JEDDAH: For the first time, the people will be taken on a visual trip to Islam’s holy sites through a collection of photographs.
Arab News reported contemporary artists Adel Al-Qurashi and Moath Al-Ofi will display their work at the exhibition in Madinah.
Al-Ofi’s “Nabawi” exhibition is part of a broader project represented by his picture book bearing the same title. In his book, the artist gathers his modern artistic practices and his passion for discovery, research, and documentation through a collection of photographs that display the richness of the Prophet’s Mosque reflected in the expressive faces of the visitors.
“Nabawi is an exhibition supported and supervised by Prince Faisal bin Salman, the governor of Madina, and he is the first supporter; he’s my patron, and he’s the one who has supported me with the book,” Al-Ofi told Arab News.
He said the focus of the book was the silent stories of the visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque, not the architecture.
“It’s more about the visitors and their spiritual journey,” he said.
Al-Ofi presents a collection of artistic work that constitutes part of the book’s content. Through this collection, he allows the residents and the visitors of Makkah to explore the aesthetics of the experience and look at it from an artistic perspective that complements the religious one.
The launch of “Nabawi” has been long-awaited, with Al-Ofi working on the project for many years with an inspiring team of photographers and designers.
“The exhibition is very special to me because the whole story of the book and the journey on making this book was and still is an emotional journey that’s been through lots of difficulties,” he said.
“In this journey, we lost a friend in one of the trips with the designer, and we had an accident and lost Madani Sindi who is part of the execution of this book, he was my assistant photographer in the project,” added.
He said that seeing the exhibition come to life in Madinah and after the book was published is like “a physical monument.”
“To see it on a larger scale in front of me and to also allow the ones who worked on the book to celebrate it in a very spiritual time in Ramadan in a very spiritual place; Madinah, my hometown,” said Al-Ofi.
Al-Qurashi’s “Al-Astar” solo exhibition also represents a bigger project: a picture book that is currently being printed and bears the same title.
The collection explores how photography can be an easily accessible and adapted medium that transfers complex emotions, especially cultural and spiritual ones. Al-Qurashi accompanied visitors on a four-year visual trip to Makkah, during which he held his camera and took a special collection of pictures that documented the essence of the Kaaba and its orbit.
Al-Qurashi presents a collection of artistic work that document a new chapter of his trips, through which he explores the details of the holy sites. One of his first trips was documented in a book titled “Al-Aghawat” (The Commanders), which includes pictures from the Prophet’s Mosque.
Both exhibitions will be held in the main hall of the Madinah Art Center with the support of Prince Faisal.