Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many cultural institutions were forced to close their doors in Kuwait.
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Kuwait Free Art Atelier, one of the art museums in Kuwait, organized a virtual gallery on its social media account for art lovers under the current circumstances.
Ibtisam Al-Asfour, an exhibition organizer, had the idea for an online Ramadan exhibition entitled “Kuwait is our home” where she invited a group of artists to participate in the exhibition with their artworks related to the Muslim holy month.
The exhibition was hosted by the museum on social media, Al-Asfour told Xinhua, adding that the idea was well-received by the museum and artists.
The museum’s Instagram account received a beautiful collection of artworks from Kuwait and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, she said.
“At the beginning of Ramadan, artists were invited to display their works that match the spirit and atmosphere of the holy month, including religious paintings, Arabic calligraphy, and Ramadan traditions and customs,” she explained.
The artworks were displayed to encourage artists to produce and exchange experiences and knowledge in light of the current situation that we are living in, and to enhance the spirit of optimism and belief in a better tomorrow, she stressed.
There is a jury committee choosing the best paintings to display, she said, noting that 22 artists participated in the exhibition and the museum will still accept paintings until May 23.
Mathail Al-Metlaa, one of the participants and a Kuwaiti artist, shared her watercolor and gouache painting, saying that art was her passion since childhood and she likes to focus on little details in her paintings.
“I have thought a lot about drawing Al-Misaharaty. I was fascinated by this career that started in Morocco and then spread in the Arab world,” she said.
Al-Misaharaty is the name given to the person who walks and beats a drum in residential areas to wake people up to eat their suhur — last meal before fasting during Ramadan.
“This drawing was a new piece for me, I enjoyed it a lot,” she said, noting that this kind of drawing documents the beautiful past and freezes the moment of their impact on the community.
She told Xinhua that this painting took her about four hours to finish, but it worth the while as it “allows the spread of art instead of the virus.”
Al-Misaharaty was also the choice of subject for Omani artist Saleh Al-Alawi.
Drawing the character with watercolors was the admired by many because of its simplicity, he said.
“My painting entitled ‘Dukhoon’ reflects the Omani character in traditional costumes surrounded by the smell of Omani Bakhoor (woodchip submerged in perfumed oil and mixed with other natural ingredients),” he explained.
Al-Alawi praised the exhibition idea, saying that it allows the audience around the world to interact while they are at home and this action indicates the high status of culture in Kuwait.
Speaking to Xinhua, Kuwaiti artist Tahani Al-Ayoub expressed her happiness to be able to participate in the exhibition.
“I received an invitation to participate in the exhibition, and two of my paintings were displayed,” she said.
Al-Ayoub’s painting, drawn with acrylic and oil paints, shared Ramadan vibes in mosques which are prepared for worship in a moony night.
The Magic of the East was the title for Kuwaiti artist Fatima Al-Azmi.
“The painting, depicting a woman in a traditional costumes, aims to strengthen the identity of Arab women,” she said.
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