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Project Concrete: May Al Saad’s Pop-Up Art Exhibit

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After receiving a simple but intriguing invite, we were eager to attend ‘Project Concrete’. The event consisted of a pop up exhibition of May Al Saad’s artwork displayed in a construction site.

Al Saad’s has been in the Kuwaiti and Arab art scene since 1993. She’s involved in various art societies such as Kuwait Formative Arts Society, International Arts Society in Paris and many more. Al Saad’s well-known for her efforts to reproduce sound and movements through her paintings of traditional folk dances, this gave birth to her ongoing project titled ‘Sound of Color and the Beat of Life’. The International Biannual Online Arts Competition recently recognized the artist by granting her the first prize, she was also awarded in both the Hala February Festival and AlGurain Festival both based in Kuwait.

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This specific solo exhibition for Al Saad was divided into the various series of paintings. The entrance area was used to showcase the artist’s new acquired style of mix media. The hallway displayed Al Saad’s political series titled ‘Nus Al Alf Khamsimya’ (Half of a Thousand is Five Hundred). Walking into the first room you’re surrounded by the many faces of the one and only Om Kalthoum. And last but not least, the final series called ‘Sout Al Loon’ (Sound of Color) puts the viewers in a state of trance as the paintings start to come to life through the vibrant colors and illustration of the traditional dance. Al Saad states that each phase she goes through has a beginning and end that she rarely ever returns to, she is continuously inspired by the happenings of her daily life which she translates into series of work.

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The organizer, Sarah Al Munaifi aimed to present the phenomenon of a pop-up gallery. She claims that because of a pop up’s temporary status it is able to take many shapes with the sole intention of creating a buzz and capturing the attention of the crowds.  The project’s location was chosen as a way to lighten up a calm neighborhood and to allow for anyone to unexpectedly stumble upon the gallery and experience the artwork.

The project was definitely well executed from the construction hats worn by staff to the complimentary hand fans. It delightful to see the art scene continuously develop in Kuwait through refreshing and accessible art events.

– Nauf Al-Saif

Photography by Nauf Al-Saif

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