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President Tim Sullivan and AUK Students Visit Masaha 13: Harmony in the City Exhibition

Jasmine Singh, Adjunct Instructor at AUK's Department of Art & Graphic Design, was the co-curator of the Masaha 13: Harmony in the City Exhibition; an exhibition aimed at addressing contemporary urban concerns on the global and personal scales. William Andersen, Associate Professor of Studio Arts / Graphic Design, as well as Clark Stoeckley, Assistant Professor of Studio Arts / Graphic Design, displayed their work at the exhibition.

Masaha 13: Harmony in the City was visited by students and faculty from AUK, where Andersen and Singh offered them guided tours of the artwork on display. President Tim Sullivan, AUK President, also visited the exhibition with his wife and attended discussions about the exhibition's future development.

The exhibition featured performative art, dye-sublimation prints on aluminum, painting, social media, video, mixed media digital drawing and installation that generated discussions around various environmental and socially-relevant urban issues.

Jassim Al Nashmi, an architect, photographer and installation artist, designed and photographed his 'Oil Memorial' series using a dye-sublimation printing technique, which prints photographs on aluminum. The installation confronts Kuwait's oil related issues, such as depletion, carbon emissions, climate change and economics. The installation and photographs beckon a shift towards alternative energy and resource generation.

Jasmine Singh collaborated with Roma Soni, Senior Lecturer at Box Hill College Kuwait, to create an installation titled 'Oil Drops'. The installation was crafted using prints on transparency wrapped around light bulbs suspended on wires of varying lengths. Singh also collaborated with Jassim Al Nashmi and architect Houssam I. Flayhan in the "Strawberry Project", a comparative analysis of two strawberries consumed in Kuwait. Singh also collaborated with Jassim AlNashmi and filmmaker Mohamad AlNashmi in the making of "Happiness"; a black and white video of venues and cultural moments reminiscing happiness was projected on an empty canvas.

William Andersen, along with Houssam I. Flayhan, Clark Stoeckley, and KU professor Jawahar Al-Badr, were collaborating artists in the "Happiness" project. Their live painting was the show stopping attraction on the opening night. The participatory nature of this artwork was to record individual and collective input, which is fundamental in giving rise to a happy, inclusive and just city.

Roma Soni produced a painting titled "Bleeding on Coral", which examined the vulnerability of the coral reefs. According to a comprehensive survey of Kuwait's territorial waters, about 90% of the corals are dead or dying due to oil spills, water pollution, getting hit and broken by anchors. The painting voiced the need for positive human intervention and corrective measures to restore the biomes' healthy condition.

Finally, world-renowned contemporary artist Vivan Sundaram exhibited his digital prints on the "Trash" series, which celebrates trash as the urban underbelly. Sundaram's work brings home the stark truth of the urban reality of proliferating trash, which is vast and entropic. Sundaram's work has been showcased at several global venues, including the Walsh Gallery, Chicago, 2008; Sepia International, New York, 2008; Center George Pompidou, Paris, 2011, Arken Museum of Art, Copenhagen, 2012.

'Harmony in the City' is a platform for initiating dialogue on urban issues at the global and personal scales. The issues range across food systems, human experience, transportation, climate change, energy and environmental depletion. While these issues have been explored by scholars from wide-ranging disciplines, there has yet to be a holistic exploration and representation of these wide-ranging, yet interconnected, ideas for the benefit of the interested individual at the grassroots.

Through art and research, Harmony in the City seeks to address this gap, with an attempt to present a holistic synthesis of emerging ideas in the search for a post oil metropolis. Harmony in the City curates these issues as experiential art works that raise awareness along with exploring visionary possibilities for the future. The modes of representation vary across performative art, dye-sublimation prints on aluminum, painting, social media, video and mixed media digital photo works.

Images from the event

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 20th April 2017

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