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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Cairo - Nadia Abdul Halim

‘Remarkable’ Egyptian Presence in Ramadaniyat Exhibition at Jeddah Art Atelier

Painting by Saudi Artist Marwan Abdulhalim Radwi at the Jeddah Art Atelier.

The 14th edition of the Ramadaniyat Exhibition opened at the Jeddah Art Atelier, on April 3, with a remarkable Egyptian presence displaying over 60 works inspired by the spirit of Islamic civilization and arts, reflecting various intellectual views, and embodying the Islamic architecture and decorations. The artworks include pieces of Ramadan-inspired Arabic calligraphy and some Quran verses.

“The exhibition is running until the end of the holy month and represents an annual tradition through which the Jeddah Art Atelier brings the works of the best Arab artists to the city,” said Hisham Kandil, director of Jeddah Art Atelier. “Ramadaniyat features a wide variety of works that revolve around the spirituality of the holy month, the popular folklore in its different elements and values, and some modern topics. The event also includes a cultural evening hosting many artists and critics,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Displaying over 150 works, the exhibition boasts a painting by Esteemed Artist Abdulhalim Radwi, pioneer of the contemporary art movement in Saudi Arabia, and four works by the late prominent Artist Fahad Al-Hejailan, in addition to the works of an elite of Saudi artists including Abdullah Hamas, Abdullah Nawawi, Abdullah Idris, Fahd Khalif, Mohammed al-Rabat, Abdulrahman al-Maghrabi, Mohammed al-Shehri, Mohammed al-Jad, Bassem al-Sharki, Mohammed al-A’jam, Fauzia Abdullatif, Ola Hijazi, Sahar Anani, and Thamer al-Rabat.

According to Kandil, this year’s edition of the exhibition marks a “powerful comeback of Artist Marwan Abdulhalim Radwi, the eldest son of Abdulhalim Radwi, after a long break.”

From Egypt, Artist Izzedine Naguib takes part with works that highlight the Egyptian values and heritage, depicting the face of modest human and nature. “Ramadaniyat is one of many great exhibitions that the Jeddah Art Atelier insists on holding every year to celebrate the holy month,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

This year’s edition is witnessing a remarkable participation of artists known for their unique creative personalities in the art circles in Egypt and the Arab world, according to Zakariya Ahmed al-Kadi, photography professor and former vice dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Minia University (Upper Egypt), who said he is happy to be part of the event.

His works reflect the ambiances of Ramadan in the popular Egyptian community, and recalls details from the popular Egyptian childhood such as the swings and clowns, in addition to landscapes of houses and lanes in old neighborhoods.

As usual, his paintings show a significant human and expressive charge that focuses on the popular Egyptian heritage. “I celebrate this heritage because it is an integral part of our national identity, and has many inspiring elements,” Kadi said.

Egyptian society celebrates many social and spiritual events in joyful ambiances, which has always prompted artists to depict them in their artistic expressions.

“In ancient times, Egyptians used to join the Sufi convoys known for their flags and chants. Even nowadays, we still see carnivals and celebrations in the streets with lights and decorations, and around mosques with their domes and minarets surrounded by colorful lights. On the spiritual level, worshipers flock to perform Tarawih prayers, and neighbors exchange plates of sweets and food,” he explained.

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