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Hindi Gallery: Painting a picture of Indian, Saudi creativity
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 18 - 02 - 2019

RIYADH — "Hindi Gallery" the paintings exhibition of three prominent artists; an Indian and two Saudis was organized by Raa Art in association with the Kingdom center, under the aegis of Indian Ambassador Ahmed Javed and General Authority for Culture Executive Chairman Ahmed Al-More.
Art lovers thronged the lobby of the sprawling Kingdom Tower here to witness innovative masterpieces by the trio Sabiha Majeed Siddiqui, an Indian artist, Saudi artists Othman Al-Khuzaim and Ahmed Al Salama.
Ambassador Javed inaugurated the exhibition, which was open for visitors for five days. Al-More also graced the inauguration. Sri Lankan Ambassador Azmi Thassim, Indian Deputy Chief of Mission Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, First Secretary and designated Indian Ambassador to Syria Dr. Hifzur Rhaman Azmi, many other diplomats, Saudis and expat art lovers and several artists of different nationalities visited and appreciated the works of all the three painters.
The paintings of Sabiha were displayed under the titles Kingdom on canvas, life, women, and sisters. "Kingdom on Canvas" represented the Saudi sites of historical significance, cultural richness and architectural brilliance, which she termed as her "tribute to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".
"Kingdom on Canvas" comprises a series of paintings done in classic realism style. The architectural display of the Kingdom included the holy Kaaba and the mosque of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (Al-Jouf) in old Halhthma degrees of white and black colors and creative dimensions.
Her work also highlights the original architecture of the old Diriyah area in Riyadh, the buildings of the old Asir region and the streets of Jeddah with its famous attractions. These works represented the realistic beauty of the Kingdom's architecture. She also presented a number of her paintings representing her diverse skills using materials and techniques such as painting on the silk fabric "Batik" and using water colors with modern techniques.
Sabiha, born in 1973 in Udaipur, Rajasthan, lived for more than 15 years in the Kingdom. She had inherited creativity and cultural richness from her parents, both of whom were great artists. Her father Dr. Abdul Majeed got trained from Shantiniketan, established by Rabindranath Tagore. Her mother Mrs. Rashida is a renowned batik artist.
Her parents were the founders of Apollo Arts in Udaipur where her family works for international clients. Sabiha graduated in Fine Arts from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.
The coordinator and organizer of the exhibition Reema Al Shaikh, of Raa Art quipped, "This exhibition is a witness of special links between different cultures such as India and Saudi Arabia. An artistic sense has no boundaries."
Even though the exhibition had two Saudis and an Indian artist the organizer titled the event as "Hindi Gallery" (Indian Gallery). Highlighting the reason behind it, Reema said that Sabiha was living here for a long time and inspired by the Saudi architectural heritage so deeply that we can't resist naming the event as Hindi Gallery.
Sabiha said, "The holy land of Saudi Arabia has given me the artistic tools of inspiration and you are seeing the result."
She also said, "Such an exhibition is probably one-of-a-kind in Saudi history and would certainly help generate interest among other Indian and Saudi artists to collaborate in future that can contribute to strengthen creative bonding between both nations."
K. N. Wasif, a senior community member, said that we are very proud of Sabiha as her work played an important role in strengthening the creative bonding between the two countries. Wasif is an eminent photographer known for his photography of Indian Architectural heritage.
Last year Indian Embassy in Riyadh organized a joint exhibition of Wasif's photographs of Indian architectural heritage and paintings of Sabiha depicting the architectural heritage of Saudi Arabia in her paintings.
Saudi artist Ahmed Al Salama is a conceptual artist, designer and consultant of the fine art for over three decades. He specializes in pointillism, a form of painting in which the artist uses tiny dots to create shapes and images.
Instead of mixing color pigments on a palette and then applying the mixture onto the painting, the pointillist applies small dots of pure unmixed colors directly on the canvas and relies on the eye of viewers to mix the colors optically. Pointillist paintings of Salama offered various views of universe and sky with luminary attractions of bright sky, moon, stars etc.
To his credit Salama has more than 300 artworks on the beauty of moon. He is the founder of first pointillism school.
Othman Al Khuzaim is a senior Saudi artist who has participated in many exhibitions in various parts of the Kingdom and also in Italy, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Germany, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. He presented his painting to Princess Diana in Britain and also received painting from a former German leader.

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