Highlights from the UAE’s ‘Made in Tashkeel’ summer art exhibition

Highlights from the UAE’s ‘Made in Tashkeel’ summer art exhibition
Yousra Wahba, ‘Frozen Blue.’ (Supplied)
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Updated 07 July 2022

Highlights from the UAE’s ‘Made in Tashkeel’ summer art exhibition

Highlights from the UAE’s ‘Made in Tashkeel’ summer art exhibition
  • The UAE art facility’s annual summer exhibition returns with works by 42 artists from 22 countries

Hadil Moufti

‘Bactrian Princess Small Studies’

The Dubai-based Saudi visual artist contributes this five-panel mixed-media work (a blend of photo collage, pencil, charcoal and silver leaf) to Tashkeel’s 12th annual ‘Made in Tashkeel’ exhibition, which runs until August 31.

Moufti’s work depicts a small figurine from the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection (on loan from the Louvre in Paris) — a statue from Bactria in Central Asia believed to date back around 4,000 years.

“This series was inspired by a talk from art historian Rose Balston about art in the UAE,” Moufti explains in her artist’s statement. “Listening to her explain how and why the Louvre Abu Dhabi came to be, I realized that the French-Emirati collaboration went beyond two countries; its claim as a universal museum was in fact justified. This figurine had travelled from Bactria … and was now sitting under Jean Nouvel’s dome.

“I chose to work on the image of the princess because I like to think of her detachable body parts made from different stones — a symbol of universality, cultural diversity and changeability,” she continues. “Repetition is a meditative process. The photographic image of the figurine, or heroine, is manipulated digitally and physically, printed numerous times, cut out, dissected, then placed in new settings, allowing for variations of interpretation while addressing the subject of identity.”

Badr Abbas

‘Slam Dunk’

The self-taught Emirati artist’s work is often rooted in Eighties nostalgia, portraying various aspects of Emirati culture — both native and imported — in his distinctive cubist paintings. This new work is part of a sports-focused series that, according to Tashkeel’s catalogue, “examines cultural influences from across the world that have been absorbed into Middle Eastern trends, habits and style. Growing up in the 1980s with pop culture (sports, anime series, fast food, et cetera), Badr uses his childhood influences and displays his vision of how they became part of everyday Emirati life.” Basketball was then — and remains — a major influence on Khaleeji culture, and “Slam Dunk” mixes sneakers, caps and jerseys with Emirati signifiers.

Areen Hassan

‘Granada’

Hassan uses “aesthetic, harmonious and abstract shapes” to create silkscreen and digital prints. The Palestinian artist and designer says these gowns were “designed with Islamic motifs, orientation and patterns in a composition that enables one to observe the spirituality of Islamic art as an embodied universe of symbolic meaning.”

The abstract shapes on the dresses come from prayer rugs that Hassan had previously created. “The composition symbolizes spiritual life and communication without a physical space,” she explains in her statement.

Ibraheem Khamayseh

‘Hob’

Khamayseh is the son of a renowned Palestinian calligrapher and is himself a talented exponent of this much-treasured artform — even “reinterpreting” the Naskh font into his own eponymous font. “Hob,” a piece of acrylic mirror that Khamayseh laser cut, is, he explains, “part of my daily Instagram experiment. I tried to explore the connections between the meaning and the calligraphy form.”

Morvarid Mohammad

‘Sunny’

At just 14 years old, Mohammad is the youngest artist ever to have their work included in “Made in Tashkeel.” Mohammad began by working with traditional mediums including oils and watercolor — and has an oil painting, “Flowers in Nowrooz,” included in the show as well — but has recently started to create digital art such as “Sunny,” which she drew on her phone using Ibis Paint X.

Shahd Sumairi

‘Palestinian Fragrance’

The Palestinian-Jordanian designer contributes these two works — acrylic paint on a pottery bowl and on wood — inspired by Ghassan Kanafani’s poem “The Land of Sad Oranges” and “the scent of items that remind us of home: Hummus, maqelooba, kunafa and oranges.” The exhibition brochure states: “The work takes on a new meaning of reclamation and resistance.”

Shareefa Al-Hashmi

‘Fly Me to My World’

The freelance photographer has two images featured in the show taken at Dubai’s Ras Al-Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, home to numerous flamingos. “I found it difficult to catch the flamingo flying as it’s a sudden action, and I had to wait for the right moment and put the right setting before capturing the image with my camera,” she says. “I felt that it was flying to the sky and forgetting every single responsibility it holds. Flying gave it a feeling of limitless freedom.”

Yousra Wahba

‘Frozen Blue’

The Egyptian artist’s work is heavily inspired by nature and “fleeting moments of streaming energy.” This image is part of a new series she is working on called “Splash,” which — Wahba explains in her artist’s statement — “captures the unexpected, splendid energy and sculptural quality of the splashing liquid.” Through this, she hopes to “push the limits of the materials in a delicate way in order to develop an organic form that evokes movement.”


Artist Osman Yousefzada unveils new installations in London 

Artist Osman Yousefzada unveils new installations in London 
Updated 16 sec ago

Artist Osman Yousefzada unveils new installations in London 

Artist Osman Yousefzada unveils new installations in London 

DUBAI: British Afghani Pakistan multi-disciplinary artist Osman Yousefzada has unveiled a series of installations titled “What is Seen and What is Not” at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

Running until Sept. 25, the artworks respond to Pakistan's 75th Independence Day and explore themes of displacement, movement and migration.

“What is Seen and What is Not” runs until Sept. 25. (Supplied)

The site-specific works created by Yousefzada, who is also a world-famous fashion designer, bring together textiles, wrapped objects and a seating installation.

“It’s a great honor to be commissioned to reflect on the 75 years of Pakistan’s independence,” said the artist in a released statement. “‘What is Seen and What is Not’ offers a portrait of contemporary Pakistan, through a British diasporic lens as it attempts to reel away from colonial subjugation.”


Saudi Arabia among top 5 overseas markets as ‘Bullet Train’ rakes in $62.5M

Saudi Arabia among top 5 overseas markets as ‘Bullet Train’ rakes in $62.5M
Updated 6 min 40 sec ago

Saudi Arabia among top 5 overseas markets as ‘Bullet Train’ rakes in $62.5M

Saudi Arabia among top 5 overseas markets as ‘Bullet Train’ rakes in $62.5M

LOS ANGELES: The stylized action romp “Bullet Train,” starring Brad Pitt, earned $62.5 million worldwide over its opening weekend, according to studio estimates this week, with Saudi Arabia earning a spot on the overseas play ranking.

The film racked up $32.4 million at the international box office and $30.1 million on the domestic charts.

Overseas play was led by the UK with a $3.5 million start, followed by France at $3.1 million, Mexico delivering $3 million, Australia rolling to $2.2 million and Saudi Arabia clocking $1.9 million.

The UAE ranked sixth, delivering $1.3 million.

The “Bullet Train” debut for Sony Pictures was solid but unspectacular for a movie that cost $90 million to make and was propelled by Pitt’s substantial star power. Even if it holds well in coming weeks, movie theaters have no major studio releases on the horizon for the rest of August, and few sure things to look forward to in early fall.


Model Alessandra Ambrosio, actress Vanessa Hudgens turn to Arab labels for summer style 

Model Alessandra Ambrosio, actress Vanessa Hudgens turn to Arab labels for summer style 
Updated 44 min 4 sec ago

Model Alessandra Ambrosio, actress Vanessa Hudgens turn to Arab labels for summer style 

Model Alessandra Ambrosio, actress Vanessa Hudgens turn to Arab labels for summer style 

DUBAI: From US Egyptian jewelry maker Jacquie Aiche to Lebanese eyewear maven Karen Wazen, celebrities from around the world are turning to Arab designers to accessorize their summer looks. 

US actress Vanessa Hudgens recently shared a picture of herself wearing a ring designed by  Aiche. The “High School Musical” star championed the brand’s double pyramid triangle ring in smoky topaz. 

Hudgens’ summery look featured a vintage Versace tie dye mini dress and a midsize Queen Nefertiti necklace in yellow gold designed by jewelry label FoundRae. 

Another one of Aiche’s loyal clients is Canadian supermodel and former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Winnie Harlow. 

The star was spotted flaunting one of the brand’s turquoise beaded necklaces. 

Earlier this week, Brazilian supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio stepped out wearing Aiche’s pave diamond Small Mama necklace that retails at $5,750. 

On her Malibu stroll, the catwalk star wore a linen jumpsuit which she paired with a cotton bandeau top. Later that evening, she posed for pictures in an oversized suit by The Mannei, a brand founded by Polish-Jordanian stylist and model Sara Boruc Mannei. 

In a previous interview with Arab News, Aiche said that to her, jewelry is “everything” — it is much more than just adornment. “It speaks to the soul. It is a form of self-expression, a way of deep healing and a talisman of personal meaning,” she explained. 

Aiche, who launched her eponymous label from her garage in 2008, amassed an impressive celebrity client list that includes Hailey Bieber, Usher, Rihanna, Jada Pinkett Smith and Blake Lively. 

“I have such a strong, beautiful tribe, who have all sort of organically found and gravitated towards my designs. I love that about life, the unknown and the unexpected,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Lebanese eyewear designer Karen Wazen also had her moment in the spotlight this week with a number of international celebrities stepping out in her shades. 

Real estate broker and breakout star of Netflix’s popular “Selling Sunset” reality show Christine Quinn wore Wazen’s Pam reflective glasses in gold.

Meanwhile, US content creator Chriselle Lim, who has more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram, wore the Jen shades in brown. 


Review: ‘Thirteen Lives’ pays tribute to real-world heroics of Thai rescue mission

Review: ‘Thirteen Lives’ pays tribute to real-world heroics of Thai rescue mission
Updated 07 August 2022

Review: ‘Thirteen Lives’ pays tribute to real-world heroics of Thai rescue mission

Review: ‘Thirteen Lives’ pays tribute to real-world heroics of Thai rescue mission

LONDON: When details began to emerge of the daring rescue of a Thai football team from flooded caves in Tham Luang Nang Non, it seemed only a matter of time before Hollywood swooped in to buff the real-life drama with the polish of a big-budget movie adaptation. Happily, “Thirteen Lives” is more than a shameless cash in. Director Ron Howard treads carefully, telling the story of a truly monumental international rescue effort which eventually expanded to include more than 10,000 people. Rather than attempting to only superficially capture that sense of scale, however, Howard focuses in on a few crucial players — the British dive team who first located the boys, the small group who planned and orchestrated the rescue of the 12 young players and their coach, the local governor tasked with bringing everybody home, the Thai engineer working with locals to divert the floodwaters, and the Thai Navy SEALs who spearheaded the initial response.

 

 

For the most part, this focused approach works well. Viggo Mortensen and Colin Farrell (questionable English accents aside) are excellent as divers Richard Stanton and John Volanthen, as are co-stars Joel Edgerton (as Australian Richard Harris) and Sahajak Boonthanakit as Governor Narongsak. Though the famous faces inevitably get the lion’s share of the screentime, Howard does his best to tell more than just the tale of the Western saviors – taking a few beats to flesh out characters such as the parents of the boys, local farmers and the frustrated SEALs. 

In order to do so, Howard also had to be a little ruthless with his 150 minutes — so there is no mention of Elon Musk’s contentious contributions to the rescue effort, and no time to find out much about any of the innumerous supporting volunteers. Instead, “Thirteen Lives” is a tense, taut drama, claustrophobically shot and scored. It’s perhaps impossible to accurately recreate the sheer terror that must have gripped the rescuers and rescued alike, but Howard goes some way towards acknowledging their magnificence.


Edinburgh Festival Fringe presents Yemeni play 

Edinburgh Festival Fringe presents Yemeni play 
Updated 07 August 2022

Edinburgh Festival Fringe presents Yemeni play 

Edinburgh Festival Fringe presents Yemeni play 

DUBAI: Scotland’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe this week presented a Yemeni play titled “Saber Came to Tea” to give visitors a taste of the Middle East. 

The short play, based on a true story, follows a young couple who stand against the constraining social norms of their families and risk their lives to be together. 

The play, which features musical and multimedia elements, is by award-winning Yemeni artist Shatha Altowai and her composer husband Saber Bamatraf. 

The couple worked with Palestinian poet Ghazi Hussein and writer and director Robert Rae on the narrative.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe kicked off on Aug. 5 and will run until Aug. 29. 

This year’s event returned in full capacity after it was canceled in 2020 and was reduced in size in 2021.