Middle East

Japanese artist inspired by brush with Al-Ula rock stars

Author: Hala TashkandiID: 1559424506492037700Sun, 2019-06-02 00:27

RIYADH: From the star-studded lineup at the Winter at Tantora concert series to the thousands who visited the Madain Saleh archaeological site, Saudi Arabias historic Al-Ula city has enjoyed plenty of attention in the past year.
Now Al-Ulas majestic beauty has inspired a tribute by world-renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, who recently created a stunning piece of artwork following a visit to the region in March 2019.
After witnessing the areas dramatic scenery, Murakami said he felt “immediately compelled to create something.”
The result was a massive painting, “Untitled,” which covers an entire wall at Murakamis latest exhibition in Hong Kong.
Featuring blue and red shapes against a cream-colored background, the painting brings to mind the striking shapes of Al-Ulas rock formations, but also incorporates sketches of the distorted, anime-looking creatures that feature heavily in Murakamis work.
Stylized photographs of Al-Ulas landscape accompany the exhibit along with explanations about the painting and the inspiration behind it.
“I was exploring and searching for a source of new ideas when I visited the strange rock formations of Al-Ula. Fascinated by the encounter, I snapped countless photos with my phone,” one of Murakamis captions reads. “My brain started to veer toward the questions of infinite time, mathematical universe and universal providence.”
“These numerous rocks with artistic forms are truly a marvel of nature,” reads another.
“I can deeply sympathize that human beings were driven to carve out the many sites in this miraculous space of beauty created by nature,” reads a third caption.
Nora Al-Dabal, arts and culture engagement manager at the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, said: “We are incredibly proud that Murakami chose Al-Ula as the inspiration for his artwork. He is the first international artist to exhibit a major artwork responding to his experience of this vast and extraordinary landscape.”
“Murakami chose the rock formations of Al-Ula as his focus — what he aptly calls a great motif of the landscape,” she said. “Over thousands of years, this rock topography has served as geologic canvases for ancient civilizations who made their mark on the land through elaborate carvings. We are excited for visitors to his retrospective show to view it for the first time.”
Although this is not the first time the rocks have inspired great artworks, Murakamis unique style offers a new perspective on the landscape.Read More – Source

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