Face the Wall

Singapore,-,Singapore,-,February,27,,2017:,Inside,Of,The

A look at Saudi’s leading galleries and spaces.


Saudi Arabia is revolutionizing and is at its proverbial artistic peak with shows, international acclaim, and art galleries, setting homes for local and international artists to showcase narratives broadening the horizons of global discourse.

So, whether you are an art connoisseur, an art newbie, or simply in it for the gram, here are some must not miss art experiences in the country.

 

img_7425-2MUST VISIT

The Saudi Art Council presents the 21,39 Jeddah Arts 9th edition themed ‘Amakin’ curated by Venetia Porter.
The show ends June 3.

Location: SAC HQ, Gate 2, Gold Moor Mall, Jeddah.
Instagram:  sacsaudi

about_lakumartspace_a4_january-11-copyLakum artspace

Lakum Artspace is a multifunctional contemporary gallery in the heart of the capital city. They are known to host regular art shows, workshops, unique exhibitions and educational experience. Another great thing to explore, is the Lakum Shop that has in store art books and more.

Location: Al Urubah Branch Rd, Umm Al Hamam Al Gharbi, Riyadh
Instagramlakumartspace

Bookbinding Workshop coming this May and June.

jsm-full-view2-2-__largeThe Open Air Classic

A pillar of the Jeddah art scene. The Sculpture Museum is a must-see when in the city. It’s located along the Jeddah Corniche, also referred to as Al Hamra. Often overlooked, these sculptures each have their own unique story.

Location: Al Hamra Dist., Jeddah

website templateThe Big One

A three-level art complex that aims to serve the creative communities of The Prince Faisal bin Fahd Fine Arts Hall is under the purview by the Misk Art Institute, where they host most of their public programming.  There is a permanent collection on the ground floor, and located on the top is the Baan exhibition, which continuously showcases emerging artists.

website template

The Masaha space hosts workshops, educational programming, art residencies, and more in the establishment’s basement. Keep an eye out on their social media and website for more information and event table talk updates with local and international art experts.

Location:   King Saud Rd, An Namudhajiyah, Riyadh
Webmiskartinstitute.org

Instagram: miskartinst

INSTA-SPOT!

INSTA-SPOT!

The Writings on the Wall

The notion that art can only be enjoyed in a confined space has long been debunked. In Khobar, an artist collective has adorned old walls with Street Art, creating the Khobar Art walk, a set of adjoining walls painted in vibrant colors and modern urban designs.

prowess live. The main instigator for the street art wall is a well-established, Dawi Gallery which is known to be a hub for art collectives and also has a exhibition hall that regularly hosts events as well as art shows.

Location:   7th St, Al Khobar Al Janubiyah, Al Khobar 34611
Instagramdawigallery

whatsapp-image-2022-04-14-at-12-07-48-pm-2Handmade Beauties

A hidden gem tucked inside the King Fahad National library is a rare collection of handmade literary marvels ranging from handwritten Quran’s and other personal journals that were hand drawn some of which are gilded in gold. The space is open to the public and is a must visit for all bibliophiles who may want to see intricate prowess live.

Location:   King Fahd Rd, Al Olaya, Riyadh

mac1The Arts Center

The Madina Arts Center (MAC), located in King Fahad Park, Alhadiqah, Madina, has been doing a lot to incubate and grow the local art scene in the region. Established in 2018 by HRH Prince Faisal Bin Salman, the center is especially known for
its programs, workshops and art clubs. The center is under the supervision and admisistration of Namaa AlMunawarah.

One of their programs is called Art 365 which gives new artists access to the gallery and other curatorial services to display their work. The program is free of charge and is made accessible for a week at a time, with all the help and supervision they may need.They also currently have three clubs they hope to expand to six; their most popular clubs include the Arabic font, Photography and Fine art clubs.

Location:    Al Hadiqah, Al Madina
Instagram: madinaartcenter
Tel: +966-530016131

250The District

In Riyadh, the Jax District is quickly becoming the main hub for arts and culture.

This neighborhood has quite the residents, from creative studios like Swizz Beats’ Good Intentions, Ahmed Mater’s studio, to Vice’s HQ, and the Biennale. JAX 3 also has permanent street art murals created by local artists such as Rexchouk, kla5i, Deema AlOhaly, to name a few.

Another must-see in the district is the Tuwaiq sculptures,which are a set of marvelous hand-crafted creation.

Location:  Al Diriyah Al Jadidah, Riyadh
Instagram:   jaxdistrict

HIDDEN GEMS

  1. Nestled in a residential area in Jeddah is the Zawaya Gallery, which hosts solo exhibitions and displays of various genres of art.
    Location: Marmer Tower, 3rd floor 303, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz St., Jeddah
    Tel: +966-596535353
  2. Desert Designs Art Gallery, located in Khobar, is an art gallery that often hosts collections and exhibitions along with workshops. Check out their Instagram for news and updates on all upcoming events.
    Location: Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Rd., Al Arabiya, Al Khobar
    Instagram: dartgallery

    Desert Designs Art Gallery

    Desert Designs Art Gallery

  3. Visit Noor Riyadh anytime and from anywhere. You can stroll inside and enjoy one of the largest light art exhibitions with a virtual tour. This virtual tour ends on June 12, 2023.
    Web: riyadhart.sa/en/events/virtual-tour/

    Noor Riyadh

    Noor Riyadh

Upcoming Events
At Madina Art Center

dsc_8675

May

  1. 10 day exhibition of King Salman Charter for Architecture and Urbanism.
  2. Two exhibitions for top artists Adel AlQurasish and Mouath Alaofi
  3. Portfolio development in person courses in cooperation with the MISK Art Insititute.

In June, the center will host a personal art exhibition for a promising solo artist in Madina region.

7h4a0067-copy-scaled“Curators Guide to Enjoying Art”

How does one prepare for a gallery or art visit?

To get the most out of your visit to a gallery, I’d prepare ahead of time – look up the artist, the curator, and find out about the gallery owner(s).

This will give you a chance to think about the art and the concepts, ask questions, and interact with the gallery employees to learn more and appreciate the art on a more profound level.

What’s your ultimate advice for anyone visiting a gallery or viewing art for the first time?

Don’t try to digest all the information about an art piece or artist at once. They should also be open to revisiting exhibitions to discover something new. It’s a learning process.

Wided Rihana Khadraoui
Art Manager and Writer

Read More...

The T About NFT’s

_dbx5698

As you scroll through your phone, you must have read the words NFTs, Blockchain, Bored Apes, and possibly all in one sentence at some point, making you wonder if you’re still navigating the same reality.


“We are merely scratching the surface of a market that is expected to grow 1000x in the next few years, sooner or later every creative asset in the world will be digitalized and as Nuqtah, we are making it our mission to lead the revolution for our region”

With the constant change in economics and banking and many hailing, “NFT’s are the future,” we spoke to expert Salwa Radwi the founder and CEO of Nuqtah, Saudi Arabia’s first NFT Marketplace to give you a primer and ready you for the next frontier:

Zena Abo Khatwa Made by Zena NFT available on itsnuqtah.com

Zena Abo Khatwa, Made by Zena, NFT available on itsnuqtah.com

Let’s begin with the basics, what does NFT exactly stand for?
A non-fungible token, not to be confused with any form of fungus no!

Okay, but what does non-fungible token mean?
Stay with us for a minute. Something that is a non fungible basically means it’s one of a kind. Content, art & digital media such as photographs, movies, and music may be connected with several types of tokens on the blockchain. Thanks to a group of cool tech geniuses we now have a clear mechanism to give any item on the internet a non-changeable number to own and track, an NFT.

These are the “tokens” that the NFT abbreviation stands for – see it now? When something is dubbed as an NFT, it all of a sudden becomes super scarce, and that’s because there’s literally just one of it out there. In contrast, an example often used in the same context, cryptocurrency like bitcoin for example is not the same as an NFT. Purely fungible, meaning you can exchange one for another and get the exact same item over and over.For the sake of better understanding let’s humanize the concept.

ttyl

Today, when you upload your images on Instagram, you instantly give Instagram ownership on that image. That’s part of the terms you agree to most of the time without reading, right at the beginning when you signed up to the app.

So today, Instagram owns and is making money off your content. It sounds unfair, right? So, in essence with NFTs, you as an individual get back to right to not only, move and track your assets own but also capitalize on your images with a clear token number.

Why does all this even matter?
With the first form of the internet, we were only able to view data online, then came web 3, which allowed us to view and engage broader with a new line of content creators and digital artists. However, a crucial gap remained in sustaining this new creator economy, and that’s where web 3 comes in; allowing these artists to monetize, grow, and own their online assets.

As for the buyers of these NFTs, this is a brand-new space for investment, as supply remains low, and demand continues to rise, now is the time to get your hands on these assets. It is only a matter of time before NFTs become a primary mechanism of not just owning assets online but also being a one collective space for validated governed data.

Noor Binladen Light Eight Art NFT available on itsnuqtah.com

Noor Binladen, Light Eight Art, NFT available on itsnuqtah.com

Are NFTs only for Art?
Not at all, although NFT’s popularity stems from meme culture, art, and collectibles, its potential applications, and areas it can be utilized in are vast. Some major markets are gaming, fashion merchandising and luxury goods. Louis Vuitton for example, is now moving into NFTs. Let’s say they release a new bag, what is a mechanism to differentiate between real and fake one? NFTs assigned to original bags with clear numbers on the blockchain available for everyone to view is the game changer.

Gamers who spend insane dollar values on skins and weapons online, often lose access when the game turns off. Not anymore, with NFTs these skins remain under your ownership and transferrable across all outlets thanks to blockchain. This is just one way the market is adapting it.

What role does Nuqtah play in all of this?
Nuqtah first started as  Salwa’s Masters’ Degree thesis that soon turned into a full-fledged startup. “As an artist myself and someone who has been heavily invested in enabling startups, I wanted to combine both, and shift the focus towards enabling fellow creatives.” I wanted to create a platform where artists could showcase their work and validate it, with no middleman and through the transparency and power of NFTs on the Blockchain.

_dbx5774

Today, Nuqtah is powering the region’s hunger for NFTs, starting with creators.

With the Nuqtah marketplace, we were able to adapt this new technology to function best for the region. We are merely scratching the surface of this new technology; we are truly witnessing the beginning of what could be the future where corporations will be forced to migrate and reposition from web 2 to web 3, Facebook’s rebrand to Meta is a prime example. The process within the Nuqtah marketplace is at the center of how they are able to have a clear focus on the region. Saudi Arabia currently ranks third in the highest number of content creators in the world.

Nuqtah is currently the first and largest NFT marketplace in Saudi Arabia and committed to getting this region web 3 equipped for this evolution.

Nuqtah will serve as a worldwide platform for customers interested in purchasing the newest NFTs by recognized and rising MENA artists, allowing local creatives to publish and sell their work.

We have closed our pre-seed round led by Shorooq Partners and  500 Global back in October. We have a big round of announcements from Nuqtah coming up; really setting the tone for what web 3 SME’s will be worth in the region and around the world.

The Nuqtah team is led by Salwa Radwi, founder and an award-winning talanted artist herself, Wajd Badawi, Marketing and Web 3 Consultant, Nouf Alghamdi UX/UI lead, and Noura Rajab and Shahm B, Community Managers.

Web: itsnuqtah.com
Instagram: nuqtahnft

Read More...

Signaling the Future

dsc_2026

An interview with innovator and technologist Hadeel Ayoub.


Boosting female representation in technology has been a key goal of Saudi Vision 2030, with the country’s innovative minds at the helm of the quest.

phonee-copy

We had the honor of interviewing one such great mind, Hadeel Ayoub, founder and inventor behind Bright Sign, a company developing assistive technology that empowers speech-disabled individuals via a smart glove that decodes sign language through a mobile application.

A former medical school student, Hadeel has always wanted to improve the lives of others. Instead of becoming a doctor, however, she realized being part of the healthcare innovation sphere to develop tech solutions is how she’d best be able to help. As we started our conversation, Hadeel had the brightest smile that lit the room.

dsc_2043

We began with a simple question

How did she advance her journey into technology?
Hadeel shares, “I was focusing on digital design and creating virtual spaces, thinking of a way to sell my designs to clients and show them what it looks like in reality before I spend any time building it, but the more I used the design software, the more frustrated I became with the tools and menus. This made me think, ‘How can I fix this?” adding, “The natural progression from that is studying coding and programming to write my design software. I believed that it was time for designers to write design programs.”

How does one begin with design and wind up at the precipice of assistive technology?
Hadeel stated “It’s not that far off, “I was only studying things relevant to the design world at that time. Then I wanted more.
I wanted to interact with the software on it to be able to manipulate whatever it is I’m doing in the software within a 3D space.”

untitled_artwork-2-copy

Hadeel adds, “This was when I started looking at gesture recognition. How can a computer understand what my hand was doing in 3D space? I started looking at data gloves, sensors, visual recognition, etc. Everything kind of led me to the other. I never actually decided to go with the tech; you could say tech chose me in a way,” she said with a wide grin.

It all started when IBM chose Hadeel to represent her university at a global hackathon in South Korea.

untitled_artwork-copy

“BrightSign started when I was doing gesture recognition programs to translate hand movements in 3D space. It was called artificial intelligence for social care therefore whatever I did need to have an output on the community. Because my program already worked to translate hand movements, I could tell it what I wanted it to translate. So I tried sign language because I spoke sign language.”Adding “And it was very quick, it picked it up, it was accurate, right from the beginning, I added letters, and then words and then sentences, and then like a full conversation. And then I started adding in different languages. So I started having the Glove translate to Korean, French, English, and Arabic,” with a subtle, proud smile, Hadeel added, “I won that global competition.” 

When the hackathon ended, the invention garnered international attention, getting featured in Forbes, Guardian, Financial time and Discovery Channel, “BBC got me on their BBC One Show, which is primetime TV, for a two-minute segment Live on TV. That also meant that many people now knew that there was this glove that translates sign to speech and this is when people started getting in touch asking us how they can get what we had for someone they know.” 

untitled_artwork-3-copy

What are the other possible applications of the bright glove?
Hadeel replied, “These are what we call the parallel markets. For example, we’re doing it for divers underwater to communicate. That’s one of the things on the roadmap, where we’re also working with defense contractors. So there are a lot of different parallels.”

The next step for Hadeel was to transition her invention from an academic project to a commercial endeavor– a shift that always proves to be challenging for STEM innovators. “I had to develop 11 different cycles of prototyping, software hardware design until I got something that is acceptable, and I can test it,” she says.

Premium mobile phone screen mockup template

“I tested it with schools with special educational needs programs for students who are either deaf or can’t speak.” When you have that kind of proof and take it to an investor who understands the need, someone will pay for it if it works. Hadeel’s experience is slightly different: “I didn’t approach investors with an idea, then with a prototype. I had something ready and proven.” The journey was arduous, but eventually, Hadeel got Bright Sign Glove out in the market.

Premium mobile phone screen mockup template

“I set up the company in London two years ago, I brought on a co-founder, and together we took it to market. My co-founder and I traveled between two countries to sign off distribution deals. So in every country, we need a distributor familiar with the system technology space who knows what healthcare innovation looks like. So we now have six European countries sign off. We’re in Saudi, of course, and liaising with the government to see how we can make things work. For now, the primary application focus here is Education.”

 

untitled_artwork-4-copyWhat does the future of BrightSign look like?
“I guess my roadmap would be expanding, penetrating new markets, my ultimate goal is to make a great design much cheaper, so that I can enter less developed market markets such as  Africa, India, Asia, even Egypt, at the majority can’t afford this; South Africa, South America, for example, with one glove you can buy a car.”

“Even if I find a distributor, there’s no way I can access it, except if I reduce my prices. So that’s next. Once you scale up anyway, organically, when your units multiply, the cost should equally be reduced. So my ultimate goal is to be able to offer it at half the price so that I can access even more.”

 

 

Brightsign
Web: brightsignglove.com
Instagram: brightsignglove  
Twitter: BrightSignGlove

Hadeel Ayoub
Instagram: hadeel_ayoub
Twitter: HadeelAyoub

Read More...

Chef Moudi Al Saud

img_0447-copy

Breaking the glass ceiling with her unique flavors. 


The country is evolving; the new voices are loud, proud, and ready to take center stage. One such star is Chef and Food Consultant Moudi Al Saud. We had the pleasure of interviewing her and getting an insight into what made her choose to study the culinary arts.

Her Background

Growing up in Jeddah, Chef Moudi has always been a fan of cooking since she was a child. As she was growing up, she felt like she had lost touch with her passion for cooking, stating, “When I was about 14, my mom enrolled me in cooking classes in California. It was a one-week thing for kids. That’s when
I just fell in love with it all over again.”

These classes made Chef Moudi realize how much she loves cooking. “I couldn’t leave the kitchen anytime I wanted to do something. I would always be in the kitchen. My free time was in the kitchen, and then my mom had a little kitchen made for me, and it was perfect. All My friends would always come over. I started with sweets, and I moved on to savory foods.”max-delsid-0getqsz76xg-unsplash

Her Support system

Her Saudi roots made her realize that everyone around her loved food and shared the same love for food as her adding, “My parents have been supportive of me ever since I told them that I wanted to do it; it’s the most important thing to me. I wouldn’t do what I do without their support, especially when they told people that I wanted to become a chef. 

This did not deter her from the journey she wanted to embark on, as she went on to study at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu. She added that joining the culinary institute was one of the best decisions she’s ever made. 

“I got to know a whole other side of cooking.” After working as a Commis Chef Le Baron, Ferriers, and Chef De Partie at the Al Faisaliah Tower in Riyadh, she worked as an FNB consultant with various businesses, which taught her many things. 

img_5955

Her vision

Chef Moudi is incredibly proud of the younger generation who want to become chefs.  “Growing up,” she recalls, “I wanted to be a doctor; I don’t know how it turned into wanting to become a chef, but I’ve never been happier. 

My nieces and nephews to whom I once asked, “what do you want to do when you’re older” said, ‘oh I want to be a race car driver, oh I want to be a doctor but for the first time ever, a little 7 year old said, ‘Oh I want to be a chef like Moudi,’ which I never thought would happen.“It’s crazy to think that the newer generation has more to look up to,” adding that the younger generation is more headstrong, which makes her happy to see as it’s clear that their work ethic is fantastic. 

A passionate food blogger, her only advice to those who want to pursue a career in culinary arts is, “To follow your dreams, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.” 

Instagram: thetravelingmenu

Read More...

Passing the Fashion Baton

dsc_6825-edit-judi-copy

Meet the new face of Tima Abid Haute Couture.


Fashion is a field that is always evolving with new designs making trends every year. When Tima Abid started her brand 17 years ago, her daughter Sultana was only 4 years old. “Since then, she was always with me in the atelier watching me work playing around with fabric. I would place a mannequin and give her some fabric and let her design whatever her imagination guides her to” Tima said. Now years later of heading her eponymous brand, Tima Abid passes the baton to her brilliant and fashionable daughter Sultana Bukhari At the age of 21, Sultana is ready to bring her vision and ideas to reality amping up the creative direction for the haute couture brand applying her knowledge of fashion communication gained from Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design in London.

dsc0vfdvdv0332

But Sultana’s journey began when she was a young girl.  “I grew up playing around with what my mother gave me. I would make up dresses and stitch them for my little doll. When I first dressed it, I designed and made sure about the process of creation and that I could wear it was maybe at the age of 10. But, honestly, all I knew was that I’m going to be working with my mom when I’m older” Sultana said. 

After returning to Jeddah, she took her time to understand their brand’s base, analyzing how the market had changed, including where the brand was headed.

This made her look into the brand beyond the numbers, making her analyze why few of the brand’s customers weren’t coming back. This was when the mother-daughter duo devised a new strategy together, one that would take the brand to new heights. 

bjj

As a GenZ designer, Sultana sees things a bit differently aiming to understand the latest fashion trends, “A lot has changed in the last 5 or 6 years. So this affected our clients and it affected me as well so we had to take this very realistic look at what’s actually going on and where the brand’s positioned right now, and where we want to be as well.”

One of the first things that she developed further for the brand was their social media presence with a new bold strategy with their newer posts being distinctly different from their past social media content.

Processed with VSCO with av4 preset

“We plan to post more now, but all the credit goes to Abeer Ahmed, who is a photographer and Zeit Al Lowzi is a professional retoucher who helped us out with the final results of our latest campaign.”

As we moved into a conversation on one of the designs, we began comparing the aesthetic of the brand in its entirety to the new Demi Couture line launched by Sultana “It’s much more chill and each dress is made for the practical woman that likes to be stylish and embrace their femininity, it’s ready to wear but the Demi-Couture line is to stay but works in parallel with the Haute Couture. It’s not like the Haute Couture is blindsided or it’s put away.”  

“The brand’s core values and our identity also revolve around instilling confidence in women by encapsulating their inner and outer beauty, Because fashion is also construction and you have to understand the body that you’re dressing in and the way you dress.”

Towards the end of our conversation, we spoke about how it feels to be handed over a business that was spearheaded by her mother, and if she was intimidated at all. After a brief pause, Sultana answered.

“I always saw my mom as my strength, she was a symbol of strength, of beauty, and femininity which I appreciate so much, but she taught me so much that I feel like today, we both think alike when it comes to fashion”

Read More...

Domo Arigato! Akiba Dori

img_8018-copy

Neon Lights and Japanese delights.


Feel like you’re amongst the neon city lights in Japan at Akiba Dori, a trendy Japanese eatery that has opened its doors in J-Town located at the House Hotel City Yard. They offer a menu packed with Japanese street-food dishes.

img_8029-copyWe began our meal with their Seafood Maki and Vegan Sushi, they were a great way to start the night as they were packed with freshness and delectable finesse, setting the bar high for the rest of the evening.

img_8030-copyNext up was the Chicken Katsu, Seafood Yaki Soba, Chicken Sando, and Sliders, each one flavourful and memorable. Then came their iconic fresh-from-the-over Tokyopolitan Pizza, an amalgamation of Japanese sea salt and dough topped with Italian flavors of cherry tomatoes and burrata cheese which was the highlight of the evening.

img_8038On the side, we also tried their Akiba Special and Blueberry Mocktails that were perfect refreshers. Finally, we ended our night with their Lotus Cheesecake topped with a tableside lotus sauce and their classic, soft and bouncy Japanese Cheesecake.

img_8037-copyIf you’re looking for a restaurant to take your friends or family to, head to Akiba for its youthful vibe and vibrant menu.

Location: Akiba Dori, The House Hotel, Obaydah Al Sallmaney, Ar Rawdah, Jeddah 23435
Tel: +966-12-605-5206
Instagram:
Akibadori.com 

Read More...

A Star is Born: Exclusive Interview with Sumaya Rida

Photography: Gya Zoghbi

The Saudi Film industry has seen catapulting success worldwide with stories that highlight local narratives and shed light on the talent in the country.


One such star shimmering in the universe is Saudi actress Sumaya Rida. She, with her versatility, has been able to don many hats portraying memorable characters in genres ranging from horror to thriller and more, appearing both in tv and film.

I had the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with Sumaya, diving deep into what inspires her while looking at how these recollections ultimately prompted her to pursue her true passion… Acting.

So what inspires Sumaya when she settles into and takes the persona of her character?

She shares, “My primary inspiration is humanity. I want to reflect on humanity and what makes us human, and I think at some point each needs to discover who they are and we need to overcome all limitations we placed on our humanity,” adding “I want to tell our stories to the world. I want to feel, I want to emote, I want to risk and share. This is what got me into this; it is a form of art.”

Upon being asked about seeing the art in the nuisance of acting, she states, “When you see any art, like when you see a painter, you can say this is his painting, his piece and his view of the world the same applies to actors and their vision.”

Sumaya first embarked on her cinematic journey at the young age of 12. However, she says that she didn’t plan for it, adding that her father had a Sony camera, and she used to take it and make movies with her family.

2

Photography: Gya Zoghbi

“I was lucky because my dad used to lend it to me (the sony camcorder). I used to record family members, and I started to make scenarios and stories. I had my sister and brother acting in them, and I sometimes acted by placing the camera somewhere. We used to make short movies; it used to take us a couple of days to make. Then, at the end of the project, the family would sit and watch the short movie that we made.”

Adding that “I used to act in the school theatre, in Saudi where we acted in plays meant to raise awareness,” explaining, “I moved to London to finish my high school. This was the cultural shift for me; it was when I was most exposed to the world. I studied business.”

Pausing while having the biggest smile on her face, Sumaya says, “What’s funny is that we used to shoot advertisements for the university as a part of our assignments; we studied marketing. “The faculty of arts and performing art was next to the faculty of management, so I used to see actors coming and going all the time, every single day. I never imagined that I would one day do this, and I think when it’s destined to happen and you see signs from a very early time. It’s up to you whether you take the initiative or not.”

She continues, “What I think determines your fate is you see signs everywhere. It’s up to you whether you do something about it or not.”

After returning to Saudi, she met director Ali Alsumayin in what she says was a mere coincidence; it was like fate Sumaya gleefully admitted. “ I was in his office, and I saw him and his team preparing for a show, and I wanted to be part of it. I took the initiative and asked him. I was like, I want to be part of this. He was like, ‘okay, record an audition for me.’”

At that time, Sumaya didn’t know what auditioning was, only having an academic background up till this moment. However, it only made her more determined, “I wanted to do everything in the right way, scientifically. So I did the audition and the research, I got the role, and then I went abroad, I took private lessons, classes, and short courses, and this is how I started.”

So, how does Sumaya prepare herself for her characters mentally?…“I think every person has a little world inside of them. I study my characters very well. If I don’t have what it takes or haven’t experienced certain things, I go and do my research, try to get into the character’s shoes, and meet real people.”

3

Photography: Gya Zoghbi

“For me, solitude is key. I have to spend some time alone because I think art is born in solitude. Every artist has to take time alone and away just to get into the mood; once I do that, I land on the character. I do the same to get out of character.

Sumaya has also seen Saudi Cinema evolve, “I see a tremendous change. When I started back in 2017, there were not a lot of Saudi projects. We only had big projects for tv channels, but now I see more independent producers making movies. I see a new wave of young artists and filmmakers coming and leaving their mark on the history of filmmaking, which makes me very happy. I want to see more, it’s an inspiring time, and we have everything we need. We have the support of our beloved government; we have more tools and investors.” 

Sumaya’s latest project is a psychological thriller about Muslim woman’s strong independence and the oversharing of personal life on social media. “It is about a woman who overcomes her life challenges in a very unexpected way. One of the movie’s main messages is to emote the strong independent Muslim Saudi woman.”

When asked about genres she would love to try, Sumaya stated that she looks forward to taking part in Sci-fi, thriller, and crime genres; “Acting is not easy at all; you have to dedicate your work life as well as your personal life. So I would love to act in sci-fi projects, something that is outside the box.” 

Read More...

Cosmicat Runs the World – A Spotify SAWTIK Playlist Collaboration

cosmicat_tr-copy

As the great Queen Bey once said, “Who runs the world? Girls.” If anyone exemplifies this statement to the T, it has to be DJ extraordinaire Nouf Sufyani, better known as Cosmicat, naming herself after her love for cosmology and cats.  


Cosmicat has been taking the music scene in the country by storm, having played her sets at the best events in the country. Through her work, she showcases the evolving rhythms of the nation; the crescendo of her music echoes near and far, gaining her local and international acclaim.

She is one of the latest to be a part of the SAWTIK, Spotify’s inaugural women-in-music initiative for the region. SAWTIK means “your voice” in Arabic.

With this initiative, Spotify is hoping to amplify the voices of female artists in the region. Through this playlist, Spotify hopes to make it easier for labels and fans to uncover these talented stars.

Cosmicat’s latest track, “Toxic Romance,” is a part of this playlist. When asked about the inspiration  behind the track, she revealed how it encapsulates her passion for her craft and relationship with Music:

img_1147-copy“Toxic Romance is something I’ve been working on during 2020. It translates a lot of emotions that I  have for the music itself and my love and my relationship with electronic music to the point it became  an actual toxic romance, you know when you can’t sleep, you can’t eat, you can’t go out, you can’t see  anyone because you are in the studio working 24/7, so it’s consuming and also very very rewarding, and  that’s what it’s about.”  

As one of the most impactful female DJ’s in the country, she has been part of the game for so long that she has seen it evolve to what it is today, stating, “One of the things that we notice recently is that local artists have been given more opportunities and platforms than before… This makes me happy and proud. We have evolved from playing in underground events inside our close circles to now playing up  and out for the world to watch.” 

She feels incredibly proud when she sees other women come up in the scene. “It makes me happy and  proud, and I consider this as physical proof of change, the change of everyone’s mentality being more  open to pursuing new fields, new types of art, and women going out there and being fearless and doing  whatever they want, makes me super grateful to be alive at this time.”  

Cosmicat finds inspiration all around her “I find my inspiration when I look at successful women,  successful artists, who are doing what I’m doing for years, and I look up to them as role models to guide  me.”  

Expressing gratitude and glee for being asked to be part of SAWTIK, she ecstatically shares, “I gain inspiration by listening to different women from different places all over the Arab world and seeing how every one of them make music in their style and personality is so empowering. I wish for the future to  hold more and more female musicians who can do the same, and honestly, I am honored to have been a  part of this.” 

“Spotify has always been a part of my life,” she states, adding, “Spotify itself has been a very, very helpful inspiration generator for me because it is so easy to find a lot of related content, helping me find new music. Artists are always looking for more opportunities to connect with new listeners, and Spotify can make that happen.” She also mentioned that “Having applications as such, that you can just carry in your pocket and lets you take your entire library has been an effective tool to be more reachable for everyone since it is one of the most popular apps out there, so anyone can just look at you up and find everything. It’s just quick and easy, straight to the point.”

Upon being asked to give a word of advice to the potential future musicians and creators of the world,  she said, “Be fearless and prioritize yourself, your taste instead of worrying about how people would perceive you and yeah man, pursuing things naturally in the way you are comfortable with is just the best thing to do. “

DJ Cosmicat Favourites

We asked Cosmicat to recommend her favorite Dj’s this is what she had to say

Number one is Desert Fish, ” he is one of the people who helped me out throughout my career and he is such an amazing, and genius producer …. I cannot stress enough how genius he is.”

The second is Vinyl Mode, “he’s one of those who helped encourage me to get on the scene and got me my first radio gig in Saudi Arabia. He is a brilliant DJ and producer. He’s a real vibe generator and I love  and respect him.”

Read More...

Emerging Artists that are Shaping the New Decade

layla-falls-asleep

On the road to becoming aces, these emerging creatives are climbing their way up the ladder. Pushing forward their ideas and innovative art styles, these artists are shaping the future of the Saudi art scene.


exlkv3nwsaehyijBayan Yasien

We can best describe Bayan Yasien’s art style as similar to illustrations in children’s books; her art is a mixture of portraits, anime, and cartoons. She began her journey when she was just six, and through her art, she aims to express her emotions. Being influenced by her culture and society, she often inserts small details into her art that emulate today’s views and events, leaving a distinctive imprint of her unique style onto the world.

Instagram: unique.beno

PrintNoha Abdul Raheem

Noha Abdul Raheem has been in love with Arabic calligraphy since a very young age. She was inspired by artist Haji Noor Deen’s work leading her to research more about Kanji Calligraphy. She believes that mixing Arabic with another language will show how beautiful and flexible the language is. She wishes to encourage people to try mixing Arabic with different languages if possible.

Instagram: noha_raheem

layla-falls-asleepSara Al Abdali

Sara Al Abdali received her Master’s in traditional crafts and Islamic art in 2014. Although she loves working solemnly in her studio, she often dreads exhibiting her art and stepping outside her studio’s comfort. She uses her unique style of art as a motif of storytelling where she narrates tales of identity, belonging, and spirituality. With her art, she aims to communicate things and thoughts that can’t be delivered in any other medium.

Instagram:  sarahalabdaliart

profileDoa Bugis

Although Doa Bugis’s unofficial inauguration into the world of painting was in 2018, she began her artistic journey when she was just a child sketching flowers from her garden.Her style is Islamic art and heavily influenced the different Miniature painting techniques, specifically Safavid, Qajar, and Mughal styles. She loves being an artist as the process is therapeutic, and it gives her the ability to tell stories that translate her emotions into visual manifestations.

Instagram:  doabugis

20201124_145252-01Yousef Yahya

Yousef Yahya began learning calligraphy in 2013 with the Square Kufic style related to his architectural work. He derives his inspiration from his Islamic, Arabic heritage along with contemporary art. He finds verses from the Quran artistic and inspiring and finds Arabic poetry very profound and meaningful sentiments that he emotes into his artwork. In the future, he aims to work on his skills through academic study while also participating in the Saudi Vision 2030 through his art and calligraphy through different mediums.

Instagram:  ucfyahya

%d9%a2%d9%a0%d9%a2%d9%a1%d9%a0%d9%a1%d9%a1%d9%a6_%d9%a2%d9%a3%d9%a5%d9%a8%d9%a4%d9%a3Hatem Al Ahmad

Hatem Al Ahmed focuses on visual art, a cross between painting, printmaking, and installation projects. He aims to understand how humanity thinks about life and how that can be interpreted into different stories, mainly because art is all around us. His art style projects the raw material and feeling of understanding where humanity is heading, especially when the future in some aspects seems grim. It’s his goal to touch humanity with ideas that cannot be rated.

Instagram:  hatem_al_ahmad

special-friendahip4Riyadh Waleed

Riyadh Waleed is a talented 2D animator that creates most of his art by hand. He was passionate about drawing from a very young age and developed his style at 15. In his art, he tries to create relatability by conveying ideas, stories, emotions that his audience can resonate with in the future; he aims to make movies to reach people and inspire them.

Instagram: riy_art

1d97c7f1-2932-4790-adff-be49e6fc1306Zeinab Al Mahoozi

Zeinab finds interest in what happens around us in our everyday lives; when she sees the street or even the cleaners on the road, she thinks about their journey and how they had to leave their families to come and work in this foreign land. She believes that a world without art is like life without meaning. She is a stencil graffiti artist who has displayed her artwork worldwide and works with many layers in her print, in the kingdom, art, and especially street art. Things are starting to change, especially with the improving art scene due to the various grants. She believes this is needed for the younger generation to continue their interest in art.

Instagram: z_mahoozi

dsc_4582Motaz Kattan

When Moatz moved to the United States, he intended to study photography. Still, his elective of ceramics enticed him the most due to his photography professor, who was also a ceramicist. Using the pottery wheel for the first time sparked a passion that became permanent. One of the many reasons he was drawn to this art form was turning raw clay into ceramics which feels like magic to him when something that seems normal suddenly becomes so functional. He aims to popularize pottery by sharing the knowledge he has and would one day want to open a local establishment, like a Saudi Factory or School, using locally sourced material and talents.

Instagram:  mtz.ceramics

dsc_0818Alaa Alaqeel

Alaa started her journey of spirituality in 2012, where she discovered her sense of self, inner peace and the gift of healing through art. She began conducting art healing workshops in 2018, where she would lead participants by healing their inner child, discovering their current self, and achieving their future self. Her art resonates with the mind, spirit, and body and, through this, she finds inner peace.

Instagram:  alaaoq

%d8%b5%d9%88%d8%b1%d8%a98Hmoud Al Attawi

Hmoud Al Attawi works as an art instructor who constantly teaches and directs his creative activity. Al Attawi is intrigued by the translation of narration between traditional and modern media, through which he traces social, cultural, and personal memory. He continues his anthropological investigation into culture, region, and nation and the blending of new realities. His art and philosophy thrive on posing questions about human behavior and space in various contexts and interests.

Instagram:  hmoudalattawi

Art on!

Here is where you can get the perfect art supplies to start your art journey.

Read More...

Aces of Arts

earthseed-installation-view-1

Artists in the kingdom have revolutionized the art scene with creative and innovative ideas. These artists are true aces bringing recognition to the local potential  while also winning global and national accolades.


img_2652Nasser Almulhim

Nasser Almulhim was born in Riyadh in 1988 and is a studio artist. Nasser has a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from the University of West Florida. Since graduating, Nasser has been creating work representing his imagination from within, which he applies to two-dimensional imagery. Using various methods to create the artwork that he refers to as “the gate to self-healing.” One of the central themes in his work is the power of spirituality and how colors represent healing methods to express one’s inner emotional chaos. He will be displaying his work titled Gazing into the magical universe  at the upcoming 21’39 Jeddah Art organized by the Saudi Art Council.

Instagram: nasajm

img_1532Alia Ahmed

Alia Ahmad focuses on drawing, but she employs various mediums to tell narratives about how memory, location, and landscape converge in written and visual notions. Aspects from her childhood inspired her color palette, like the industrial and desert landscape. The vast majority of her works depict serene dreamscapes with linear representations of the Saudi landscape. She has showcased her work in various exhibitions in London, and in 2021 will be displaying her work in Saudi Art Councils 21’39.

Instagram: alia.ahmd_

rumi3Lulwah Al Homoud – National Cultural Awards Winner

Lulwah Al Homoud is an award-winning artist who has a Master’s degree from Central Saint Martins in London. Her works are a part of international collections in London, Munich, South Korea, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles. At the 2021 Noor Riyadh light festival, she displayed her beautiful creation titled The Infinite blue, where her mystic blue-colored artwork changed its hue depending on rays of the sun, showing that the earth is turning around to face the sun again.

Instagram: lulwah_al_homoud

earthseed-installation-view-1Ayman Zedani

Through his art,  Ayman Zedani conceptually aims to understand the relationships between two contrasting elements: organic and inorganic, land and water, and more. He is a multifaceted artist who has displayed his art globally, notably in Buenos Aires, Washington, and Sharjah, to name a few. His latest work was a multi-channel video installation titled Earthseed at the 2021 Noor Riyadh festival, which gained national recognition for its innovative portrayal of the relationship between humans and nonhumans regarding the planet’s future.

Instagram: zedani

a41i6822-editedDana Awartani – National Cultural Awards Winner

Dana Awartani is a conceptual artist who utilizes many mediums such as performances, intricate manuscript illumination, embroidery, ceramics, and more. Drawing  inspiration from Arabic poetry, culture, and heritage her artistic style stems from the creation of her own pigments, which ultimately reinforces her ideas. She is currently completing her ‘Ijaza’ certificate to further her commitment and practice to preserve the Islamic Illuminations skills. She will be  displaying her latest work at the upcoming 21’39 Jeddah Art exhibition organized by the Saudi Art Council.

Instagram: danaawartani_art

studionasseralsalem-12751544_126151074442783_381579047_nNasser Alsalem

Nasser Alsalem is a traditionally trained calligrapher specializing in the Arabic written word, and he also possesses an Ijaza, the ultimate certification for an Islamic calligrapher. Developing the traditional artform with mixed media, he expands upon calligraphy’s conceptual potential, melding classic art with modern techniques to create stunning artwork that incorporates different tools like light. His artwork in Noor Riyadh entitled God Is Alive, He Shall Not Die gave audiences a more spiritual and devotional experience.

Instagram: NasserAlsalem

Read More...