Holy sights, women driving and corruption highlighted at tasami creative lab


Saudi Gazette

Tasami Creative Lab is showcasing the artworks of 36 artists in Jeddah as part of their participation in Jeddah Art Week. Tasami has two art exhibitions Makanh a word that has two meanings in Arabic -either the status of an individual or reference to a place. The second exhibition is Mafahim or concepts.

Musaed Al-Hulais, founder and director of Tasami Creative Lab said they aim to attract artists of different levels including beginners, juniors, and professional artists. He said Tasami is a platform for all art forms that could help artists explore the art scene and develop their skills to participate in various galleries.

Tasami has hosted artworks of 120 artists from around the Kingdom and abroad. The platform is not demanding and encourages easy participation as it hopes to merge traditional and contemporary arts under one roof. Al-Hulais said five artists participate in Makanh while 31 artists have their works displayed in the Concepts exhibition. This year Tasami also introduces a number of workshops in Arabic calligraphy and paintings at Serafi Mega Mall on Tahliya Street.

Tasami is yet another private initiative in the Kingdom that still seeks support from the government sector to expand its activities. Al-Hulais has been running its current activities based on personal efforts for five years. “Unfortunately, I have been in this domain for 10 years and I can say that the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts have been absent from the scene.” He called on the Saudi Arabia Society for Culture and Arts to adopt an art fair in the Kingdom and contribute to support such art initiatives.

Amr Al-Nagmah has participated by displaying three of his works at Concepts. He said he is interested in Islamic art and puts his own twist to it. This year Al-Nagmah’s theme is Haj. The first artwork represents Kaaba, the second marks the start of Haj season by showing the lift of Kiswa and the third is a traditional painting, which was used to show the holy mosque in Makkah. What is unique in Amr’s works is that he uses motherboards and recycled them to create his Haj project. This is his second time to participate in Tasami. Last year his work about prayer was reintroduced in Arab American National Museum while his works have also been introduced in Australia and Korea.

One of the senior artists at Tasami this season is Mohammed Rubat. He introduced three traditional paintings in Makanh and five new ideas in which he combined different materials. “All the works could be interpreted by the public based on their understanding,” he said. However, one of his pieces he said represents the mermaid and reminds us of various fairytales about her in different cultures.

Haifa Al-Khawari, a 28-year-old Saudi artist managed to draw the attention of many visitors by shaping a Burqu using car repair parts. Al-Khawari who is a graphic designer explained that her artwork was conceived following the decision allowing women to drive. “I have always needed to drive. When we were allowed to drive I wanted to document this not by painting just like many did, but I wanted to do it differently.” Asked why she picked the Burqu, she said because it represents the Saudi conservative society. Al-Khawari noted she was speechless seeing the great interaction in the exhibition and seeking people noticing the Burqu and asking her about it.

Among the works displayed is a sculpture of hundreds of skulls squeezed on one side of a board and on the other side a shiny surface, titled ‘corruption’ by the artist Sulaiman Raqy. Widad Rafi’s work is made of electronic components. Zainab Al-Mahoozi warns the public with a spray she calls ‘backbiting’. Abdallah Hammas has an interesting three-dimensional work which appears colorful from one side and black and white from the other. The creative ‘Untitled performance’ by Al-Hasan Mosleh is an opportunity to see his silent performance for four hours a day with 16 fists in the background. Tasami Creative Lab opens to the public for free every day from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. until the first of March 2018.

Follow the artists on Instagram

@tasamilab @musaedhulais @rubatart @tolio @haifa_alkawari @ashaus @sulaiman_raqy @z_mahoozi @wedadrafia