‘We need to invent another way of living,’ says Moroccan artist Abderrahim Yamou

‘We need to invent another way of living,’ says Moroccan artist Abderrahim Yamou
Abderrahim Yamou is a Moroccan artist. (Supplied)
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Updated 09 December 2021

‘We need to invent another way of living,’ says Moroccan artist Abderrahim Yamou

‘We need to invent another way of living,’ says Moroccan artist Abderrahim Yamou
  • The acclaimed veteran artist has placed nature at the heart of his work for decades

LONDON: The paintings of Moroccan artist Abderrahim Yamou give a fresh and sometimes startling perspective on the wonders of the natural world. Yamou, it seems, notices details which most miss — so, a seed is portrayed in all its splendor and given the same prominence as a tree trunk or a flower. It’s like walking into a new dimension, where normal proportions and perspectives no longer apply.

Yamou says his science background shaped his acute observation of nature. As an undergraduate, he studied biology at the University of Toulouse, before earning the French equivalent of a Master’s degree in the history of contemporary art in Morocco at the Sorbonne. It wasn’t until 1986, however, aged 27, that he decided to commit himself fully to art.




Yamou, “Les terrasses,” 146 x 114. (Supplied)

Yamou’s imagination is also fired by his homeland of Morocco. Born in Casablanca in 1959, he showed a leaning towards art from an early age, drawing on any surface he could find. This artistic drive didn’t come from his father — a blind lottery vendor — or his mother (“I was born in a humble, respectful and caring environment,” he tells Arab News), but he was given the space to be creative, as reflected in the wide range of mediums he uses. Apart from his paintings, Yamou also creates sculptures inspired by traditional African art, most notably N’Kondé statuettes from Bas Congo.

He describes how, early on, he started “working with earth.”

“I mixed the earth with glue and spread it out on a wooden surface. When I kneaded this material, I had a wish to see a green shoot. But that was impossible because the glue sterilized the soil,” he says. “My interest in plants, gardens and trees stems from this time and also has its roots in the south of Morocco, where green symbolizes life and survival.’




Yamou, “Dunes Vertes,” 146 x 1 14. (Supplied)

That interest has been maintained throughout his life. It’s particularly clear in his series “Branches” and “Chlorophyll” series.

Of the former, he says: “I was interested in the movement and direction that a branch takes to go towards light. On this journey, the plant undergoes constraints which force the branches to contort in order to move forward. I have observed these contortions a lot in my garden and I find them aesthetically beautiful — a poetry of effort and dancing resistance.”

Discussing “Molecule P1,” a painting from the “Chlorophyll” series, he explains: “I am interested in the interior of plants — the molecules that constitute them and the atoms of chlorophyll.  In this painting, branches, seeds, flowers and atoms coexist. My view of nature is much more poetic than botanical.”




Yamou, “Les dansantes,” 114x146. (Supplied)

Yamou currently divides his time between Paris and Tahannaout, a village south of Marrakesh, near the foot of the Atlas Mountains. But the place he most loves to be, he says, is his studio.

“Except for external constraints, I like to be in the workshop every day. It’s a place of research and chosen solitude. I keep the rigor and constancy of my former scientific studies,” he explains.

His close observation of nature over many years has led Yamou to form some carefully considered opinions about how best to look after our planet.




Yamou, “Novembre,” 100 x 100. (Supplied)

“We are all aware of the growing environmental concerns. But to reverse this, we need more than awareness,” he says. “We need to invent another way of living; we need to make more room for the other inhabitants of the earth — all the other living things, the flora and fauna. We need to realize that plants and animals are also inhabitants of this planet and that their presence contributes to the global balance. We must gradually reduce the number of humans on earth and learn to live with less — except for those who have nothing or very little.”

He encourages people to persevere with their personal efforts to protect the planet, as each and every action is worthwhile and builds a momentum for change.

“While waiting for collective action to take effect, it is not useless to proceed individually to reduce all that appears harmful to us,” he concludes.


Saint Laurent to reportedly present menswear show in Morocco

Saint Laurent to reportedly present menswear show in Morocco
Updated 24 May 2022

Saint Laurent to reportedly present menswear show in Morocco

Saint Laurent to reportedly present menswear show in Morocco

DUBAI: Parisian luxury label Saint Laurent is reportedly set to present its spring 2023 menswear collection in Marrakesh on July 15, according to multiple reports.

Morocco was a great source of inspiration to the late Yves Saint Laurent, and a museum dedicated to the famed fashion designer was even unveiled in Marrakesh in 2017.

The legendary couturier purchased a villa in the Moroccan city in the mid-1960s and two decades later purchased the spectacular Majorelle Gardens to save it from destruction. A mausoleum was built for the designer at the site after his death in 2008.

His years there inspired many of his collections and continue to influence the storied house that bears his name.

Although it will be the first physical show that Saint Laurent will stage in the North African country, it isn’t the first time that the brand has showcased one of its collections in Morocco.

In 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and when all brands shifted to the digital world, artistic, creative and image director of Saint Laurent Anthony Vaccarello unveiled a 10-minute-long video for the spring 2021 ready-to-wear line with models seen walking on dunes in the Moroccan desert in lieu of a runway.

The men’s show in Marrakech will coincide with an exhibition focused on Saint Laurent’s longstanding relationship with Morocco. Entitled “Love,” the exhibition will run from June 5-Oct. 31 at Palácio Duques de Cadaval in Évora, Portugal.

 


Saudi pavilion hosts Oscar-winning Indian composer A. R. Rahman at Cannes Film Festival

Saudi pavilion hosts Oscar-winning Indian composer A. R. Rahman at Cannes Film Festival
Updated 24 May 2022

Saudi pavilion hosts Oscar-winning Indian composer A. R. Rahman at Cannes Film Festival

Saudi pavilion hosts Oscar-winning Indian composer A. R. Rahman at Cannes Film Festival

DUBAI: Oscar-winning Indian composer A. R. Rahman jetted to Cannes this week to attend the 75th edition of the city’s renowned film festival. 

Besides walking the red carpet and attending film premieres, the singer and songwriter was spotted at the Saudi pavilion where he was welcomed with Saudi coffee. 

“Taking pride in the Kingdom’s legacy of generosity, Saudi coffee is being prepared at the Cannes Film Festival,” the Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia shared on Twitter, adding images of Rahman at the Saudi pavilion. 

Saudi coffee is heavily associated with generational hospitality and generosity, providing a close connection to the country’s customs and traditions.

In January, the Ministry of Commerce announced that the commercial name of Arabic coffee will be officially changed to Saudi coffee in the Kingdom’s restaurants, cafes, stores and roasters. 

The announcement, by ministry spokesman Abdulrahman Al-Hussein, is in conjunction with a Culture Ministry initiative in naming 2022 as the “Year of Saudi Coffee” as a way to strengthen the identity and culture of Saudi Arabia.

The record producer was spotted on the red carpet during Cannes Film Festival  opening ceremony. He attended the premiere of French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius’s zombie comedy “Final Cut (Coupez!)”


Gigi Hadid begins filming second season of Netflix show ‘Next in Fashion’

Gigi Hadid begins filming second season of Netflix show ‘Next in Fashion’
Updated 24 May 2022

Gigi Hadid begins filming second season of Netflix show ‘Next in Fashion’

Gigi Hadid begins filming second season of Netflix show ‘Next in Fashion’

DUBAI: Part-Palestinian catwalk star Gigi Hadid has begun filming the second season of Netflix’s “Next in Fashion” alongside British TV personality Tan France, nearly five months after the model revealed her exciting new role to fans.

Ahead of the new season, which does not have a release date, Hadid took to Instagram to share her excitement over the forthcoming episodes and gush about her co-host, calling the British reality television star her “brother” and stating that shooting the new show together has been “a joy of my life.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

The 27-year-old posted a carousel of photos on Instagram, which included a snap of her posing with France and reading the “Next in Fashion” script.

“Can’t believe we’re almost a month into making a new season of @nextinfashion. Want to say, with only a couple weeks left, that shooting this show alongside my brother @tanfrance has been a joy of my life,” the US-Dutch-Palestinian model captioned the post. “I can’t wait for you all to meet these designers — an amazing, talented, sweet, cool, deserving group of humans and for them to share themselves and their creations with the world! We have so much in store for you,” she added.

The first season of the fashion competition show, which premiered in January 2020, featured 18 designers who faced weekly design challenges to win a $250,000 prize and a chance to have their collection sold on Net-a-Porter.

France also recently lauded his “Next in Fashion” co-host and dubbed her an “amazing mom.”

In a conversation with Us Weekly, the host said he has received many parenting tips from the supermodel, who welcomed a baby girl with former One Direction star Zayn Malik, in 2020.

He told the publication: “She’s one of my closest friends. I love her so much.

“It makes the show really, really fun,” added France. “It’s probably the best time I’ve ever had on a show.”

The 39-year-old continued: “She’s an amazing mom. I’ve gotten so many tips from her,” adding that he “of course” has met her daughter Khai.


‘A Perfect Pairing’: Netflix hitches its hopes to the romance wagon

‘A Perfect Pairing’: Netflix hitches its hopes to the romance wagon
Updated 24 May 2022

‘A Perfect Pairing’: Netflix hitches its hopes to the romance wagon

‘A Perfect Pairing’: Netflix hitches its hopes to the romance wagon

CHENNAI: Netflix is once again dabbling in the romance genre with Stuart MacDonald’s “A Perfect Pairing.” Whether it’s simply the season of love or a bid to counteract a series of blows — a landslide loss of subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, for example — this rom-com does not quite get the heart racing as Netflix execs may have hoped it would.

The classic love story has all the touchpoints of a Mills and Boon book, with its ruggedly dashing heroes and attractive damsels in distress, but besides some instances of beautiful cinematography there is nothing to make this film stand out.

To be fair, Lola Alvarez (played by a feisty Victoria Justice) has a mind of her own and is no forlorn Mills and Boon heroine, although she is in a state of distress. She will not tolerate nonsense, even from her boss at a cutthroat Los Angeles-based drinks importer. When her best friend at work steals a major client, Lola quits, deciding to open her own company. She decides to visit a famed beverage manufacturer in Queensland, Australia, where she tries to win over the owner, Hazel Vaughn (Samantha Cain), by working on her farm. There she bonds with the mysterious and handsome Max (Adam Demos), who has his secrets — for this wouldn’t be a true romance story without a little heartbreak.

This rom-com does not quite get the heart racing as Netflix execs may have hoped it would. Supplied

A corporate woman, the film does feature some light-hearted moments when Lola finds herself dealing with the grime of the farm. Some of the incidents are witty, like her bonding with a sheep, nicknamed Baarbra, others a bit juvenile. Her clumsy acts can be seen as irritating, but the gradual attraction between Max and Lola is breezy and Demo’s performance is enjoyable to watch.

Some visually exciting sequences add to their romance — for instance in the taproom, where the farm staff tap their legs and dance around to “Are You Going To Be My Girl.” Equally vibrant is the sheep-shearing scene against the backdrop of Ben Nott's cinematography, which captures the lush landscape and local wildlife — a baby kangaroo hops into the screen in a delightful distraction to the tension which begins to simmer as the plot winds to a climax.

It's a comfort watch for a weekday night in, with a predictable end and all the hallmarks of a made-for-TV rom-com, but sometimes that’s just the ticket.


Pop superstar Justin Bieber set to bring world tour to Dubai

The concert, which is part of his Justice World Tour, is just one stop on his tour of more than 30 countries. (File/AFP)
The concert, which is part of his Justice World Tour, is just one stop on his tour of more than 30 countries. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 May 2022

Pop superstar Justin Bieber set to bring world tour to Dubai

The concert, which is part of his Justice World Tour, is just one stop on his tour of more than 30 countries. (File/AFP)

DUBAI: Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber is set to perform at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on Oct. 8, 2022, it was announced on Tuesday.

The concert, which is part of his Justice World Tour, is just one stop on his tour of more than 30 countries which will run from May 2022-March 2023.

Thomas Ovesen, owner of T.O.P Entertainment and the outfit responsible for bringing the show to Dubai said: “having Justin back for what will be his third visit and fourth performance in the city is so exciting, both for his fans and for me personally. The UAE hasn’t seen shows of this size and scale since pre-pandemic and I can guarantee everyone is in for a real treat – the production is world class and there is no doubt Justin is at the very top of his game right now.”

Pre-sale will start at 10am on May 26 and general tickets will go on sale on May 27.

The upcoming dates start this month in Mexico, with a stop in Italy before continuing on to Scandinavia for shows in August.  Next up is South America, South Africa and the Middle East in September and October.  The tour will close out the year in Asia, Australia and New Zealand before moving to the UK and Europe in early 2023. 

These new shows come on the heels of his 52-date 2022 North American tour, which kicked off in San Diego on Feb. 18.