Saudi exhibition presents unique artworks of 12 artists

Each artists' pavilions were tagged with their names, who introduced themselves to the attendees

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Solos, the region’s premier contemporary art fair, kicked off in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

The fair, which will wrap up on December 20, comprises 12 artists — Heba Abed, Khaled Bin Afif, Mohammad Bahrawi, Najlaa Felemban, Samer Al Halaki, Ali Al Hassan, couple Hassan Khan and Ibtesam Gazder, Saud Mahjoub, Saad Bin Mohammad, Hamad Al Saab, Itab Al Sheikh and Sara Al Sudairy.

For most of them, Solos was their first exhibition, and they expressed joy on having this unique experience.

Each artists' pavilions were tagged with their names, who introduced themselves to the attendees.

Saad's gallery's name is "Behind the curtains." "From the beginning, we hide behind the curtains under many names: body, ideology, morals, habits, boundaries etc. We all have our curtains whether we agree or disagree. What matters is that we hide what we don’t want others to see," he said, adding that this is a unique opportunity for him.

Saad was ecstatic not with the attendees turnout, but also with their positive reaction to his artworks.

"Some of them whom I knew for long have turned 180 degree when they stood in front of my paintings. They turn to see the third dimension of the art and I believe this is a major success. I succeeded in delivering my point to the people. They also can see my books, my videos and my music. They can see a piece of me and I hope they enjoy it," said Saad.

"Noiselessness" was the name given by Saud Mahjoub to his gallery. Disturbed and deeply affected by the conflicts in the Arab world, Saud asks through his artworks if there ever will be an end to all the unrest.

Khaled Bin Afif's gallery's name is “The first scene: Not yet.”

Heba Abed named her gallery “The Scotoma of Mudéjares.” In her previous projects, she introduced the randomization of the Arabic script. Now, in her first Solos exhibition, she wanted to explain cultural scotoma by using historical images that illustrate how Arabic script is becoming foreign.

"We may someday become those old civilizations written about in history books," Abed said.

Najlaa Felemban’s gallery is called "Once upon a time." Inspired by tales of Cinderella, Little Lulu and other heroes, Felemban shares "once upon a time" stories of lives through pictures.

Hassaan and Ibtesam are a couple, who have named their gallery “Seduction,” where they present a project defined by five sets of fish structures leading to a big black-colored fish with large teeth in the middle. They have projected how temptations sometimes lead to unexpected ends. They have creatively used glue-gun sticks in their project.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Nov. 25, 2014.