Sikka Art Fair 2018: An exhibition of Saudi art and culture


Saudi Gazette

- “Saudi House” by the culture-focused initiative Tamashee hosted a variety of exhibitions and activities at Sikka Art Fair 2018 under one roof, including Tamashee, a collaborative initiative for emerging artists in the fields of calligraphy, pottery, Islamic art and photography, and an exhibition of works produced by Saudi artists.

“This is the first time at Sikka Art Fair wherein we had a full house dedicated only to Saudi artists. Saudi female artists played a huge part in creating this exhibition. Almost 70 percent of the artists were actually women,” said Mohammed Kazim the co-founder of Tamashee.

The works of art that were showcased in the “Saudi House” explored Saudi culture and even society. One of the art pieces called “Why?” by Mashail Faqeeh highlighted the questionable objections to the appearance of women in public. Embroidered on fabric, the piece shows how Saudi women are sometimes judged based on their appearance.

Another eye-catching section was Tamashee’s stairs. Featuring a contemporary application of Al Qatt art based on one of Tamashee’s upcoming collections, the stairs represent a journey and elevation of design and taste. Al Qatt art is exhibited in many sections of “Saudi House” and it an old art form native to the Asir region, in the Kingdom’s Southwest. It is traditionally carried out by women and is found on the interior walls of homes.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Kazim spoke about his journey discovering Saudi culture.

“Our footwear brand Tamashee focuses on culture and researching culture in the Arabian Gulf. So, the largest country in the Arabian Gulf is, in fact, Saudi Arabia. We started off with one project wherein we wanted to learn more about the leather tanning that happened in the Kingdom. Then, that opened up more opportunities for me in which I managed to go to Taif, Asir, Ha’il, AlJawf and other Saudi cities. I ended up falling in love with Saudi culture because there is so much about Saudi Arabia that the people do not see or hear about. I think this is what made me feel like I have an obligation or a duty to show to the world that there is so much color in this region.”

Sikka Art Fair is an initiative developed by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and is considered to be one of the key highlights of Dubai Art Season. They marked their 8th edition this year and it was held under the patronage of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.