Misk Art Institute, under the umbrella of the Misk Foundation, established by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has launched Imprint, a photography, film, and digital exhibition. Curated by Latifa Abdul Rahman Al Khalifa and featuring the works of 17 Saudi and Gulf artists, the show is currently being held at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Fine Arts Gallery and will run until January 28, 2021.
The Institute is an artist-centered cultural organization that supports the Saudi creative community to produce work and develop their practice, strengthening platforms for exposure within and beyond the Kingdom. The exhibit has endeavored to invite artists based in Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries to explore their definition of identity by means of the image in the form of photography, film, and digital artworks. The artists in this exhibition contribute to four sub-categories: the past and memory, a deconstruction of the self, connections with nature, and mindful reflections.
We take a look at seven of the 17 incredible artists showcasing their work at the exhibition:
Saudi artist Reem AlNasser was born in Jeddah and currently lives and works in Jizan. Her work is inspired by personal experiences and close observations of movement, mobility and cultural change within her surroundings. AlNasser’s photographic series ‘Alfulle’ is a documentation of a traditional ritualistic practice observed by women in the Southern region of Saudi Arabia.
Lulwah Al Homoud is a Saudi Arabian artist who lives and works in the United Kingdom. Her artwork, ‘The Space Within,’ is a site-specific installation “based on the artist’s Language of Existence series, a spiritual meditation on the human experience in connection to the infinite universe.” The intricate patterns on glass in her artwork are illuminated by LED lights and are a representation of the ninety-nine names of Allah (Asmah Allah Al Husna).
Bahraini-born, Saudi national Faisal Samra incorporates digital photography, painting, sculpture, video, and performance in a creative repertoire that explores existentialist themes with the figure at its center. Faisal Samra presents a video of a metaphoric scene evoking a confusing mix of culture and languages. Her work ‘Schizophrenia’ is an observation of the new mode of speech practiced by inhabitants of the GCC.
Mashael Alsaie is a photographer and video artist based between Bahrain and New York. Her work disassembles the compounded ideologies that have shaped her understanding of womanhood through the roots of her Arab heritage. Mashael AlSaie displays another insight into the Arab female experience by offering a short film to the exhibition.
Bahraini street photographer Khalid Aljabri’s series of photo collages consist of famous works of art infused into unique and forgotten places around Bahrain. He combines the landscape of Bahrain into painting-like photographs that come to tell stories of different places around his country.
Born in Madina, Saudi Arabia in 1984, Moath Alofi is an artist, researcher, and explorer of the Madina Region. Currently, he is the Head of Cultural Programs at the Madina Development Authority. ‘Thad’ is a photography and video archive of years of research by the artist, in his quest for defining the soul of the desert through self-exploration.
Noor Alwan is an experimental Bahraini multidisciplinary architect and artist, while Abdulla Buhijji creates research-based, thought-provoking experiences that integrate multi-disciplines to tell inclusive, human-centered stories. Theories of Imagination (t.of.i), made up of Abdulla Buhijji and Noor Alwan, offers an inspection of the concept of identity that is forward-looking into the future. Their digital installation acts as an intervention that pairs the quest for personal identity with the want for belonging.