Shop Cats: Photographer captures charming felines living in Hong Kong’s shops

When Dutch visual artist and photographer Marcel Heijnen moved to Hong Kong, he was immediately drawn to the fascinating culture of shop cats, and decided to capture the little feline emperors amongst…

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Source: Shop Cats: Photographer captures charming felines living in Hong Kong’s shops

Remembering Louay Kayali: Life Is On The Streets.

middle east revised

the match seller/The Match Seller by Louay Kayali/

Louay Kayali was a Syrian modern artist, a brilliant painter born in Aleppo in 1934. He began painting at the age of eleven and held his first solo exhibition when he was eighteen.

Kayali died in 1978, from burns incurred from his bed catching fire, reportedly from a cigarette (he suffered from depression, leaving many to think it was suicide).

Kayali studied art at the Accademia di Belle Arti, and met Syrian artist Wahbi Al-Hariri there – they would remain friends for the rest of Kayali’s life (Al-Hariri became his mentor). Later on, Fateh Moudarress (also mentored by Al-Hariri) and Kayali represented Syrian modern art at the Venice Biennial Fair.

laundrette/The Laundrette/

Kayali graduated in Rome in 1961 and returned to Syria where he started his career as a fine arts professor at Damascus University, where Fateh Moudarres also taught.

Kayali’s artwork changed during his life, he…

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Wildlife Artist of the Year 2016 – Mall Galleries

The annual David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year returns to the Mall Galleries, London, from June 28th to July 2nd as part of the renowned annual Week of Wildlife Art.One hundred and thirty six pieces are in competition for the £10,000 top prize. The natural world is portrayed in a wide range of contemporary works including oils, watercolour, bronze and ceramic. There is one overall winner across all categories, and winners in seven categories – Animal Behaviour, Urban Wildlife, Hidden World, Wings, Feathered or Otherwise, Into the Blue, Vanishing Fast and Earth’s Beautiful Creatures.

One hundred and thirty six pieces are in competition for the £10,000 top prize. The natural world is portrayed in a wide range of contemporary works including oils, watercolour, bronze and ceramic. There is one overall winner across all categories, and winners in seven categories – Animal Behaviour, Urban Wildlife, Hidden World, Wings, Feathered or Otherwise, Into the Blue, Vanishing Fast and Earth’s Beautiful Creatures.

There is one Iranian artist who has been shortlisted:

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Naeemeh Naeemaei –  Iranian artist Naeemaei’s concern for the endangered species of Iran is reflected in “Siberian Crane”. Painted in a dreamlike, figurative style that is disarming in its sincerity, the artist’s imagery brings together many different elements of Iranian culture, from religious ritual and sacred scriptures to folk tales and children’s stories. (Press Release)

More: http://www.davidshepherd.org

 

An artist created a giant mural across 50 buildings in Cairo without the government noticing Chris Weller Mar 30, 2016.

Amid Cairo’s brick buildings and heaping piles of trash is a sprawling work of art, which, at first, looks messy and incoherent.

But when you stand on the nearby hillside and read the spray-painted Arabic “calligraffiti,” as its creator Tunisian-French artist eL Seed calls it, the message reads loud and clear: “If one wants to see the light of the sun, he must wipe his eyes.”

The quote represents the importance of withholding judgment of people just because of their circumstances, says eL Seed, who first visited the community a few years ago. He’s called the piece “Perception” for just that reason, hoping to get people to see past the area’s physical appearance.

The entire piece took three weeks to complete, and eL Seed says it was done in total secrecy from the Egyptian government due to the country’s strict laws forbidding artistic expression.

More: http://www.techinsider.io/artist-el-seed-giant-mural-cairo-2016-3

el-seed-says-he-didnt-contact-the-egyptian-government-before-starting-the-project-in-order-to-protect-the-community-where-hed-be-workingeven-though-the-final-view-seems-to-stretch-out-to-the-horizon-for-me-el-seed-says-its-just-a-piece-of-art-that-captures-a-moment-its-the-story-behind-it-that-i-think-is-more-interestingthe-crews-worked-around-the-clock-to-assemble-each-piece-on-the-50-buildings-arriving-early-in-the-morning-and-leaving-around-8-pmel-seed-is-planning-to-return-in-a-couple-months-for-the-release-of-a-book-on-the-project-and-an-accompanying-documentary-his-team-is-filmingeven-though-the-final-view-seems-to-stretch-out-to-the-horizon-for-me-el-seed-says-its-just-a-piece-of-art-that-captures-a-moment-its-the-story-behind-it-that-i-think-is-more-interesting

The Art Of Mohammad Khayata.

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khayataweb/Walking on Thread, photo via Mohammad Khayata website/

I was first introduced to Mohammad Khayata’s work while I was strolling down the streets of Beirut last November. On of his works (Walking on Thread) was exhibited in a gallery I passed by and it caught my eye immediately. I told myself I should remember his name and investigate more about his art when I come back home.

Khayata is a painter and a photographer, born in Damascus in 1985. His first solo exhibition was organized in Lebanon, three years ago.

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Khayata’s work is beautiful – it’s sensitive, powerful, thoughtful. In Bits and Pieces, he portrays symbols of what went on in Syria, combining stories and memories like a patched work stitched and tied to a canvas.

The images capture real life grief – from the portrait of a man wrapped in a patched quilt made of memories to…

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Salahi’s Garden & What’s Inevitable.

middle east revised

el_salahi/photo: Behind the Mask 1 by El-Salahi © Haupt & Binder/

Ibrahim El-Salahi is a Sudanese artist, an important figure in African and Arab modernism. El-Salahi is considered a pioneer in Sudanese art and was a member of the Khartoum School that was founded by Osman Waqialla.

Hassan Musa writes about El-Salahi (he first heard stories about him when he was a teenage boy): “I was fascinated by the idea that an ordinary Muslim man could live as an artist, because in my imagination they were unreal creatures who came out of European literature”.

El-Salahi’s international success soon turned him into a national hero, so much so that in 1970 the Department of Tourism distributed a poster in which El-Salahi posed in his studio, with the caption “Sudanese artist at work”.

mid-late-60s-6e_0/photo © Ibrahim El-Salahi, via Tate/

El-Salahi developed his own style and was one of the first artists to elaborate the Arabic calligraphy…

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Exhibition “In Search of Lost Time” at SOAS

Arab Hyphen

The exhibition In Search of Lost Time (not the Proust novel), which runs at the Brunei Gallery, in the School of Oriental & African Studies until the 19th of March, “presents work by 13 artists who seek to reframe conventional interpretations of time in the Gulf.” The  Arabic title of the exhibition, Urgent Memory is apt, as the exhibition

explores the complex relationship between image, speed and time in the Gulf, questioning the chronological and territorial notion of the region and the paradigms of its underlying identity.”

In part, the exhibition examines  the tensions between nostalgia and notions of tradition and authenticity and narratives of utopia, prosperity and the construction of a Gulf modernity.

Sophia Al Maria, coined the term “Gulf futurism,” which

has since been used as a byword for the way that a generation, forced indoors thanks to the intense heat, developed a view of the future informed almost exclusively…

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Loud Art and Nuqat: ‘Executing Culture Shock’

Arab Hyphen

LOUD LOUD art

Saudi initiative LOUD Art has partenered with Nuqat, a platform for connecting artists in the the Middle East, to put on an exhibition with the title ‘Executing Culture Shock’.  Apparently the initiative is “aimed at challenging and examining the experience of cultural change and its effect on artists and designers.” The exhibition will be on until June 7 in Khobar.

Arabnews reports that the project featured a total of 37 collaborating artists. In the past, LOUD art exhibitions have featured artists such as:

The artists showcased work which “reflected their ideas of the concept of culture shock in a wittingly, humorous, satirical, and positive attitude.”  I haven’t been able to find a complete list of the artists in this exhibition but apparently some…

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Al Hangar and the New Generation of Saudi Artists

Arab Hyphen

d7hftxdivxxvm.cloudfront.netMyrna Award writes about  Al Hangar (The Warehouse) an initiative by young Saudi artists, who describe it as a cultural movement which aims to “ignite a sense of community.”

Artists are individually invited to show work at Al Hangar, similarly to a biennial. And so far, they’ve been inundated with requests to participate, an indication of both the buzz around the alternative space, and the growing energy around Saudi’s art scene.

The initiative is led by Ramy Alquthamy and Nasser Al Salem who hope to provide this sense of community for emerging Saudi artists, the “generation in waiting” as they were referred to in Edge of Arabia’s exhibition from a couple of years ago, Rhizoma, which aimed:

to provide a clear vision of the radical transformation in Saudi art, which is now more affiliated with its roots, to the real culture represented by the awareness of the different living conditions in…

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