A couple months ago I was part of a group show at Naila Gallery in Riyadh, it was curated by Onqoud and hosted by the Thobe company Lomar. The theme of the exhibit was to represent thob, the Saudi traditional men’s wear, in an unconventional way.
I built 3 sculptures out of old magazines, news papers, and old photos. The thobe has been around for generations, it whitnessed the people of this land, and everything they have been through. The garment might have evolved but its essence still remains the same. People come and go, wearing these thobs everyday so much that it’s the document to the people’s daily life and interactions, so that these people just become a print on that thobe, and the thobe becomes the chain that links the past, present and future.
I placed the Thobes in a circular form with a bench in front of them, I asked people to sit down to mingle and talk to the thobes, to listen to their stories, thus completing that half circle and becoming part of the chain. At first people were hesitant to play a long, however, no sooner did they actually start to get to know them and enjoy their company.