LONDON: An exhibition of works by Saudi artist Intisar Alyamani will be on display from Sept. 23 to Oct. 17 in London.
Titled “Harmony,” the exhibition will showcase series of paintings that Alyamani describes as an extension and portal into her experience of “bi-cultural harmony.”
This will be her second solo exhibition held this year in Connaught Village, one of London’s luxurious retail quarters.
Alyamani believes Connaught Village is the “perfect location for all who appreciate a rich heritage, a friendly, close community and an appreciation of fine art and style.”
Her range of artworks illustrate an interplay between dynamism and stillness, Connaught Village said.
Alyamani hopes to take viewers on a journey of exploration with color, or as she describes it “dancing with my paintbrush.”
Moreover, the abstract artist captures her dual culturalism in a variety of ways, whether through a color contrast or blending formats
Her works are personal expressions of having one foot in both the Saudi and British cultures, including their different approaches to music, art, heritage, as well as their peoples — an extension of her everyday life, friendships and experiences.
Alyamani, who is a graduate from Goldsmiths, has received recognition for her active contribution to the global promotion of Saudi art. She is also a trustee of the Saudi British Society.
DOHA: Qatar Museums will collaborate with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in a partnership involving the exchange of exhibitions, programs and scholarly cooperation, Qatar News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Qatar Museums has made a donation to the prestigious New York museum to commemorate the reopening of Qatar’s reimagined Museum of Islamic Art and the 10th anniversary of the Met’s opening of renovated Islamic art department galleries.
In turn, the Met’s art collection from the Umayyad and Abbasid periods has been named the Qatar Gallery.
Under the Abbasid caliphate (750–1258), which succeeded the Umayyads (661–750), the focal point of Islamic political and cultural life shifted eastward from Syria to Iraq.
As part of the collaboration, Qatar Museums has loaned works from its collections to the Met for exhibitions such as “Jerusalem in the Middle Ages” (2016), “Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy” (2015), “The Great Age of the Seljuks” (2016), and “Monumental Journey: Girault de Prangey’s Daguerreotypes” (2016).
Works from the Met’s collection will be on display in Doha from Oct. 26 in a special exhibition at the newly renovated Museum of Islamic Art. The exhibition, “Baghdad: Eyes Delight,” focuses on the art of the Abbasid period, one of two classical eras featured in the Met’s Qatar Gallery.
“The establishment of the Qatar Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art highlights the collegiality between our institutions and our desire to advance a crucial goal we hold in common, to heighten appreciation everywhere for the art of the Islamic world,” Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatar Museums’ chairperson, said.
“We are proud to come together with the Met to honor the beauty, depth and variety of a global tradition that spans 14 centuries,” Al-Thani added.
Max Hollein, director of the Met, said: “This gift is the latest instance of the longstanding relationship between our institutions, and marks the start of a broad partnership encompassing the exchange of exhibitions, programs and scholarly cooperation.
“This critical support is especially meaningful as we mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Met’s renovated Islamic art department galleries, which continue to be a source of great interest and inspiration for our millions of yearly visitors.”
The collaboration between the cultural institutions contributes to Qatar Museum’s mission of sharing art and culture from Qatar and the region with the rest of the world.
It is also a legacy project of Qatar Museums’ 2021 Year of Culture program, which celebrated the strong ties between Qatar and the US through a year-long cultural exchange.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani attended the launch ceremony held at the Met to celebrate the partnership with Qatar Museums.
He toured the museum, including the Qatar Gallery with its Islamic manuscripts and artwork.
DUBAI: A debutant filmmaker is using the metaverse as a platform to share the harrowing story of the 2020 Beirut port blast and its aftermath.
Fahed Abu Salah, who witnessed the tragedy first hand, told Arab News: “I saw the whole thing and all the damage and confusion that happened on that day. No one understood what was going on; it was such a shock for everyone.”
At least 218 people were killed when ammonium nitrate stored at a port facility in the Lebanese capital exploded on Aug. 4, 2020. The deadly blast caused $15 billion in property damage and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
Abu Salah’s documentary “Beirut After the Blast” held its metaverse premiere in Dubai at the Waldorf Astoria DIFC this month ahead of its release online. It is now available to stream on the MContent app, one of the first Watch2earn content ecosystems and proponents of Web3 cinema.
“This is a next-generation platform for cinema, I totally believe in it. The app has amazing plug-ins and they provided technical support for everything we asked for,” Abu Salah said.
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Umair Masoom, MContent founder and CEO, said in a statement: “One of the key strengths of a Web3 content company and streamer like MContent is our ability to pick up any story that our community wants to shed light on despite any power center disliking the underlying narrative. This premiere further highlights the unique independence of our content empowering filmmakers like Fahed with limited resources to create and widely distribute an incredibly important story.”
Before the explosions, Abu Salah was already dabbling in short videos online, but “Beirut After the Blast” is his first full-length documentary.
“I had two goals when I made the documentary. First of all, I didn’t want anyone to forget what happened. I wanted everything that happened to be documented properly, so people can watch over and over again and more people can know this story,” he said.
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“Second, people are suffering as we speak. They want answers and they want closure. Nobody even knows how many people really died. I wanted to look for answers.”
Making the documentary was no walk in the park either. “I had a lot of challenges. Since the explosion is an ongoing investigation, it was hard to get statements from people who are close to the investigation. A lot of the victims also refused to talk because they didn’t want to really remember what happened that day because of the trauma.”
He added: “We were shooting really close to the date of the memorial of the blast, so it was chaotic. There were a lot of protests as we tried to cover everything on that day and that was the closure of the shoot as well. It was hard to get a statement. It was hard to shoot.”
DUBAI: This week, performers from the British dance company Candoco took to the stage at The Arts Center of NYU Abu Dhabi with the support of luxury French jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels.
Featuring both abled and disabled dancers, the performances for the UAE premiers of “Set and Reset/Reset” and “Last Shelter,” choreographed by Trisha Brown and Jeanine Durning, transcended perceptions of what dance can be.
“Candoco’s work expands the vocabulary of contemporary dance for performers with different ways of moving, including the integration of people of determination,” Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center at NYUAD Bill Bragin told Arab News. “Introducing UAE audiences to Candoco and their work builds on conversations around dance and disability that began in The Arts Center’s first season with Aakash Odedra Company.”
The performance was the first in a series presented for the first time with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels, a program launched by the high jewelry house during the fall of 2020 to strengthen its commitment to the arts with a special focus on dance.
Van Cleef & Arpels has been a devotee of dance since its establishment in 1895. Those familiar with the French jewelry brand will recall its enrapturing bejeweled brooches of ballerinas inspired by some of the leading dancers of the 20th century, including New York City Ballet principal Suzanne Farrell and Russian Anna Pavlova. Claude and Pierre Arpels were friends of George Balanchine, the Russian-born American ballet choreographer who was one of the last century’s most influential dancers. When Balanchine’s 1967 ballet “Jewels” premiered in New York City, some reporters at the time said that Claude Arpels suggested the idea of a ballet inspired by jewels to Balanchine.
The brand’s patronage of dance since the fall of 2020 has focused predominantly on a modern and contemporary choreographic repertoire, encouraging new dance productions by companies around the world.
At the helm of Dance Reflections is Van Cleef & Arpels’ Director of Dance and Culture Serge Laurent, who previously worked at the Centre Pompidou and the Fondation Cartier. He studied at the École du Louvre in Paris.
“The first idea was to continue writing the story of the maison and its strong connection with dance as a source of inspiration,” Laurent told Arab News. “We are a company that is anchored in tradition but also very interested in new forms.”
The luxury brand’s support of and investment in dance was also a way to give back to the art form and to communities around the world.
“Dance brings all the artistic disciplines together: It can incorporate music, the plastic arts, costume, lighting, set design, graphic design and even jewelry,” Laurent said in a statement. “It is a fascinating art form and an incredible field of expression. That is why it can appeal to such a wide audience. I’d like to encourage spectators to admire the works freely, with no preconceptions.”
Van Cleef & Arpels’ new patronage of dance in the UAE comes at a time when the region’s dance scene is rising but still in great need of support — something that Bragin and The Arts Center at NYUAD are actively championing.
“The Arts Center has aimed to build an audience for contemporary dance in the UAE, giving exposure to world-class companies, providing training for local artists, and opening the doors for larger conversations through the art form of dance,” said Bragin. “The new partnership with Dance Reflection by Van Cleef & Arpels is especially meaningful since it recognizes the singular role The Arts Center has played in growing the dance ecosystem in the country through presentation, commissioning, transmission, and education. Van Cleef & Arpels have a century-long history of supporting the art form and being inspired by it. The combination of our visions together seems so organic.”
DUBAI: Moroccan Italian model Malika El-Maslouhi was awarded Model of the Year in Italy on Tuesday.
Before the announcement, the runway star teased fans on Instagram with a picture of her getting her makeup done and wrote: “This morning I got ready for something important.”
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“Memo: if you want it, you must go get it!” she wrote in an Instagram post after the event. “This morning I was awarded Model of the Year Italy. Grazie mille to everyone that made today possible.”
El-Maslouhi, who was born in Milan to an Italian mother and a Moroccan father, is one of the most in-demand models in the fashion industry at the moment.
The catwalk star, who made her modelling debut when she was 18-years-old, had a stellar fall 2022 season earlier this year, gracing the runways of storied fashion houses in New York, London, Milan and Paris and walking for the likes of Ulla Johnson, Prabal Gurung, David Koma, Boss, Missoni, Messika and more.
In the past, she has walked for Dior, Chanel and Valentino, among others, in addition to appearing in international campaigns for prestigious brands like Lanvin and Dundas.
DUBAI: When “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hit theaters in December 2016, no one could have foreseen how a story about relative unknowns fighting the system would shake up a franchise that was struggling to find its voice in many ways.
The film, a prequel to George Lucas’ original Star Wars movies, told the heart-wrenching story of a rebellion that directly lit the spark for the Skywalker saga.
At the center of that story were characters Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), two unlikely heroes forced to carry on a big job.
Six years on, and time has been dialed further back to tell Andor’s original story with the new Disney+ show, “Andor,” premiering in the Middle East on Sept. 21.
In a virtual press conference ahead of the opening, Mexican actor Luna said: “This is a show about real people. It’s very dark times in the galaxy and there are no Jedis around. The people have to articulate a reaction to oppression and it’s the most grounded kind of Star Wars you’ll get.
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“It is a show about these people finding the strength to come up with a reaction, to change and bring change to their reality. It’s very inspiring.”
“Andor” takes place five years before the events of “Rogue One” and charts how Andor went from loner trying to survive to a major player in the Rebellion cause.
“‘Rogue One’ is a film about an event, you know? You don’t get to know those characters. And for me, it’s quite relevant today to tell the story of what needs to happen for a revolutionary to emerge. What gives meaning in the life of someone to be willing to sacrifice everything for a cause.
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“That journey matters to me. The character says stuff in ‘Rogue One’ that still haunts me, that he started to fight when he was six years old. What does that mean, exactly? Why would a six-year-old miss his childhood and fight?
“He talks about a dark past. He talks about doing terrible stuff for the Rebellion. What is he referring to? I think that story matters,” Luna added.
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He noted that when audiences meet Andor in the series, they will see him as a far cry from his character in “Rogue One.”
Luna said: “You see the guy in the first episode, and you don’t see any possibility of him being the man from the movie. That gives me hope, you know, in the world we live in. If that’s possible, anyone can do something. We can all find what we are capable of.”