dance industry, serving at the prestigious international ballet, Jose Limon.




 Aisha Al-Ahmadi. (Supplied)

‘Living in Dubai is like living in New York in the 1950s’

On what motivated her to leave civil engineering for philanthropy, contemporary art, and action for women’s empowerment, Rioseco said that, despite having worked in the field of engineering, she had been drawn to charity work since childhood, and revolted against social inequalities.

As for juggling so many activities at the same time, she noted that her secret to “being happy” was her love for what she did and the thrill of waking every morning to a new landscape of discovery.

She also enjoyed the support of her family, especially her daughter, a high school student, who works with her outside of school time.

Mostly based in Dubai, she said: “Dubai has become my favorite place. I think those of us who can live here are really lucky, not only for everything that is happening there, but also for observing and being part of the great changes of our time.

“Living in Dubai is like living in New York in the 1950s. You can witness everything here. An entire empire was built in record time, despite the obstacles posed by nature, with cutting-edge technology and the support of a government concerned with the safety and well-being of all of its constituents. There is a lot to learn from Dubai.”




The large hall of the ME hotel designed by architect Zaha Hadid. (Supplied)

Contemporary answers for anxious spectators 

Rioseco pointed out that the main theme of the “Sense of Women” exhibition was “the ability of women to adapt to the present and to the tools and technologies of our time.

“Apart from their beauty, these works convey messages: Respect for the environment, human relations, and of course the courage that must be found to live each day.




Liubov Kolbina. (Supplied)

“These women artists, from different countries and different artistic and cultural manifestations, have the same aim, and the success of each one affects all of us,” she added.

Their common quest was to create a balance between the woman within them and the artist, and the pressure of technology that drove them to seek new channels to communicate with the contemporary viewer, Rioseco said.




Fatima Al-Kindi. (Supplied)

Materials, techniques, dreams, and perceptions

The exhibition will open with the installation “Breathe” featuring porcelain gas masks donned with intricate handmade work consisting of porcelain roses, created before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, acting on a curious foreboding, by the emerging Spanish artist Noemi Iglesias Barrios.

These porcelain installations are dedicated to the victims of the pandemic. Along the way, visitors will discover the works of Englishwoman Patricia Millns, who questions rhythm through textiles, as well as the work of Aisha Al-Ahmadi, a multidisciplinary artist born in Abu Dhabi, whose work is centered around themes of identity politics.




Ana Daganzo. (Supplied)

Through her photographs, Ana Daganzo, a Spanish visual artist, explores a vision that focuses on the particularities of the eye as an instrument, and the phenomena caused by it.

Equally captivating are the photos of Spaniard Veronica Ruth Frias who places herself at the center of her work.

The exhibition will also introduce the dreamlike and disturbing world of Japanese painter Mari Ito, as well as the expressionist art of her compatriot Akiko Nakayama.

The strange landscapes of the Siberia-born Russian Liubov Kolbina and the vast abstract canvases of the Emirati painter Fatima Al-Kindi, which endeavors to transfigure the trivial, are some of the highlights of the exhibition.




Pic 7: The large hall of the ME hotel designed by architect Zaha Hadid. (Supplied)

 


British Museum, TEFAF team up to restore glass artifacts damaged in Beirut explosion

 British Museum, TEFAF team up to restore glass artifacts damaged in Beirut explosion
Completing "puzzle-work" of a smashed glass beaker at the Archaeological Museum, AUB. Courtesy of the AUB Office of Communications and Archaeological Museum
Updated 28 July 2021

British Museum, TEFAF team up to restore glass artifacts damaged in Beirut explosion

 British Museum, TEFAF team up to restore glass artifacts damaged in Beirut explosion

DUBAI: It has been almost one year since two explosions rocked the port of Beirut, killing more than 200, injuring over 6,000 and leaving hundreds of thousands without a home. The incident, which occurred on Aug. 4, 2020, caused significant damage to buildings in Lebanon’s capital, including the Archaeological Museum at the American University of Beirut (AMAUB), situated two miles away from Beirut’s port where the blasts occurred. During the explosions, many of the artworks on display were damaged.

Now, almost a year after the devastating event, the British Museum and The European Fine Art Foundation have announced that they will partner to help restore some ancient artifacts that were damaged by the blast.

The museum and the fair will restore eight glass vessels dating to Roman and early Islamic times.

The case of glass vessels displayed at the Archaeological Museum (AUB) before the explosion. Courtesy of the AUB Office of Communications and Archaeological Museum

During the explosion, the glass objects that were on display at the AMAUB shattered into hundreds of tiny shards. They will now be painstakingly pieced back together at the British Museum’s conservation labs in London.

Most vessels were shattered beyond repair with only 15 being identified as salvageable.  Of these, only eight are safe to travel to the British Museum to be conserved.

The restored glass works will go on view at the British Museum in a temporary exhibition before returning to Beirut.

Claire Cuyaubère, a conservator from the French Institut National du Patrimoine helped to collect and categorize the shards of ancient glass from the mixed debris, which included glass from the display case and surrounding windows, after the blast.

Conservator Claire Cuyaubère assisting with "puzzle-work" of shard from a glass dish at the Archaeological Museum, AUB. Courtesy of the AUB Office of Communications and Archaeological Museum

She returned to Beirut in July 2021 to identify and match broken shards from each vessel, and identify those suitable for shipment to London. The puzzle-work was supported by the Friends of the Middle East Department at the British Museum.

Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum, said in a statement: “Like the rest of the world, we looked on in horror at the devastating scenes in Beirut in August last year. We immediately offered the assistance of the British Museum to colleagues in the city. As we mark one year since the tragedy, we’re pleased to be able to provide the expertise and resources of the British Museum to restore these important ancient objects so they can be enjoyed in Lebanon for many more years to come.”


How models Shanina Shaik, Imaan Hammam and more are spending their summers

How models Shanina Shaik, Imaan Hammam and more are spending their summers
Part-Saudi model Shanina Shaik is in Croatia to celebrate model Jasmine Tookes’ bachelorette party. Instagram
Updated 28 July 2021

How models Shanina Shaik, Imaan Hammam and more are spending their summers

How models Shanina Shaik, Imaan Hammam and more are spending their summers

DUBAI: With the easing of travel restrictions in some countries, our favorite jet-setting It-girls have taken the opportunity to catch a flight this summer — and they’re making sure to document every minute of their holidays on social media.

Part-Saudi model Shanina Shaik, along with her closest friends, fellow models Sara Sampaio, Lais Ribiero, Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver, flew to Croatia to celebrate Tookes’ bachelorette party.

Tookes and Snapchat’s Juan David Borrero are set to get married in Borrero’s home country of Ecuador, but due to COVID-19, the exact wedding date is yet to be announced.   

Shanina Shaik is enjoying a trip to Croatia. Instagram

The stylish friend group toasted the future bride, who got engaged to Snapchat’s director of international markets in September 2020, this week in Hvar, an idyllic island surrounded by turquoise waters in Croatia. The models were transported to the island by way of a fun-filled boat excursion, which saw them dancing, tanning, sight-seeing and swimming.

“Seeing the beautiful sights,” Shaik wrote alongside a video of the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea.

“Seeing the beautiful sights,” Shaik wrote. Instagram

Elsewhere, Moroccan-Egyptian-Dutch model Imaan Hammam decided to spend her summer in her homeland.

The 24-year-old jetted to Agadir, Morocco, where she is enjoying some much-needed family time following months of lockdowns and movement restrictions.

Hammam, who was born in the Netherlands to a Moroccan mother and Egyptian father, offered her followers a sneak peek into her family life, sharing candid photos of herself snuggling with her baby cousins and enjoying traditional Moroccan food.

Moroccan-Egyptian-Dutch model Imaan Hammam decided to spend her summer in her homeland. Instagram

And Hammam isn’t the only jetsetter to revisit her roots this summer.

British-Albanian crooner Dua Lipa is currently Albania with her partner of two years, part-Palestinian model and singer Anwar Hadid.

Dua Lipa and Anwar Hadid are in Albania. Instagram

 The 25-year-old hitmaker has made sure to document the trip for her 69.4 million Instagram followers, sharing photos and videos of herself and her beau making the most of their downtime by relaxing by the beach and lapping up the sunshine.

The couple are with the Grammy award winner’s parents, Dukagjin and Anesa Lipa, in Albania, where the “New Rules” singer made an appearance at the Sunny Hill Kindergarten construction site last week.

And it seems like Hadid is getting along well with the parents.

Anwar Hadid with Dua Lipa's father Dukagjin Lipa. Instagram

Lipa shared a carousel of images on her Instagram feed, which included a sweet photo of the two most important men in her life in an affectionate embrace.  

Elsewhere, Moroccan-British model Nora Attal is enjoying Paris with her family and US-Somali model Halima Aden’s “Munich trip is going lovely,” as per her Instagram caption.


Three Arab films set to premiere at Venice Film Festival

The oldest film festival in the world is kicking off its 78th edition Sept. 1. (Shutterstock)
The oldest film festival in the world is kicking off its 78th edition Sept. 1. (Shutterstock)
Updated 28 July 2021

Three Arab films set to premiere at Venice Film Festival

The oldest film festival in the world is kicking off its 78th edition Sept. 1. (Shutterstock)

DUBAI: The Venice International Film Festival unveiled a starry lineup of world premieres for September, including three films from the Arab world.

“Amira” by Mohamed Diab is set to play in the Horizons section and is a coming-of-age drama shot in Jordan, but set in Palestine.

“Costa Brava” is Lebanese director Mounia Akl's debut work and pairs Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri with Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki.

Finally, “Republic of Silence” by Diana El-Jeiroudi is a personal account of the director’s childhood in Syria and, 40 years on, her exile in Berlin.

The films will premiere alongisde international titles, including Pablo Larrain’s “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, and Ridley Scott’s medieval drama “The Last Duel,” featuring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver.

The oldest film festival in the world is kicking off its 78th edition Sept. 1 on the Lido with the premiere of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Madres paralelas,” starring Penelope Cruz. “Spencer” and “Madres paralelas” are among 21 features premiering as part of the official competition, which has often helped guide eventual Oscar best picture nominees and even winners.
 


Beauty mogul Huda Kattan backs new female wellness brand

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan backs new female wellness brand
Ketish, launched by former Huda Beauty product developer Eman Abbass, is the first brand to be launched by HB Angels. Supplied
Updated 27 July 2021

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan backs new female wellness brand

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan backs new female wellness brand

DUBAI: Iraqi-US beauty mogul Huda Kattan has announced Ketish as the first brand to be launched by Huda Beauty Angels — which falls under HB Investments, Kattan’s venture capital firm. Ketish, a feminine care label, is being spearheaded by Eman Abbass, a former Huda Beauty product developer.

“I’m really excited on a deep level about Huda Beauty Angels and being able to reveal to you guys very soon the first project we are investing in with an amazing founder who has such an amazing mission and purpose and we know they’re going to change the world,” she said in a video shared with her 49 million Instagram followers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HUDA KATTAN (@hudabeauty)

“When we first started our brand, nobody wanted to invest in us. Nobody wanted to really believe in our cause and what we were doing,” she added, revealing what prompted her to start the $10 million female entrepreneur seeding initiative, HB Angels.

Specializing in female wellness, Ketish aims to launch its first product in August 2021, although Abbass has been tight-lipped on the sort of products that will be offered, telling The Industry Fashion website that the brand will focus on “targeted body care products.”

The new brand was inspired by Abbass’s own health experience. When she was 21-years-old, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer during her first-ever gynecologist appointment. Coming from a conservative background, Abbass felt ashamed to talk to her American-Egyptian family about her health during the diagnosis and treatment process.

Huda and Mona Kattan pictured with Eman Abbass (M). Supplied

Following a nine-year healing journey that she had to go through alone, Abbass was inspired to launch the luxurious female wellness brand that aims to reform feminine care products in the Middle East and is named after a female ancient Egyptian deity.

“A lot of those brands and products that we find now are in the pharmacy and the pharmacy is traditionally a place that you go when you are sick or something is wrong,” she told The Industry Fashion website. “We want to take feminine wellness and care out of the pharmacy and put it in the places that women shop… when I’m having a bad day I go to Sephora or I hop on to Cult Beauty. It’s those spaces that we want to be playing in to really elevate that experience and give women products that they can incorporate into their overall beauty and self-care routines.”

“Ketish is a movement,” Kattan said in a press release. “It’s about taking power back and being fully comfortable with yourself. When people start to become part of this community, they’re going to feel liberated. I realized very quickly that this was a topic that so many people had so many issues with. The more I started talking to Emaan, the more I was convinced that she could change the category.”


Saudi online platforms bridge gap between creatives, inquisitive minds

 These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
Updated 27 July 2021

Saudi online platforms bridge gap between creatives, inquisitive minds

 These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector. (Supplied)
  • Offering people easy ways to learn new skills, explore methods to promote self, business

JEDDAH: Online platforms are helping smaller creative businesses to pass on their knowledge to interested parties. Two such platforms that have been attracting attention from Saudi locals are Suplift and Upgrade.

These online platforms began popping up on social media a few years ago with experiences and activities offered with a registration fee.
Fadi Yahya, the founder of Suplift, told Arab News that the question that inspired Suplift was “How can I ask people with skills to share them with other people who are interested in learning?”

I started noticing that people here didn’t have easy access to activities and workshops or a platform to access these activities.

Fadi Yahya, Founder of Suplift

“I started noticing that people here didn’t have easy access to activities and workshops or a platform to access these activities,” he said. “It was extremely hard for an average person to try any activity they like.”
This led to Yahya giving over a few years of his life to build a business from scratch that allowed profits to be given back to a talented person rather than an organization. “Our job was to make the structure simple.”

HIGHLIGHTS

• Suplift extends across 18 cities in Saudi Arabia, with more than 1,000 experiences on offer. This has helped 10,000 people to make money simply by following their passion.

• Upgrade-sa.com’s targeted audience is people who want to learn new hobbies and explore different worlds, as well as business owners who want to build more connections and move toward expanding their work.

He said there were many challenges as the team was building a new market. “We are not running away or finding the easy way out. One thing we had trouble with was the lack of experience.”
Yahya said that to enable the experiences, the team had to find locations, work out the structure, marketing, customer service, technology, management, as well as ways of working with the government.
The aim of Suplift is to promote the idea of having hobbies. “The thing I am most proud of is that we help so many people make money. Many people say that passion can not help you make money, but I think it is needed in order to help the Saudi economy move further.”
Suplift extends across 18 cities in Saudi Arabia, with more than 1,000 experiences on offer. This has helped 10,000 people to make money simply by following their passion.
“Now that people understand that they can make money doing what they love, we will have more artists, golfers, divers, archers and so many more,” he said. “This makes me proud of my team and myself.”

When we started, we were the ones designing the workshops and we used to seek out the trainers — training and being creative are two different things.

Mohammad Mujahid, COO of Upgrade-sa.com

Mohammad Mujahid, COO of Upgrade-sa.com, told Arab News that their platform’s targeted audience is people who want to learn new hobbies and explore different worlds, as well as business owners who want to build more connections and move toward expanding their work.
The early days of the business were very challenging, Mujahid said. “When we started, we were the ones designing the workshops and we used to seek out the trainers — training and being creative are two different things. So now when the trainers or upgraders, as we call them, come to us, we provide them with guidelines so they can spread their knowledge.”
These two platforms helped local entrepreneurs to work in the creative sector to achieve their goals. This will ultimately contribute to the Kingdom’s goals for the private sector — supporting Saudi economic diversification objectives and building a prosperous future.