Indian artist Jitish Kallat presents first solo exhibition in Middle East

Indian artist Jitish Kallat presents first solo exhibition in Middle East
Kallat, who is from Mumbai, is presenting his first solo exhibition in the Middle East in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue until July 1. (Supplied)
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Updated 19 February 2022

Indian artist Jitish Kallat presents first solo exhibition in Middle East

Indian artist Jitish Kallat presents first solo exhibition in Middle East

DUBAI: Geometry and geography are at the core of Indian contemporary artist Jitish Kallat’s new exhibition in Dubai called “Order of Magnitude.”

Kallat, who is from Mumbai, is presenting his first solo exhibition in the Middle East in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue until July 1. 

The artist is showcasing paintings, multimedia installations, drawings and site-specific interventions that reflect his take on the relationship between the cosmic and the terrestrial. 




Titled the “Integer Studies (Drawings from Life),” this project began by chance, Kallat told Arab News. (Supplied)

As soon as you walk into the spacious airy room, you see a line of drawings that rotate around the exhibition, resembling the horizon and the equator. 

Titled the “Integer Studies (Drawings from Life),” this project began by chance, Kallat told Arab News.

“Through much of 2020, for some reason I used to have on my computer’s homepage the websites that reveal the number of us on the planet. This used to go on for a few months but I didn’t quite analyze it. It was a peculiar feeling,” the artist said.

“On Jan. 1, 2021, I came back from my run in the morning and had this instinct to draw. So that led to this drawing,” said Kallat as he pointed at the first frame of the perfectly lined series. 




Kallat produced 365 artworks in 2021. (Supplied)

Each drawing, which features geometric shapes, is done using a pencil and paint. It also has three sets of numbers: The algorithmically-estimated world population, the number of new births and the death count recorded at the moment of the work’s creation. 

Kallat produced 365 artworks in 2021, creating something new every day. In the exhibition, he was able to display whatever the walls could hold, and that was around five to six months of paintings, according to Kallat. 

Alongside these artworks is a wall-sized painting titled “Postulates from a Restless Radius,” with the perimeter taking the form of the conic Albers projection of the Earth. 




Alongside these artworks is a wall-sized painting titled “Postulates from a Restless Radius.” (Supplied)

The work begins as an unstable, cross-sectional grid — drawn in aquarelle pencil — that opens up the globe on a flat plane.

“I take the form of the map of the world, but then I start within that planetary form and use imagery that comes from under the ocean, suboceanic forms, celestial forms, bodily forms, botanical forms. So, it’s like working out multiple geometries in the world through a kind of abstraction,” explained Kallat, who has presented exhibitions around the world, including in Tokyo, Berlin, Milan, Sydney, Chicago and Brussels.

In the center of his exhibition, Kallat presents double-sided and multi-scopic photo works titled “Epicycles.” 




In the center of his exhibition, Kallat presents double-sided and multi-scopic photo works titled “Epicycles.”  (Supplied)

This series began during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic with a hand-drawn journal capturing minute changes in Kallat’s studio, which he lived in for a while to avoid infecting his family. 

“I started looking at things I probably never looked at, like a small crack in the studio wall. I started observing small tiny changes in my studio environment and keeping a drawing book of them,” he said.

He then populated the drawing book with images that come from the Family of Man exhibition organized by photographer Edward Steichen at the The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1955. 

The resulting prints combine the artist’s everyday observations with archival images of human solidarity taken by photographers from around the world. Composed on a lenticular surface, the depicted figures appear and disappear as one moves around the work, yielding a complex portrait of time.




He displays images from The Golden Record — a 12-inch gold-plated phonograph disc that traveled on NASA’s 1977 Voyager 1 and 2 space mission — resting on shelves along two opposite walls. (Supplied)

On the second floor of the exhibition, Kallat presents his immersive installation “Covering Letter (terranum nuncius).”

He displays images from The Golden Record — a 12-inch gold-plated phonograph disc that traveled on NASA’s 1977 Voyager 1 and 2 space mission — resting on shelves along two opposite walls. 

Placed inside programmed LED frames, 116 parallax prints flicker in a breath-like cadence. 

“They are all images and sounds that are currently in interstellar space, outside the scope of the solar system. They left planet earth in 1977,” he explained. “This object, in the empty space, might go on. It may be the only thing that survives us. And the thought was if such an object was found by an alien, what would we tell them?” 




Placed inside programmed LED frames, 116 parallax prints flicker in a breath-like cadence. (Supplied)

The “Covering Letters” installation includes scientific, anatomical and cosmological diagrams in an attempt to encapsulate a summary of life on earth as it existed in 1977. 

Permeating the exhibition space are the sounds of salutation to the universe that were included on The Golden Record in 55 languages.

As the two Voyager spaceships continue their journey in space, now over 14 billion miles away from earth, this work is a reminder of our world to an unknown other.

Kallat told Arab News: “I am very interested in some subtle invisible geometries. Every exhibition and every artwork has its own geometry that tries to reach out to some other intuitions through its geometry.”


UAE artists set to exhibit at the 16th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art in France

UAE artists set to exhibit at the 16th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art in France
Updated 25 September 2022

UAE artists set to exhibit at the 16th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art in France

UAE artists set to exhibit at the 16th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art in France
  • Wonderful talent showcase, says Noura bint Mohammad Al-Kaabi, minister of culture and youth
  • Hashel Al-Lamki, Mohammed Kazem, Chafa Ghaddar will work under event’s theme ‘Manifesto of Fragility’

DUBAI: Three artists from the UAE are set to represent the country at the 16th edition of the Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art, which will run from Sept. 14 to Dec. 31, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Multi-disciplinary creator Hashel Al-Lamki, conceptual creative Mohammed Kazem and mural artist Chafa Ghaddar will present their work at the biennale, which is being held under the theme “Manifesto of Fragility.”

Mural artist Chafa Ghaddar will present their work at the Biennale. (Supplied)

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the UAE to showcase its talent at such a prestigious platform. We have immense respect for the Lyon Biennale, which is marking its 16th edition this year. The UAE is making its presence felt at global art events and this is one of its significant participations,” said UAE Minister of Culture and Youth Noura bint Mohammed Al-Kaabi in a statement.

“The UAE artists exhibiting at this event are known names in the contemporary art world and they will be presenting distinctive works enriched by Middle Eastern and Arab influences. I look forward to seeing their participation in the biennale, wish them a very successful exhibition and I look forward to seeing the fruitful results of the collaboration between these artists come to life.”

Featuring 230 works by 34 artists and more than 300 archival documents from nearly 40 collections worldwide, the exhibition will showcase new creations by living artists alongside historical pieces from museums in the French city.

It will also present loaned collections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (also known as the Met), the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and from many of Lyon’s leading cultural institutions, such as the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, the Lugdunum Museum and Roman theaters, and the Musées Gadagne.
 


Palestinian Dutch model Bella Hadid goes minimalist for Jil Sander in Milan

Palestinian Dutch model Bella Hadid goes minimalist for Jil Sander in Milan
Updated 25 September 2022

Palestinian Dutch model Bella Hadid goes minimalist for Jil Sander in Milan

Palestinian Dutch model Bella Hadid goes minimalist for Jil Sander in Milan

DUBAI: After a hectic week walking the runways at New York Fashion Week, Palestinian-Dutch model Bella Hadid is taking Milan Fashion Week by storm. On Saturday, the 25-year-old supermodel closed for German minimalist fashion label Jil Sander wearing their Spring-Summer 2023 ready-to-wear collection.

The collection, sporting both men’s and women’s looks, and designed by Luke and Lucie Meier for the label, featured loose, monochrome fits, embellished by beads, fringes and metallic fabrics, giving them a shiny, glam sheen. “We looked at clashing glamour into very simple workwear, our fundamental very simple pattern cutting and then doing things that are more eccentric,” Luke said backstage to Vogue about the new collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bella (@bellahadid)

Hadid walked the runway wearing an oversized sleeveless black blazer and fringed cream skirt, paired with white sneakers, holding an umbrella as rain poured down on the outdoor site. “A dream of mine &an honor ... Lucie and Luke … you are so wonderful, thank you,” posted Hadid on Instagram. 

Adding a pop of color to the ensemble, Hadid held a bright red bag and finished the look with silver earrings and a matching bracelet.

At Milan Fashion Week, Hadid also walked for Italian luxury label Versace, alongside other Arab models including Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Nora Attal and Loli Bahia.

“I have always loved a rebel,” Versace said in show notes. “A woman who is confident, smart and a little bit of a diva.”

While Bella was an unblushing bride in a deep purple lace corset and crinkled satin skirt, her sister Gigi wore a dark hoodie dress with a high slink factor.

Hammam, who has Dutch, Moroccan and Egyptian ancestry, wore a shiny black mini dress that featured a hood and plunging neckline. She also wore a furry coat.

British-Moroccan Attal stepped out in a form-fitting purple dress with fringe details at the hips, while Bahia, who has French and Algerian roots, graced the runway in a hot-pink dress with a short bridal veil.

Hadid also makes her TV debut next week as she stars in season three of the Emmy-nominated series, “Ramy,” premiering in the Middle East on Oct. 1 on streaming platform OSN+.

In an interview with GQ Magazine, Hadid, who stars as a “weirdo girlfriend,” recalled moments on set that made her heart full. On the first day, the crew surprised her with a shirt that stated “Free Palestine.”

 

 

 


Versace taps Arab models Bella, Gigi Hadid for Milan show

Versace taps Arab models Bella, Gigi Hadid for Milan show
Updated 24 September 2022

Versace taps Arab models Bella, Gigi Hadid for Milan show

Versace taps Arab models Bella, Gigi Hadid for Milan show

DUBAI: Italian luxury label Versace’s runway at Milan Fashion Week was packed with Arab models including Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Nora Attal and Loli Bahia.

Donatella Versace’s collection conveyed female power in a way that only the label can.

“I have always loved a rebel,’’ Versace said in show notes. “A woman who is confidence, smart and a little bit of a diva.”

Gigi Hadid (R) and models present creations for Versace’s women’s spring-summer 2023 fashion collection. (AFP)

The show conveyed a strong sense of female ritual as models traversed a runway lit by dark candles and lined with stained-glass windows with the Versace medusa head, before exiting through glass-enclosed spaces where bathrobe-clad men lounged on gilded chairs amid purple columns, underlining a shift in the power dynamic.

Gigi, who is of Palestinian-Dutch descent, wore a dark hoodie dress with a high slink factor, while her sister, Bella, was an unblushing bride in deep purple lace corset and crinkled satin skirt.

Hammam, who is Dutch-Moroccan-Egyptian, wore a shiny black mini dress that featured a hood and a plunging neckline. She also wore a furry coat.

British-Moroccan Attal stepped out in a form-fitting purple dress with fringe details at the hips, while Bahia, who is French-Algerian, graced the runway in a hot-pink dress with a short bridal veil.

Bahia graced the runway in a hot-pink dress with a short bridal veil. (AFP)

The color palette was decidedly dark, rooted in purples and blacks, with some flashes of red, lime and fuchsia.

Emily Ratajkowski, Paris Hilton and Irina Shayk were among the models who walked the runway.

Ratajkowski wore a leather micro-mini with a tough biker jacket and studded handbag.

Hilton closed the spring summer 2023 show in a tropical-pink Swarovski-crystal mesh bridal dress with lace degradé finishes and a deep-cowl neckline. A veil was secured by a tiara, a re-make of that worn by Madonna in the 1995 Atelier Versace campaign.

Hammam and Attal also walked the runway for Italian fashion label Max Mara.

Hammam wore a black turtleneck crop top and a beige floor-length skirt. Her hair was in a slicked-back bun.

Attal wore a beige floor-length dress with a brown floral print.


Iraqi para-athlete Zainab Al-Eqabi walks runway at Boss show in Milan

Iraqi para-athlete Zainab Al-Eqabi walks runway at Boss show in Milan
Updated 23 September 2022

Iraqi para-athlete Zainab Al-Eqabi walks runway at Boss show in Milan

Iraqi para-athlete Zainab Al-Eqabi walks runway at Boss show in Milan

DUBAI: Iraqi sports enthusiast Zainab Al-Eqabi walked the runway at Boss’ show at Milan Fashion Week on Thursday as she joined supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, Ashley Graham and Jourdan Dunn.

“We are done. Clap for me,” TV presenter Al-Eqabi told her followers on Instagram Stories after the show. 

“I was very happy and proud to be the only Arab (in the show). I can’t find the right words to say how epic it was, the whole show, and to be part of it.”

Al-Eqabi wore a beige coat with black detailing for the show, along with a black turban and boots. (Getty Images)

Lebanese stylist Cedric Haddad shared Al-Eqabi’s picture and wrote: “Goosebumps. Proudly Arab.”

Dubai-based influencer and entrepreneur Karen Wazen, who was seated on the front row at the show, wrote: “I love you Zainab.” Iraqi content creator Deema Al-Asadi told Al-Eqabi on Instagram: “This just made my day.”

Al-Eqabi wore a beige coat with black detailing for the show, along with a black turban and boots.

She was not the only Arab on the fashion week runway as Imaan Hammam, a Dutch model of Moroccan-Egyptian descent, walked the catwalk for fashion company Max Mara on Thursday. 

She wore a black turtleneck crop top and a beige floor-length skirt. Her hair was in a slicked-back bun. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Imaan Hammam (@imaanhammam)

The brand presented a neutral color for next season, which ranges from gray to khaki and was set off by shades of yellow, green and blue. Shoes are platform sandals while hats feature oversized brims.

Hammam also featured at the Moschino Fashion Show, looking bold in a colorful mermaid-style dress with printed cartoon characters. She brought the beach to the runway by wearing a blow-up floaty around her shoulders. 


Recipe for Success: Saudi chef Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a dessert recipe for Saudi National Day

Recipe for Success: Saudi chef Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a dessert recipe for Saudi National Day
Updated 23 September 2022

Recipe for Success: Saudi chef Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a dessert recipe for Saudi National Day

Recipe for Success: Saudi chef Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a dessert recipe for Saudi National Day
  • The Saudi chef mastered his culinary skills in California and is now in Paris to perfect his pastry techniques
  • Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a special dessert recipe for Saudi National Day

DUBAI: Rising Saudi culinary star and TV presenter Rakan Al-Oraifi was one semester into getting his masters degree in marketing when he decided he wanted to pursue his lifelong love of food more seriously. A culinary diploma from California later, Al-Oraifi returned to Saudi Arabia to take the local food scene by storm.

Among the many accolades he has received, Al-Oraifi was hailed “Best Saudi Chef” at the 2018 Saudi Excellence in Tourism Awards and has worked in several international restaurants over the years. He has also taken part in several international cooking competitions, including “Top Chef Middle East” season two.

In his work, Al-Oraifi especially likes to explore traditional Saudi cuisine, but infused with modern elements. His earliest memory of cooking goes back to making dolma with his mother. “It is a dish I have been preparing since I was six. It was challenging to prepare it as a young kid, but I would always prepare it with my mom over the years and eventually learned to prepare it on my own,” said Al-Oraifi in an interview with Arab News.

Deep Fried Date Salad. (Supplied)

While he was last executive chef at Maiz in Diryah Gate, the 33-year-old is now in Paris to perfect the art of making pastries.

To celebrate Saudi National Day, Al-Oraifi will feature in an online cooking series for Fatafeat where he will use his experience with Middle Eastern cuisines to share recipes with Saudi flavours at their heart.

Here, Al-Oraifi talks to Arab News about his favorite cuisines, his go-to quick-dinner fix and restaurant faux pas.

When you started out as a professional, what was the most common mistake you made when preparing/cooking a dish?
A common mistake is copying the techniques of other chefs, which could get confusing at some point. You can get inspired, but it is important to find your own culinary style and technique.

Baked Qursan. (Supplied)

What’s your top tip for amateur chefs cooking at home?
It is important for every chef to have a sharp knife. Aside from making the cooking preparation process easier and smoother, it is less likely to injure you. Dull knives are actually more dangerous.

What one ingredient can instantly improve any dish?
Salt is a fundamental ingredient because it enhances and elevates the flavour of any dish.

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food? What’s the most common mistake/issue that you find in other restaurants?
I am usually critical of food temperature because it also indicates the efficiency of the service. For me, the most important thing is getting my food warm and freshly made. I do not like it when I receive the food cold.

When you go out to eat, what’s your favorite cuisine/dish to order? 
Usually, I like French and Japanese cuisine, and some restaurants do a fusion of both, which is even better. French cuisine involves a certain technique while Japanese cuisine requires a particular skill, and I think these just mesh well together.

Meleyaha Wrap. (Supplied)

What’s your go-to dish if you have to cook something quickly at home, say in 20 minutes? 
Pasta is a go-to for me. Even when you create the sauce and pasta dough from scratch, it normally doesn’t take more than 30 minutes. It also offers flexibility and versatility, you can customise it as you want, with your choice of creams and cheese, for example.

What request/behavior by customers most annoys you? 
Because I know the amount of time and effort that goes into every dish, I’m not a fan of customers who dine hastily and do not take the time to enjoy the food. In my opinion, you need at least 60 minutes to appreciate and enjoy your meal, especially if it’s a three-course dining experience.

As a head chef, what are you like? Are you a disciplinarian? Do you shout a lot? Or are you more laidback?
I’m cool 80 percent of the time. Keeping a level head is important in managing a kitchen properly and dealing with customers. You’ll just have better judgment overall.

What’s the most difficult dish for you to get right (whether on your current menu or not)?
Pastry is actually tricky for me. Unlike cooking dishes where you can be spontaneous and rely on your own senses and feelings, pastries require specific measurements and strictly following techniques. Because of this, I am currently in France to study the art of French pastry and improve my skills.

DESSERT ERYKAH RECIPE FROM CHEF RAKAN AL-ORAIFI

(Supplied)

INGREDIENTS
2 cups wheat flour
2.5 cups water
5 gm salt
50 gm ghee
50 gm honey
30 gm brown sugar
30 gm butter
10 gm soft dates
20 gm honeycomb

INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a dough mixer, add the dry ingredients with wheat flour and salt, then mix gently.
2. Pour room temperature water. Keep mixing until thoroughly combined.
3. In a hot pan or flat grill, melt ghee, then pour the mixture using a 200 ml ladle.
4. Let it cook for a few minutes until the front side bubbles.
5. Flip the dough and cook it for a few minutes; the texture must be very soft. 
6. Mix the bread in a dough mixer until you reach a hard, smooth texture.
7. Shape them using your hand, then stuff them with date paste.
8. Melt ghee and honey, then pour it over the bread. 
9. Garnish with a small piece of honeycomb then serve.