First International Symposium in Egypt
A month-long international sculpture symposium was held at Emirates Heights, 140km west of Alexandria on Egypt’s North Coast, from 15 August to 15 September. The symposium was a huge success, featuring a fine choice of participant artists from Egypt and abroad, among whom was the Romanian sculptor Carmen Tepsan (b.1959) the Kuwaiti Fawzy Behbehani. The symposium’s organisers said it was expected to be the first of an annual tradition.
The symposium was organised by the managers of the resort—Broujegypt and YafaMac for tourism, whose manager, Samy al-Qreiny remarked that such symposiums would help revive contemporary Egyptian sculpture. This could reinstate this unique form of art especially after its defamation at the hands of religious extremists who claim that Islam bans statues.
During the holy month of Ramadan, the al-Sawy cultural wheel in Zamalek, Cairo, has hosted artists and craftsmen of Assala (Authenticity) Association for cultivating heritage and contemporary arts. After several workshops, those craftsmen presented an exhibition of ethnic and traditional crafts, displaying their works in tent making, woodcarving, ceramics and glass, handmade textiles and accessories, as well as in various other domains. The exhibition, held for the second year running at the same venue, aims at reviving authentic craftsmanship and adapting traditional products to contemporary life, and was held within a live panorama of the craftsmen while working.
“Diaries in a strange land”
At the same venue, in the Word Hall, an exhibition was held earlier this month on the theme “Diaries in a strange land”. Mohamed Hamdy depicted, through black and white sketches, his sentiments during one year spent away from home—without his family. The 60 sketches focused on the significance of ‘woman’ in life. The artist expressed his disapproval of the view of woman as a creature merely made to fulfil the lusts and needs of men. Using caricature extensively, Hamdy bitterly mocked male chauvinistic attitudes towards women.
The Karim Francis art gallery in Cairo is hosting an art exhibition by ten veteran artists, among them sculptors Abdel-Badie Abdel-Hayy and Adam Henein, and painters Gamil Shafiq, Hamed Abdullah, and Omar al-Fayoumi. The exhibition, held under the name “Art Stock”, runs until the end of this month
And in Alexandria, the Mahmoud Saïd Museum earlier this month hosted the photography exhibition “A pilgrim artist’s vision”. Photographer Saïd Abdel-Qader put on show some 90 works that included scenes of different mosques in Saudi Arabia as well as a collection of photographs of Arabic calligraphy. Abdel-Qader oversees the workshop of Arabic calligraphy at the Mahmoud Saïd Centre.
The eight-year-old Egyptian boy Emad Abdel-Rahman al-Farouq won the bronze medal in the Photography International Festival recently held in Hamburg, Germany. Farouq’s photographs depicted the Ahmed Ibn-Tulun mosque in Cairo, especially focusing on the outstanding architecture of the mosque. A number of 364 photographers from the world over—among them 23 Arab countries—participated in the festival with 8,036 photos.