Published — Sunday 7 February 2016
Featured image 1: Gharem Studio presents ‘Ricochet’ (image from The Arab British Centre)
Image 2 & 3: Ajlan Gharem, Paradise Has Many Gates, 2015. Courtesy of Gharem Studio
A group of young Saudi contemporary artists is causing a sensation in the country and throughout the Middle East with their modern works, questioning some of the aspects of our society.
Gathered in art collective called “Edge of Arabia,” these 20 men and 18 women are producing some of the most modern and sophisticated works of art I have ever seen. Unlike the more traditional Saudi artists who only paint landscapes or abstract images, these young innovators use digital photography, painting and large installations to express themselves and engage the viewer.
Ajlan Gharem, a young Saudi who was born in Khamis Mushayt and now teaches mathematics at a public high school in Riyadh, recently made a small mosque completely from wire, with a minaret, which lights up in green lights at night. Faithful can come and pray, and there is an imam to lead the five prayers of the day.