Nasser Al Salem

Explore Islamic culture in UAE on Prophet's birthday

October 9, 2019 - Ismail Sebugwaawo, Khaleejtimes

"Since its inception, Al Burda has grown as an initiative that champions Islamic art and culture, encompassing both classical and contemporary styles.

"We have adopted an interdisciplinary approach, inviting the creative community to experience the unique intersection of culture, art and design," Al Kaabi said on Tuesday during the announcement of the event's details.

"Al Burda is a testament to our leadership's commitment to building a greater understanding of our shared culture," the minister added.


Ten artists, who received a grant last year, will be presenting  their works in the Al Burda Endowment exhibition.

Among them are Emirati artists Aljoud Lootah, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Khalid Al Banna and Ammar Al Attar; Saudis Dana Awartani and Nasser Al Salem; as well as  Aisha Khalid from Pakistan; Zoulikha Bouabdella from Algeria; Fatima Uzdenova from Russia;  and Stanley Siu from Hong Kong.

Their masterpieces will also be part of Abu Dhabi Art on November 21.


Al-Burda Exhibition

October 9, 2019 - Arab News

Abu Dhabi’s Al-Burda Endowment exhibition will showcase the work of 10 selected artists, who were awarded a special grant in 2018, on Nov. 21.

Poetry and light are key elements in Jeddah-based artist Dana Awartani’s, which aims to revive sacred art to reintroduce it to the modern world.

The Saudi artist;Nasser Al Salem’s practice challenges the boundaries of the traditional Islamic art of calligraphy by re-contextualizing it in unconventional forms.


Al Burda to present Islamic art exhibition with 10 contemporary artists at Abu Dhabi Art

October 8, 2019 - The National, Art&Culture

Al Burda, an initiative that celebrates Islamic art and culture, will present the works of 10 artists in their Al Burda Endowment exhibition, which will take place during this year’s Abu Dhabi Art in November.

The exhibition will eventually travel to Alserkal Avenue next year. Details of the festival programme will be announced later this year.


Saudi calligrapher Nasser Al Salem on his first UK solo show

July 9, 2019 - Melissa Gronlund

“Amma baad” has no direct correlation in English. It is used to signal a move out of the honorific salutations with which Arabic letters or formal emails begin, and towards the content of the correspondence itself. “It’s like ‘thereafter’,” saysMaya El Khalil, curator of Al Salem’s exhibition at the Delfina Foundation in London. “It’s a moment of pure transition: now the real business begins.”


For Al Salem, who says he has been toying with the idea for a year, the phrase offered an intriguing philosophical problem. “‘Amma baad’ is impossible to capture. The moment you say, ‘amma baad,’ you are already in what came after – of what comes after that moment of transition,” he says. “I wanted to take something inexpressible and give it visual form.”


SHUBBAK: A window on contemporary Arab culture

March 19, 2019 - Mark Westall

Visual arts
For 2019 Shubbak has commissioned a number of mobile installations for different locations across London. Aicha El Beloui is a Casablanca-based illustrator, graphic designer, and creative director who regularly works with communities to discover a neighbourhood and to filter her observations into maps and illustrations. The history and psychogeography of Moroccan immigration in London will be the focus of her work for Shubbak; drawing from the material gathered in North Kensington and the British Library’s archives, El Beloui will create one of her distinctive maps, which will be available in paper formats, digitally and as an installation, travelling to different sites across the city. In partnership with the Bagri Foundation.

Bricklab, the designers of the first Saudi pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale create a new pop-up sculpture especially for Shubbak. 22 brightly coloured units equalling in number the 22 states of the Arab League are arranged in different constellations to offer new viewpoints of geographies, nations and the power to imagine other realities. No unit can stand on its own, but has to be grafted onto others. Geographical Child’s Play conjures up poignant and surprising alignments and dependencies. Established in Jeddah in 2015 Bricklab quickly established itself as one of the most dynamic current design practices in Saudi Arabia.


Shubbak is the UK’s premier festival of contemporary Arab culture, presenting outstanding Arab artists to audiences in London and across England. Shubbak’s programme includes UK premieres and new commissions from over 150 artists based in the Arab region, in Europe and in the UK, with both cutting-edge and celebrated names, through a mix of visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance, literature and debates. Led by Eckhard Thiemann, artistic director, and Daniel Gorman, executive director, Shubbak 2019 is the 5th edition of this biennial festival. Shubbak 2019 principal partners are Arts Council England, A. M. Qattan Foundation, Bagri Foundation and British Council. Shubbak is a registered charity number 1150374.

Jeddah's Athr gallery exhibition of light aims to broaden perceptions

June 7, 2018 - Nada Hameed

JEDDAH: Athr gallery brought to Jeddah for the first time a unique art exhibition at the Serafi Mega Mall.

The show titled, “Through the spectrum,” displayed the artworks of six international artists including two Saudis, Ahmad Matir and Nasser Al-Salem.

Each artwork treated light in a different way, allowing the visitors to indulge in light through several variables and configurations. These photovoltaic compositions transcended concrete barriers, allowing them to influence the visitors.

Athr unveils immersive art exhibition — Through the Spectrum

June 1, 2018 - Mariam Nihal

The exhibited artworks are extremely technical and require a lot of experience to produce and install. But thanks to the great team of Athr, Pace and Cruz-Diez, we were able to realize it in the highest level of standard,” she added. Saudi artist Nasser Al Salem presented abstract works alluding to Allah as the source of light. The beautiful metaphorical representations in which its letters are stripped down to basic geometric lines are the first iterations derived from an earlier work by the artist. “Working on an exhibition about light, I created an installation using the word Allah. God is light, [He is the first and the last]. The work breaks the notions of illusionary space, and goes beyond nature’s limits. It uses two mirrors, one on each side, to blur the boarders between the physical and visual realms, and create an imaginary, infinite world. 

The Clock are Striking Thirteen

February 8, 2018

Opening on Thursday, February 8th, at 7:30pm, Athr presents “The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen”, a group exhibition, as part of 21,39 Jeddah Arts. The participating artists are Aya Haidar, Ayman Yossri, Dana Awartani, Larissa Sansour, Maha Nasrallah, Moath Alofi, Mohammed Abdelrasoul, Mohammed Al Faraj, Mohammed Monaiseer, Muhannad Shono, Nasser Al Salem, Reem Al Nasser, Sara Abdu, Tamara Al Samerai, Wael Shawky and Zahra Al Ghamdi. The exhibition is curated by Maya El Khalil.

Read More >> Download Article (PDF)

Saudi Art Council Gears Up For Annual Contemporary Art Event

February 5, 2018 - Katrina Kufer_ Harper's Bazaar Arabia

21,39 is back for its fifth edition under the theme 'Refusing To Be Still' and will show across multiple venues in Jeddah from 7 February to 5 May.

Featuring over 30 Saudi and international artists, this year’s edition of 21,39 takes a fresh look at the growing Saudi contemporary art landscape. Taking place across three venues, the main group exhibition Refusing To Be Still will be held at the Gold Moor Mall, Rubat Al Khunji and an empty PepsiCo factory. A second group exhibition is hosted at ATHR gallery entitled The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen, while a third exhibition will showcase works by Ahmed Mater in Drum Roll, Please at King Abdullah Economic City. A diverse offering of family activities, book launches and trips are also scheduled.


Cultural connection: An exhibition examines the parallels between spiritual and urban cultures in Saudi Arabia and Utah

September 13, 2017 - Jyoti Kalsi

The exhibition, curated by Jared Steffensen of UMOCA, features works by established and emerging Saudi artists such as Abdullah AlOthman, Abdulnasser Gharem, Ahmed Mater, Arwa Alneami, Nugamshi, Dana Awartani, Ghada Al Rabea, Khalid Bin Afif, Khalid Zahid, Lina Gazzaz, Moath Alofi, Musaed Al Hulis, Nasser Al Salem, Nouf Alhimiary, Qamar Abdulmalik, Rashed Al Shashai, Telfaz11, Yusef Alahmad and Balqis AlRashed, who is the first international artist to do a residency at UMOCA.

“This exhibition examines the parallels between spiritual and urban cultures in Saudi Arabia and Utah, especially the symbolism of creativity that connects cities of pilgrimage in both places. Since the 7th Century, the holy cities of Makkah and Medina have drawn millions of Muslim pilgrims every year to worship at the holiest sites in Islam. Salt Lake City was established nearly a thousand years later by Mormon pioneers in search of a safe haven for their newly established religion. Members of the Church of Latter Day Saints also make a twice-annual pilgrimage of the faithful to the General Conference at Temple Square — the spiritual centre of the Mormon faith,” Steffensen says.

“The artists featured in this show are engaged in looking at the struggles and transformations of their society and delving into complex issues that link Utah and Saudi Arabia, such as oil, pilgrimage and tension surrounding commercial development around important cultural and religious heritage sites.