The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has hosted the opening of “Creativity: The Unsetting Sun”, a virtual art exhibition by Al Jidar Group via its online platform on Sunday evening, July 26, 2020. The exhibition features artworks by artists Ahmad Hilouz, Ihsan Al Khatib, Mahmoud Al Rumaihi, Mohammad Fahmi, Mohammed Yousuf, Najat Makki, Farid Fadhel, Salem Al Junaibi, Rehab Saidam and the late Abdul Karim Al Sayyed. The event included a screening of a video- in English and Arabic- about the featured artworks interspersed with testimonials by the participating artists, which was produced by the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation.
Speaking at the beginning of the event, His Excellency Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Secretary General of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation welcomed the participating artists and said that the exhibition coincides with the launch of Al Owais Foundation’s new online platform for plastic art through which the Foundation will intends to host virtual art exhibitions in the future. Moreover, he added that the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has aimed at widening the scope of its virtual cultural events, to include not only webinars but also online plastic art exhibitions featuring art from different genres, forms and trends, and pointed out that the Foundation had previously hosted many exhibitions by Al Jidar Group since its inception and that it continues to shed light on the art of this group through this virtual exhibition.
A screening of the film “Unsetting Sun” ensued, which featured personal testimonials by the participating artists while vividly presenting each painting to the audience, and giving them the impression of being physically present at the exhibition. This has generated a positive response from the audience, who were intrigued to ask questions and to know more about Al Jidar group and its philosophy.
The final part of the event featured a discussion about art which included the participating artists and the Coordinator of the exhibition, artist Ihsan Al Khateeb, which also gave members of the audience the opportunity to ask questions through the online platform. Some of the questions raised were pertaining to how folktales may be represented through modern art and there were also questions asked about the effectiveness of virtual exhibition and whether they have achieved their purpose in light of the current need for social distancing.
In conclusion, His Excellency Abdul Hamid Ahmed, Secretary General of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation, thanked all the participating artists for the time and effort they put into making this exhibition a success and wished them the best in their future endeavors. In turn, the participating artists thanked the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation for hosting their virtual exhibition via its online platform.
It is worth mentioning that the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation had previously hosted several webinars via its online platform, including a webinar on poet Saeed Bin Ateej Al Hamli; which featured Mu’ayad Al Shaybani and Ibrahim Al Hashemi and a webinar on late poet Ahmed Amin Al Madani; which saw the participation of Bilal Al Budoor, Dr. Mariam Al Hashemi, Dr. Haytham Yahya Al Khawaja and poet and researcher Ibrahim Al Hashemi. The Foundation also hosted a webinar on “Writing and Isolation in the Time of Coronavirus”; which featured authors Dr. Shoukri Al Mabkhout, Dr. Taleb Al Rifai and Abdo Wazen, a webinar titled “Art Triumphs in the Time of Corona” which was moderated by artist Ihsan Al Khateeb, featured Dr. Najat Makki, Dr. Farid Fadel and Mr. Ahmed Hailouz and a webinar on “Poets of Al Hira”, which saw the participation of Dr. Mariam Al Hashemi, Dr. Shaker Nouri, Mr. Ezzat Omar, Mr. Sameh Ka’wash and was moderated by Mr. Abdul Elah Abdul Qader.