Hafez Gallery, Jeddah
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Jeddah | Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Founded in 2014 in Jeddah, Hafez Gallery serves as a space to nurture the discovery of a Saudi visual identity and participate in international art dialogue. Hafez Gallery participates in art fairs throughout the region, promoting awareness and access to contemporary Saudi and Middle Eastern art.
Exhibiting artists: Abdulrahman Al Shahed, Afsoon, Ali Chaaban, Awatef Al Safwan, Everitte Barbee, Khalid Zahid, Lina Gazzaz, Mai Al Moataz, Nouf Beydoun, Nora Alissa, Ola Fairag, Sarah Al-Abdali
Abdulrahman Al Shahed
Abdulrahman Al Shahed studied at Umm Al-Qura University College of Engineering and Islamic Architecture, in the department of Islamic architecture. He learned Arabic calligraphy in the Holy Mosque and received a certificate in calligraphy in 1433 Hijri. He taught Arabic Calligraphy at the Holy Mosque in Mecca and gave several lectures on Islamic art and has published several research articles on this subject. He won the first place in the Okaz international competition of Calligraphy 1432 Hijri, and first place in the Kingdom four consecutive times in the Arabic Calligraphy Competition organised by the Ministry of Education. He participated in several local and international exhibitions including: China, Malaysia, Germany, Japan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Korea, UAE, Kuwait, France, Morocco and Italy. His art work has been acquired by several organisations such as: the UNESCO in Paris, Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Medina, and by a number of intellectuals, such as the former Minister of Culture Dr. Mohammad Abdo Yamani – May he Rest in peace - and His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bin Salman, Prince of Medina.
Born in 1961, Afsoon lived in Tehran until 1979. She spent her childhood in Iran and late teens and early twenties in San Francisco, then later settled in London. Her nomadic life is reflected in her work where East merges with West and the result is at once familiar and foreign. There are several layers in her work and at times she combines text with images as well as different techniques such as linocut, photography, collage and etching. The result is a rich yet often playful and humorous tableau in which the audience is able to engage and interpret in its own way. In January 2008 the British Museum purchased two series’ of her work for its contemporary Middle Eastern collection..
Ali Chaaban is Lebanese artist, born and raised in Kuwait, currently based in Jeddah. His work revolves around the notion of nostalgia and tackles socio-political issues such as Arabian identity.
Ali presents a state of dystopia, using a process that carries influences from his background in advertising. He graduated with a degree in anthropology and enjoys being a pop-culture analyst and observer of cultures and traditions; his art seeks above all else to connect cultures.
Ali has exhibited in galleries such as Ayyam in Jeddah, Mark Hachem in Beirut and Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt in Paris.
Awatef Al Safwan
Awatef Al Safwan distinguished herself through her skilled use of Batik as a medium for over 20 years. Her artworks are characterised by rich colours and visually busy symbols, including human figures. Awatef has been exhibiting her work since 1992 and participated in many group shows inside and outside Saudi Arabia. Her first solo exhibition Monamnamat (Miniatures) was held in 2009 in Qatif and presented the artist’s humanistic leanings, in particular towards children and women’s issues.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1988, Everitte finished his Masters in International Business and Arabic at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He currently lives in Beirut, Lebanon where he continues to research and develop his skills as a calligrapher and artist, as well as improving his Arabic language skills. Although he has had a passion for the arts from a young age, he did not begin studying Arabic calligraphy until he travelled to the Middle East. He learned to write the Ruq’a, Diwani and Diwani Jali script from the master calligrapher Adnan Farid whilst living in Damascus, Syria for five months in the autumn of 2009. All of his work is created using only the Diwani Jali script. He’s hoping to incorporate other scripts into this style upon further instruction in the Middle East.
Khalid Zahid uses different media to reflect on multiple social issues revolving around the contemporary in Saudi Arabia, where heritage remains the country’s backbone. He was born in London, UK and is based in Jeddah, where his work began with pop art and evolved more recently in a more conceptual direction with his use of objects and photography. Khalid’s artwork has been exhibited in Athr Gallery's Young Saudi Artists exhibition (2011), Peace One Day Global Truce art exhibition in Kuwait in 2012, LAM art gallery in Riyadh in 2013, the Young Collectors auction of Ayyam Gallery in Dubai in 2014, and various Loud Art shows in the Gulf.
Lina Gazzaz is an independent professional artist in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She received her Bachelor of Studio Arts Degree from Meredith College, Raleigh, North Carolina and has participated in multiple solo and group exhibitions in Saudi Arabia, the United States, Lebanon, UK and the UAE. She has received the Painting Award at the Prophet Mohammed Festival in Dubai. Her artwork engages the figurative, experimental, and Islamic in a critically contemporary manner. She mostly works with Chinese ink on watercolour paper, ink, pastel, and oil. She is currently working on multiple projects; collage, urban sculpture and movie clips.
Mai Al Moataz
Mai Al Moataz works in Bahrain as an artist, archivist, project director and interior designer. For the past decade she has used black and white film to produce photographs through a meticulous traditional analog process, a deeply cathartic ritual for her. Mai’s images are romantically solitary and ethereal, as they present emblems of nostalgia and femininity. She explores the subjects of her portraits as a paradox of the internal versus the external, and where they meet, using time and space to deconstruct the fictional from the experiential universe. Mai graduated from Boston University and enrolled in a number of photography related workshops and courses. Her work has been exhibited in a number of group shows across the Gulf, such as Vantage Point 4 at the Sharjah Art Foundation in 2016. Her series Proof of Presence won first place in the Art Jameel Photography Award 2016.
Nouf Beydoun is an expressionist and impressionist painter. Intense vibrant colours and a full range of texture inspire her art, which is usually executed with strong, curved strokes. She participated in numerous local and regional exhibitions such as Ramadaniyat at Jeddah Atelier in 2006. Nouf was invited by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture to hold her solo exhibition at AlJazira Art Centre in Cairo. She won first place at the 7th group exhibition for promising female artists in Jeddah in 2001. Nouf’s free hand painting of Islamic geometry represents the imperfect perfection; she reflects on how humans are full of flaws, seeking perfection and never obtaining it.
Nora Alissa works across various mediums in her artistic practice. Her current projects look at different aspects of lived experiences, including the everyday, space and culture. She graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London with a distinction for her Master’s Degree in Photography and Urban Cultures. Nora’s work has been exhibited in several group shows locally in Riyadh and Jeddah and various international venues including the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, Urban Photo Fest 2014 in London, and Galerie Ruberl in Vienna. “Nora’s blurry black and white images are taken from a subjective perspective, and capture the non-worldiness of forms, leading the viewer into the mysterious realm of spirituality and transcendence.”
Born in Jeddah in 1991, and currently living between Saudi Arabia and United States, Fairag has just finished her MFA. The influence of Islamic geometries and architecture is important in her work as she specialises in Islamic art studies. The work shows the differences and the new ideology that the “Awakening” brings to today’s society and to a whole generation that has been affected. This period is considered the most crucial time in Saudi Arabia, as it is a transition on various levels in people lives and minds.
Sarah Al-Abdali’s well-recognised Islamic artwork reflects a deep appreciation of the land, architecture and heritage of the coastal region of Hejaz from which she originates. As one of Saudi's first graffiti artists, she developed street art concepts related to Makkah. Sarah obtained her Master’s Degree at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London focusing on traditional Islamic crafts: woodwork, ceramics, miniature painting, mosaics and plaster carving. Her work was shown in the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) #COMETOGETHER by Edge of Arabia (2012), the Saatchi Gallery and the British Museum.
Mai Al Motaz
All These Windows and No Air to Breathe, 2017
Gelatin silver print and warmtone fibre
33 x 38 cm
Edition 1 of 2
Courtesy of the artist and Hafez Gallery, Jeddah