The Korea Arab Society hosted a photo exhibition featuring the works of Saudi Arabian lady photo artist Susan Baaghil at Gallery Is in Insa-dong Seoul on May 21-June 2, 2014 with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea and the S-Oil Science Prodigy and Culture Foundation.
There also was Arab Contemporary Art Exhibition, Fluid Form II, at the Nemo Art Gallery in the Blue Square in Itaewon, Seoul on May 21-31, 2014.
For the past 25 years, Photo Artist Susan Baaghil of Saudi Arabia has had more than 150 exhibitions, galleries, symposiums and conferences around the planet, where she has displayed her photographic art. She has been honored on numerous occasions during these worldwide showings.
The Arab region, which attracts the attention of the world with its abundant resources and high development potential, has developed a unique and distinctive culture of gorgeous magnitude from the ancient times.
The exhibition, which was planned for the promotion of understanding on the part of the Korean people concerning the Arab region, the visitors had a rare opportunity to learn the special features of the Arab region and the Arab people through the works of Photo Artist Abagail, which are not readily available for the Korean people.
At the opening of the Susan Abagail exhibition, Secretary General Chung Yong-Chill said: “Susan Abagail is a most active photographer in Saudi Arabia, and has been engaged in her artistic activities for the past 25 years.
“During the past 25 years, Susan has displayed her photographic art in more than 150 exhibitions, galleries, symposiums and conference around the world.”
Then he said that she has won important awards on many different occasions, including the first International Human Right Photo Exhibition sponsored by the Italian Parliament in 2007 and her selection as one of the best Saudi women as a pioneer, a leader and an artist on the occasion of the World Women’s Day in 2009. (See excerpts from his speech at the end of this article.)
The Fluid Form II Arab Contemporary Art Exhibition featured the works of a number of artists, namely Sama Alshaibi, Ziad Antar, Tammam Azzam, Ammar Ali Beik, Sadik Alfraji, Budoor Al Riyami, Safwan Dahoui, Oussama Diab, Abdulnasser Gharem, Hassan Hajjaj, Mohammed Kazem, Athier Mousawi, Sadek Rahim, Raeda Saadeh and Fisal Samra.
According to Guest Curator Yu-Yeon Kim, the reality of artists from Arab countries and their diaspora is complex and defies common assumptions about what Arab culture is. The issues Arab artists confront are not only how to define their work in the context of their historical relationship to the West?but the perceptions, tempered by upheavals and conflicts, it has of Arab culture.
The vision of contemporary Arab artists presents us with a broader insight to the subtleties and concerns of modern Arab culture. Like artists and cultural practitioners internationally, they interact with networking and digital media enabling them to communicate and receive information instantly and globally through social media.
From this milieu has emerged an art that it potent in concept and expression; as political as it may also be ambiguous and poetic. Art that may embrace myths, life, personal experience of defeat and loss of revolution, of constriction of belonging and opposition.
Fluid Form II does not seek to categorize Arab art but rather to offer some cultural insight to the human, intellectual and social considerations encompassed in the work of Arab artists. In totality, the contradictory experience of this exhibition may dispense with preconceptions and inspire further inquiry as to the nature of contemporary Arab culture and our shared humanity.
Many Korean and international guests attended the opening of the exhibition.
Among them were Ambassadors Mohamed Ali Nafti of Tunisia and Mohamed Salim Alharthy of Oman; Deputy Director Lyeo Woon-ki of the African and Middle Eastern Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Director Kim Kwang-Nam of the Operation Support Team of S-Oil.
Excerpts from the speech of Secretary General Chung:do appreciate all of you to take your precious time to attend the photo exhibition of Ms. Susan Baaghil, who came a long way from Saudi Arabia to attend this exhibition.
Susan Baaghil is a most active photographer in Saudi Arabia. She has been engaged in her artistic activities for 25 years.
During past 25 years, Susan has displayed her photographic art in more than 150 exhibitions, galleries, symposiums and conference around the world.
She was awarded in many occasions including the first International Human Right Photo Exhibition sponsored by Italian Parliament in 2007, and was selected as one of the best Saudi women as a pioneer, a leader and an artist at the World Women’s Day in 2009.
It is a privilege and great honor that Korea-Arab Society hosts Susan Baaghil’s photo exhibition in Seoul.
I am confident that this exhibition will greatly enhance the understanding by Korean public toward Saudi Arabia’s natural landscape and Islamic heritage.
And I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arab Diplomatic Corps in Seoul and the S-OIL Science Prodigy and Culture Foundation for their tremendous support for this event.
In closing, I invite all of you to the opening of the 7th Arab Cultural Festival which will be held tomorrow 6:30 PM at Nemo Gallery right next to the Blue Square in Itaewon.
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