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Omani artists showcase ‘Light in Oman’

26 Aug 2023 lumen By HUBERT VAZ

The third edition of the Lumen exhibition at Matti Sirvio Art Galleria focuses on the theme of ‘Light in Oman’ as nine Omani artists throw light on varied aspects of the sultanate

There was darkness in light and light in darkness… There were bold entities lost in light and lucent entities shrouded in darkness… And while some messages travelled faster than light, some diverted the viewer into a maze of gloom wherein the only point of exit was enlightenment.

The third edition of the Lumen exhibition at Matti Sirvio Art Galleria, which opened under the aegis of Alia Farsi, artist and founder of Alia Farsi Galleria, on August 22, is one of the most intriguing exhibitions held in Oman this year. It features the works of nine Omani artists – Sara al Harrasi, Majid al Amri, Humaid al Aufi, Shima Amia, Laila al Shanfari, Haneen al Moosawi, Abrar Yahra, Wadhah al Rashdi and Kawther al Harthi.

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Curated by Hungarian resident artist in Oman, Anetta Szabo, it takes the viewer into a realm of entropy and every attempt to decipher the crux of each exhibit stands all by itself. Interpretations of the exhibits seem complex and often in total contrast with what each artist has in mind.

This is the third installment of Lumen displaying minimalistic, sometimes very tactile and thoughtful art works from young artists, showcasing sculptures, paintings, reliefs, photographs, all of which complement each other in a unique way.

The first edition was held in 2021, shortly after restrictions due to the pandemic were lifted, where 6 young artists first displayed their work. The subsequent editions have continued to propagate the essence of minimalism.

“With great joy and anticipation have we discovered these young hidden talents, some of whom had been looking for an opportunity to exhibit their works for a long time,” says Anetta.

Light is fascinating with it’s double nature of wave and particle, (two in one). In addition to its double nature, it is considered in physics the ultimate measurement and absolute of our Universe, she explains, adding, “The artworks being minimalistic and tactile, light plays a crucial role in connecting with them.”

Anetta further explained, “The concept of the exhibition is abstract works of any medium – some are series of works around the same topic – just like the years before. We gave the topic ‘Light in Oman’ which meant that many of the works are pastel colours creating unity among the different pieces. I must say, the participating artists submitted beautiful conceptual and experimental works.”

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She further disclosed that the first edition of Lumen encouraged texture based, experimental works. However, the artists now have the freedom to explore materials and topics they are particularly interested in. Often, just giving them a deadline, helps them produce works they have been planing on creating for long.

“The exhibition aims to create a platform for young emerging artists. All the earlier artists of Lumen were invited to participate. Besides this, I also looked for new talents. I regularly look at the different artist’s portfolios in Oman, and then invite them to participate, if I know that their works fit the style of the exhibition,” Anetta said, asserting that the exhibition turned out to be a mixture of well established and some newly-discovered, talented, young artists, including architecture students of GUTech and graduates of SQU.

She pointed out that Lumen is such a broad theme and can be discovered from many perspectives. So, it was important for the artists to be given a specific direction. Hence, ‘Light in Oman’ was chosen as the theme.

“I find the topic of light interesting because an artist could explore it from the perspective of colours we see in nature – at sunrise and sunset, in the mountains or at the sea, it could be different in different geographical locations,” she said, adding, “At the same time, some artists could discover it from a philosophical or spiritual perspective.”

The exhibition is on at the gallery till September 20.

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