JEDDAH: “At the Edge of Land,” a group exhibition by Art Jameel, explores the intricate relationships between landscapes and trade.
Curated by Lucas Morin, the exhibition at Hayy Jameel brings together works from the Art Jameel Collection, as well as loans and new commissions by international artists, many of whom are showcasing their work in Saudi Arabia for the first time.
The exhibition challenges predetermined ideas of emptiness and development, shedding light on the regions and people on the margins of trade routes. It explores the unexpectedly interconnected geographies, resources and commodities that traverse between land and sea, telling stories of erosion and extraction.
Morin, the curator, describes the exhibition as a journey that traces the trade route on which Jeddah sits, connecting East Asia and Europe via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. “I think everyone can relate to landscapes, and I am inspired by the way artists help us find new meanings and connections that we don’t see at first,” he said.
The selection of artists and artworks featured in the exhibition reflects the artists’ experiences of crossing lands, canals and rivers. They document disappearing landscapes and give a voice to their communities, challenging the inevitability of loss.
The artworks depict houses clinging to eroded coastlines, sand extracted to create distant artificial islands, and seafarers stranded in the desert. They also explore ports, containers and the sounds of immense ships waiting to be dismantled, revealing the interconnectedness of economies and drawing parallels between the movement of goods and the movement of people.
Among the exhibited artists are Jananne Al-Ani, Iosu Aramburu, Au Sow Yee, Daniele Genadry, Ho Rui An, Ranjit Kandalgaonkar, Lala Rukh and Hira Nabi.
Morin emphasizes the importance of bringing together modern and contemporary artists from different artistic and cultural backgrounds, ensuring a dynamic and engaging exhibition.
Some of the artworks showcased in the exhibition have been created for this occasion.
“For instance, Filipino artist Joar Songcuya’s work, titled ‘Passage to Suez,’ consists of drawings based on his recollections as a marine engineer. Songcuya vividly remembers his time working on oil tankers and visiting Saudi ports on the Red Sea,” Morin said.
Daniele Genadry, whose work is included in the exhibition, explained her artistic process and the motivations behind her participation: “My work mainly reflects on how persistent and unstable conditions, particularly those present in postwar Lebanon, can generate a specific form of perception. The aim is to create a heightened and intense visual experience that speaks to our current global crises.”
Genadry added: “Participating at Hayy Jameel was a great opportunity to showcase my work within the context of the Jameel Art Collection. I believe that conscious and embodied vision can resist dominant modes of perception perpetuated by our screens and media, and it was an honor to be showing with such a group of wonderful artists and to work with Lucas again.”
“At the Edge of Land” invites visitors to discover new artistic practices and artists, and to be inspired to find meaning in the intricate relationships between landscapes and trade. The exhibition aims to prompt reflection on the interconnectedness of our world, both environmentally and economically.
It is open to the public and will run until April 13 next year. For more details, visit hayyjameel.org.