Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes

Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
Special Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
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The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week. (Supplied)
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Updated 10 December 2022

Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes

Misk Art Week kicks off with Kingdom’s first-ever life painting classes
  • Huthaifa Hejazi was invited by Misk Art Institute to supervise a group of aspiring Saudi and foreign artists focused on life drawing
  • Huthaifa Hejazi: It is a big step for us to host live painting and drawing here, and I am trying to do everything I can to support the community

Huthaifa Hejazi is hosting Riyadh’s first gathering for public life drawing during Misk Art Week’s sixth edition, which launched on Wednesday.

An interior designer and an artist, Hejazi, 33, was invited by Misk Art Institute to supervise a group of aspiring Saudi and foreign artists focused on life drawing.

The classes or “gatherings,” as termed by Misk Art Institute, are the result of an informal community in Riyadh that practiced life drawing together until they found Masaha Residency in Prince Faisal bin Fahd Arts Hall, the home of Misk Art Institute in Riyadh, where they have been gathering weekly since August this year. The staging of such life drawing gatherings publicly, which have until this week been practiced privately in the Kingdom, further exemplifies changing times in Saudi Arabia.

“It is a big step for us to host live painting and drawing here, and I am trying to do everything I can to support the community,” Hejazi told Arab News.

“This is a new experience for us; life drawing helps you better your skills,” said Mansour Alotaibi, an engineer who works at the Ministry of Energy and has been painting since he was a child.

The life drawing and painting gatherings are one of the most popular events taking place during Misk Art Week, which ends on Dec. 10. They are free and open to the public, like all activities taking place during the event.

This year marked the most dynamic and comprehensive edition for Misk Art Institute’s flagship event, witnessed through a sprawling array of art exhibitions, and a range of talks and workshops reflective of the organization’s mission to strengthen the local and regional creative community. The art week, also, as Mashael Al-Yahya, creative director at Misk Art Institute, said, marks the full return of the event after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This edition, in its scale, is similar to that which was hosted in 2019,” Al-Yahya told Arab News. “But because of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, we needed to downsize. We fully brought back our programming to this year’s art week, largely witnessed in the Art and Design Market that used to be called the Artist Street.”

A range of white cube open-air spaces in various heights made up the Art and Design Market, providing free booths to 81 creatives from across the Kingdom based on an open-call process. Works on show spanned the realms of ceramics, painting, accessories and jewelry. Like a mini art fair, guests could acquire, source and commission one-off works.

Abeer Al-Zayed, an artist from Al-Baha, came to Riyadh to show her paintings featuring delicate and colorful portraits of anonymous women at the Art and Design Market, marking her fifth time taking part in a Misk event. “We are witnessing the growth of the art scene in Saudi Arabia, and this makes me very happy,” she told Arab News.

Other highlights included the two-day Creative Forum, which brought in top speakers on art and culture from around the Middle East and internationally. Artists include Emirati Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, founder of Barjeel Art Foundation; Dr. Nada Shabout, regent professor of art history and coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas, and artists such as pioneering Saudi woman Safeya Binzagr.

On the second floor of the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Arts Hall was the third edition of the Misk Art Grant, one of the most sought-after grants in the region with a fund of SR1 million ($266,632) distributed among three to 10 artists and collectives from across the Arab world. In a tightly curated show, the artists showcased their work, made this year according to the theme of Saraab, which means mirage in Arabic. Noteworthy was how the works examined the relationship between movement, memory and ideas pertaining to what is visible and invisible.

This year’s recipients included Saudi artists Abdulmohsen Albinali and Juri Alfadhel; M’hammed Kilito from Ukraine, Athoub Al-Busaily from Kuwait, and Rawdha Al-Ketbi and Zeinab Alhashemi from the UAE.

Alhashemi presented “The Grid,” a powerful series of six steel beam sculptures recreating the cylinder pipes found in Prince Faisal bin Fahd Fine Arts Hall. The gold and black cylinders, some standing tall and erect while others curving over, featured black claps on the interlocking beams, making the piece almost akin to jewelry pieces. They are, emphasized the artist, an attempt to play on the visibility and invisibility of the pipes, almost as if to say that the objects surrounding us are more prominent and crucial than we might think.

“Cylinders don’t seem to be invisible, but when people are looking at the art, they don’t seem to notice them or they act like they don’t see them in a way,” Alhashemi told Arab News.

“I wanted to dive deeper into the meanings behind the grids and also how different artists have used them in the past like Agnes Martin,” she added.

“To her, the grid was very meditative, and it was a way of applying some sort of harmony to her horizontal and vertical lines,” she said.

As visitors come and go from the venue, they pass the exhibition Azeema, which means “invitation” or “getting together” in Arabic. Inside are works by a range of Gulf or Khaleeji creatives reflecting on hospitality’s historical and cultural importance in the region. Videos, installations, photography and paintings showcase the persistence of collective gatherings, sharing and shared memories. On show are pivotal works such as Saudi artist Filwa Nazer’s “The Family Series,” dating to 2015, featuring cutouts superimposed over the artist’s family portraits.

There are images of weddings by acclaimed Saudi photographer Tasmeen Alsultan, paintings by Emirati artist Khalid Al-Banna — his vibrant mix of paint on his colorful abstract canvases is akin to a dynamic social gathering — and Elham Aldawsari’s photographs titled “Subabat” (2020) capture her research into the history of Saudi women hospitality workers.

Aldawsari’s large photographs greet visitors at the entrance just as a subabat — women who serve drinks and food at all-women events — would do. The artist, who grew up during the 1990s during a time when the internet was not readily available in the Kingdom, showcases the memories and stories of these women who have watched, through their personal and professional lives, while always serving others, the myriad changes that have shaped their country over the last few decades.


Saudi comedy ‘Sattar’ to get UK premiere in London this week   

Saudi comedy ‘Sattar’ to get UK premiere in London this week   
Updated 08 February 2023

Saudi comedy ‘Sattar’ to get UK premiere in London this week   

Saudi comedy ‘Sattar’ to get UK premiere in London this week   
  • ‘This movie is really important in the context of the Saudi film industry because it’s a local commercial film and one of our beginner initiatives, and we won’t stop at that. There’ll be many films to come,’ Ibrahim Al-Hajjaj told Arab News

DUBAI: Saudi comedy “Sattar” will get its UK premiere on Thursday.  

The movie will screen in London at the Odeon Covent Garden. The film’s stars Ibrahim Al-Hajjaj and Abdulaziz Alshehri will attend the UK premiere.  

The story revolves around Saad, played by Al-Hajjaj, who dreams of becoming a wrestler while battling failures in his professional and love lives. His plans soon go south when an embarrassing video of him wrestling goes viral. 

Feeling hopeless, he enlists the help of the eccentric Ali Hogeen, portrayed by Alshehri, the self-proclaimed most-famous wrestling manager in the region. Hogeen introduces him to an underground wrestling network known as “The Pit,” and Pakistani coach Abdul Khaleq, portrayed by the film’s writer, producer and actor Ibrahim Alkhairallah, has Saad join the largest freestyle wrestling tournament in the region. 

The movie, made by Telfaz11’s new production house Al-Shimaisi Films, first premiered in the Kingdom on Dec. 22, 2022 at Riyadh Boulevard City’s Muvi Cinema.  

The film’s stakeholders collaborated with the Saudi Pro Wrestling society alongside the first Saudi wrestler, Naif Al-Mutairi, to choreograph fight scenes. 

The movie first premiered in the Kingdom on Dec. 22, 2022 at Riyadh Boulevard City’s Muvi Cinema. (AN Photo: Abdulrahman Alshalhoub)

Al-Hajjaj lost 15 kg during an intense wrestling boot camp four months prior to filming in preparation for the role. 

Al-Hajjaj and Alkhairallah were coached by Al-Mutairi on the performance aspect of entering a ring, hyping up the crowd, and initiating a fight sequence.  

“There were so many exciting moments during the shoot but I’m happy that I could learn wrestling. That’s the beauty of the acting industry, that you learn new stuff in every role, so I’m really happy about that,” Al-Hajjaj said in a previous interview with Arab News. 

“This movie is really important in the context of the Saudi film industry because it’s a local commercial film and one of our beginner initiatives, and we won’t stop at that. There’ll be many films to come,” he added.  

Meanwhile, Alshehri said: “We are a society that loves comedy. We love to laugh and joke around, and that’s our goal with this.” 


Christie’s to bring its Art+Tech Summit to Dubai  

Christie’s to bring its Art+Tech Summit to Dubai  
Updated 08 February 2023

Christie’s to bring its Art+Tech Summit to Dubai  

Christie’s to bring its Art+Tech Summit to Dubai  

DUBAI: British auction house Christie’s Middle East outpost has announced that its Christie’s Art+Tech Summit is set to take place in Dubai on March 2 during Art Dubai 2023.   

This will be the sixth iteration of the conference to be hosted by Christie’s. The previous editions took place in New York, Hong Kong and London.

Confirmed guest speakers include the Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of UAE Space Agency Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amirii, CEO and co-founder of Careem Mudassir Sheikha and UAE-based collector Amir ‘Mondoir’ Soleymani, among others. 

 

This year’s Dubai summit will explore artificial intelligence, digital asset ownership, financial innovation and blockchain. The event will bring together international creators and collectors from a spectrum of disciplines across art and technology, as well as experts from the Middle East.  

Devang Thakkar, the global head of Christie’s ventures and Art+Tech, said in a statement: “Given the vibrancy and innovation coming out of the Gulf states, and from the UAE within this sector, we are excited to bring the Art and Tech Summit to Dubai. 

 

 

“The Summit will enable industry innovators in both sectors to engage in meaningful debate and discussion around future innovation and to spend invaluable time with the pioneers here. We look forward to a productive summit that leads to meaningful collaboration,” he added. 


Arab Fashion Council, Dubai Design District announce first-ever Dubai Fashion Week 

Arab Fashion Council, Dubai Design District announce first-ever Dubai Fashion Week 
Updated 08 February 2023

Arab Fashion Council, Dubai Design District announce first-ever Dubai Fashion Week 

Arab Fashion Council, Dubai Design District announce first-ever Dubai Fashion Week 

DUBAI: The Arab Fashion Council and Dubai Design District (d3) anounced the launch of Dubai Fashion Week at an event in the city on Tuesday night.  

The first iteration of the fashion week will take place from March 10-15.  

Art work on display at the launch party unveiling Dubai Fashion Week in Dubai Design District. (Supplied)

Organizers have billed Dubai Fashion Week as the definitive fashion fixture in the region, featuring men’s, women’s, ready-to-wear and couture collections.  

Senior Vice President of d3 Khadija Al-Bastaki praised Dubai’s progress as a fashion capital in a released statement.  

 “Where there was Paris, Milan, London and New York, there is now Dubai. From economic activity to tourism and creativity, Dubai has carved its own space among the world’s cosmopolitan capitals, and fashion is one industry boosting its status. All eyes are on the Middle East for fashion and creativity, and now the sky is the limit,” she said.  

For his part, CEO of the Arab Fashion Council Jacob Abrian noted the city’s contribution to the global fashion industry, saying: “Dubai has arrived on the global fashion stage. Emerging and established creatives have shaped a distinct identity for the region that resonates far and wide. Our region's fashion industry is entering a new chapter as we become increasingly active contributors to the global fashion narrative.” 

“Fashion is a cultural expression fueled by tradition but also by the zeitgeist.  I strongly believe that Dubai has now the capacity to become a global fashion hub addressing today's questions of sustainability, technology and diversity,” Serge Carreira, head of the Emerging Brands Initiative, at France’s Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, added in a released statement. 

The announcement was made in the presence of Abdulla Belhoul, chief executive officer of TECOM Group which d3 is a part of, Issam Kazim, chief executive officer of Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, Ammar Al-Malik, executive vice president – commercial, TECOM Group, Khadija Al-Bastaki, senior vice president of d3 and Jacob Abrian, CEO of the Arab Fashion Council. 


Art Dubai to donate half its online ticket proceeds to earthquake relief efforts in Syria, Turkey

Art Dubai to donate half its online ticket proceeds to earthquake relief efforts in Syria, Turkey
Updated 08 February 2023

Art Dubai to donate half its online ticket proceeds to earthquake relief efforts in Syria, Turkey

Art Dubai to donate half its online ticket proceeds to earthquake relief efforts in Syria, Turkey

DUBAI: Joining a chorus of support, regional art fair Art Dubai announced on Tuesday it will be donating 50 per cent of the online ticket revenue from its coming March event to support earthquake relief efforts in Syria and Turkey.  

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the Turkey-Syria earthquake. While the aftermath of this horrific event is still being assessed, we will be donating 50% of proceeds from Art Dubai’s online ticket sales for this year’s fair, to registered charities supporting the victims of this tragedy,” a post on their official Instagram page read.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Art Dubai (@artdubai)

Last year, the annual art event donated 25 per cent of its ticket sales proceeds to Ukrainian refugees, amid the country’s conflict with Russia.   

The 16th edition of Art Dubai will take place at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai from March 3 - 5.  

The gallery program will feature over 130 presentations from more than 40 countries and six continents, across four sections: Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba (featuring exclusively new work) and Art Dubai Digital, and will include more than 30 first-time participants.  

Further highlights of the 2023 program include a series of 10 newly commissioned performance works by artists from across South Asia.  


Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit 

Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit 
Updated 07 February 2023

Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit 

Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit 

ABU DHABI: Bollywood has come to the UAE as the Louvre Abu Dhabi unveiled its newest art exhibition, on the history of Indian cinema.  

Home to one of the world’s largest film industries, India reportedly releases more than 1,500 genre-varying movies in 20 languages per year.  

“Bollywood Superstars” features a wide selection of paintings, photographs, costumes, tapestries and photographic objects. (Supplied)

Running until June 4, “Bollywood Superstars” features a wide selection of paintings, photographs, costumes, tapestries and photographic objects. A significant number of the displayed items are on loan from the Musee du Quai Branly — Jacques Chirac in Paris, which specializes in indigenous art.  

Indian cinema was developed in the 20th century, but as the exhibition demonstrates, narration and moving images have been present long before the modern era. In a way, the nation’s vibrant visual culture, folk performing arts, shadow puppetry, ancient epics and mythologies — dating back to 2,000 years — led to the birth of Bollywood. Some of the displayed objects represent the celebration and revival of religious, cultural figures, and heroes.   

significant number of the displayed items are on loan from the Musee du Quai Branly — Jacques Chirac in Paris, which specializes in indigenous art. (Supplied)

In the early days, traveling story-tellers roamed around, narrating scenes of important epics. A showcased mid-20th century wooden altar, resembling a toy box, shows on its detailed panels painted characters and scenes from the battle-themed “Ramayana” epic. It almost looks like a contemporary film set, where movement, costume, and staging are in action. 

Other objects reveal deities, taking them out of their temples and closer to worshippers. There is a colorful wooden bioscope that projects with light images of a deity. “Like a music box, a hand crank slides images for viewers to see peering through small peepholes,” reads a label next to the device.  

India reportedly releases more than 1,500 genre-varying movies in 20 languages per year. (Supplied)

Movies arrived in India via the revolutionary French Lumiere brothers, who invented photographic equipment, in 1896. As the years advanced, filmmaking became a weapon against colonial rule, asserting identity. Modern pioneering directors, such as the late Dadasaheb Phalke (dubbed “the Father of Indian Cinema”), were inspired by their own literature and culture, manifesting in their creations.     

The exhibition ends with a presentation of popular Hindi cinema today, witnessing a boom from the 1970s onwards with luminaries Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, and Shah Rukh Khan on the rise. Whether in old or modern times, “Bollywood Superstars” is a reminder of a human need to tell stories.