Mohammed Al Faraj

Noah Horowitz: ‘Digital is here to stay’

June 12, 2021 - Melanie Gerlis

Is Art Basel’s Noah Horowitz a glutton for punishment? Ten years ago, he was the director of the first ever online art fair, called the VIP Art Fair, an ambitious initiative that crashed on launch and left scepticism of online art platforms in its wake. Now Horowitz, director of Art Basel Americas, finds himself also overseeing the fair group’s virtual showings — known as Online Viewing Rooms (OVRs) — which must seem uncannily familiar. This week sees the opening of OVR: Portals (June 16-19), the second of three standalone, online-only fairs planned for this year.

Highlights include works by the Los Angeles sculptor Karon Davis, who references the US government’s violent prosecution of the Black Panther Party members (shown by Jeffrey Deitch) and two Saudi Arabian artists — Ahaad Al Amoudi and Mohammad Al Faraj — who look at the future of their country from a millennial generation’s perspective

 

 

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Stephany Sanossian Highlights Art Dubai 2021

April 6, 2021 - Stephany Sanossian - Artmejo

DUBAI – In the age of Instagram and all digital outlets, it is so  important to see art and appreciate the artist’s work in person. In its 14th iteration, Art Dubai was one of the first institutions in the world to provide the opportunity of attending a physical art fair since the coronavirus outbreak in March 2019.

My name is Stephany Sanossian and I attended this year’s Art Dubai and brought to artmejo my favourite picks from the fair! After seeing over 100 works by artists from all over the globe, I was truly inspired by each and it was tough to pick and choose! Out of everything, here are my highlights of Art Dubai 2021:

 

What makes you stop and stare at a particular artwork?

For me, it is two things. One, the uniqueness of the work. Two, the artist’s ability to take me inside their thoughts and own world using a simple piece of work.

ATHR Art is a Saudi Arabian contemporary art gallery with a spectacular booth at Art Dubai. Curated by Alaa Tarabzouni, the gallery was representing artists Sara Abu Abdallah, Mohammad Alfaraj and Ahaad Al Amoudi.

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Light in a time of darkness

March 24, 2021 - By AFP - Global Times

As the world slowly begins to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to reengage its population with cultural activities. Noor Riyadh - which translates from Arabic to "Light of Riyadh" - is a citywide light and art festival illuminating the Saudi capital of Riyadh for the next three months.

Due to the global pandemic, 2020 was hardly characterized by cultural events or communal gatherings. But globally, society has gradually begun to emerge from a state of self-preservation, lockdowns and solitude, and begun a return to normalcy. As the Saudi public re-integrates into post-pandemic society, the Noor Riyadh festival aims to transform urban spaces into art that immerses and engages the community.

The second half of the festival, which takes the theme "Light Upon Light," is a retrospective exhibition tracking light art from the 1960s to the present. It runs until June 12 in the King Abdullah Financial District Conference Center.

Saudis are eager to leave the challenges of 2020 behind and look to a "brighter future," according to Director of Riyadh Art Khaled Al-Hazani. The festival, "a celebration of light and art on an unparalleled scale," has already proven popular with Saudis, who have flocked to see the exhibitions on display. Lulwah Al Homoud, one of the Saudi artists exhibiting her work, considers the inaugural festival as the beginning of a "golden age of Saudi art," she says.

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Noor Riyadh references Saudi Arabia’s past and rapidly changing present

March 23, 2021 - Rebecca Anne Proctor _ Arab News

The artworks, which encompass a range of media, including music, sculpture and performance, can be found in two main areas: The King Abdul Aziz Historical Center and the King Abdullah Financial District, where visitors can also view “Light Upon Light,” an exhibition of light art from the 1960s to the present, which is on view until June 12.
While the global art community will have to view the artworks virtually, Saudis have already been flocking to the venues in record numbers.
“One of the most critical aspects of Vision 2030 is the flourishing of the Saudi creative economy, which we are trying to foster, and this is one of the main highlights of Noor Riyadh as a program,” Anas Najmi, adviser to the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, told Arab News. “Despite all of the challenges of the pandemic, we managed to give the experience to 15,000 visitors in just one day. Secondly, over 1,200 jobs were created as part of the Noor Riyadh festival, half of which are for Saudis.”

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‘Light Upon Light’ a groundbreaking lighting extravaganza for Saudi culture

March 21, 2021 - Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The “Light Upon Light” Exhibition, which is being held at the King Abdullah Financial District as part of the first edition of Noor Riyadh, is the largest group art exhibition that monitors the artistic movement in the lighting arts since 1960s until todate.

It includes 30 masterworks of light art divided into four sectional “rays” that survey light as an artistic medium: “Perceiving Light,” “Experiencing Light,” “Projecting Light,” and “Environmental Light.” Each ray blends time and unites established artists of diverse geographic origin.

From immersive installation to video and sculpture, visitors to “Light Upon Light” will experience a richly illuminated exhibition in all its spatial and sensory phenomena. This historical presentation of light art is a groundbreaking event for culture in Saudi Arabia. Noor Riyadh, one of the world’s most exciting festivals of light and art combining the highest quality of light artworks across the city, began on March 18 and will run through until April 3. Filled with spectacular installations, the fest will light up the night sky of the capital city of Riyadh.

The “Projecting Light,” pavilion presents artworks that use the transmission of light to create the work instead of focusing on light as a medium. In 2019, Saudi artist Sultan Bin Fahd worked on the art piece titled “Once he was a ruler”, which is a collection of photographs, in which ancient sculptures depicting the kings of the ancient Lihyan Kingdom in Northern Arabia are shown, where he modified them by placing layers of X-ray images, and these images were collected, superimposed in illuminated light boxes at the event.

Through his abstract drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, the artist tackled cultural issues related to his homeland in the Kingdom. The artist also re-narrates historical stories and novels using art, and transmits these narratives through contemporary means to reconstruct them with a personal character.

While Saudi artist Dana Awartani is participating in the event with her work “Divan Al Majhoul 2021, which combined textiles, hand embroidery and poetry.

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"نور الرياض"..السعودية تشهد انطلاق احتفالية تبرز إبداع فن الضوء

March 19, 2021 - CNN Arabic

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة (CNN) -- شهدت المملكة العربية السعودية، مساء الخميس، انطلاق احتفالية "نور الرياض" والتي تضمنت عرض أعمال فنية تفاعلية تعتمد على الإضاءة في مواقع متعددة بأنحاء مدينة الرياض

وتضمنت الاحتفالية مشاركة 60 من كبار الفنانين في مجال فنون الإضاءة، ينتمون لأكثر من 20 دولة حول العالم، منهم 23 من الفنانين السعوديين، وفقاً لوكالة الأنباء السعودية "واس"

 

وتشتمل احتفالية "نور الرياض" على 60 عملاً فنياً، تضم جميع أشكال فنون الضوء، من بينها أعمال تاريخية وهندسية وضوئية، ومنحوتات، وعروض للإضاءة، وعروض تفاعلية، وقطع حركية، وتركيبات وأعمال خارجية، ومجموعة من أشكال الفن الخفيف، يتاح لسكان وزوار مدينة الرياض الاستمتاع بها عن قرب في مختلف أرجاء المدينة، مع تخصيص مركزين رئيسين للاحتفالية في كلٍ من مركز الملك عبدالله المالي ومركز الملك عبدالعزيز التاريخي بالمربع

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Saudi Arabia: Magic light festival to illuminate Riyadh

March 4, 2021 - Samir Salama, Associate Editor

The festival, dubbed Noor Riyadh, will also feature workshops, discussions, tours, presentations, volunteer programmes, cinematic and musical events, and recreational and educational activities.

“It aims to improve the city’s quality of life in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and to enhance the cultural and artistic aspects of the city, by transforming Riyadh into an open art gallery that blends the traditional with the contemporary,” said Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture.

Prince Bin Farhan said the festival sought to enhance community interaction, spread art and beauty throughout the city, and enrich the daily life of its residents and its visitors, by promoting art in public places and the local art movement, and encouraging more creativity and innovation.

 

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Misk Art Institute launches Imprint exhibition of Saudi and Gulf art

October 25, 2020 - Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer_ Gulf Today

Misk Art Institute (MAI), under the auspices of the Misk Foundation established by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has launched Imprint, a photography, film and digital exhibition (Oct. 4, 2020 — Jan. 28, 2021).

Curated by Latifa Abdul Rahman Al Khalifa and featuring the works of 17 Saudi and Gulf artists, the show is being held at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Fine Arts Gallery (or Masaha, meaning ‘space’ in Arabic), established in 1985 in Riyadh as a governmental hall dedicated to fine arts. It was renovated by MAI and reopened in 2019.

 

IMPRINT: RE-IMAGINING IDENTITY

Photography and Digital Exhibition

The concept of identity is complex and layered, especially when attributed to the Arabian Peninsula and its Gulf. The people who live in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries are the descendants of ages of civilizations whose footprints and maritime trade merged to a variety of languages, religions and ideologies.

The core of this exhibition Imprint is to invite artists based in Saudi Arabia and its neighboring GCC countries to explore their definition of identity in the form of photography, film and digital artworks. The image is a vessel that interprets both space and time, as well as encapsulating moments that are an extension of oneself. As producers and consumers of their image, participating artists can shift the gaze from the politics, oil-wealth and religion attributed to the Gulf, and instead offer new and personal narratives.

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Creative thinkers to tackle climate crisis at 21,39 Jeddah Arts event

January 18, 2020 - report by ARAB NEWS

This year, the Saudi Art Council event has been given the title “I Love You, Urgently,” as a call to action in response to the global environmental emergency. With Saudi society undergoing a rapid transformation, the council asked local and international figures from the worlds of art, architecture and design to seek tangible solutions to the crisis and come up with alternative and symbiotic ways of living on our planet.

A wide range of Saudi, Arab and European artists and creators are taking part. They include Ayman Zedani, Aziz Jamal, Cristiana De Marchi, Daniah Al-Saleh, Duran Lantink, Fahad bin Naif & Alaa Tarabzouni, Farah K. Behbehani, Filwa Nazer, Maha Nasrallah, Manal Al-Dowayan, Marwah Al-Mugait, Mohammad Al-Faraj, Mohammed Kazem, Muhannad Shono, Obadah Aljefri, Omar Abduljawad, Nasser Al-Salem, Nojoud Al-Sudairi, Raja’a Khalid, Sultan Bin Fahd and Zahrah Al-Ghamdi.

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Sharjah Art Foundation Presents Group Exhibition ‘Surface Tension’

August 4, 2019 - Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh_ Harper Bazaar Arabia

Hailing from Saudi Arabia, Al Faraj has previously showcased his work across Dubai and Jeddah. “I think what really drove the idea into becoming this work was mainly seeing the robot Sophia being awarded the Saudi citizenship on TV, in contrast to my experience in trying to make a film about a group of displaced undocumented people in southern Saudi Arabia,” shares Al Faraj. “This was also my first attempt into balancing between the form and the content, make both influence each other in the work so that three chapters unfold in a sculpture of screens that's built and designed on three planes.”

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