The Centre Franco-Omanais (CFO) in the recent months has become increasingly popular amongst the upcoming artists as they have extended their venue and help to support local art forms of all kinds. During the months from September to June the following year, CFO hosts a variety of exhibitions, concerts and other events showcasing the diversity in the fine art industry and the talented artists in the Sultanate.
On December 17, the CFO inaugurated “Singing Colours”, displaying the paintings of four Omani artists.
Raya al Manji, Saleh al Alawi, Youssef al Nahwi and Mayada Reehan are upcoming artists that each displayed their works at this exhibition.
The room was filled with bright colours and the air almost exciting with the buzzing of visiting art lovers, congregating at this venue yet again to appreciate the works of these phenomenal artists. With live oud music being played in the background, it truly was a unique and beautiful exhibition.
The exhibition was inaugurated under the patronage of HH Sayyid Mohamed bin Salim al Said and Jean-Paul Ghoneim, First Counsellor at the French Embassy. During the inauguration, the chief guests were welcomed with the music of traditional Omani bagpipes.
The first artist, whose beauty and personality was as vibrant as her paintings was Mayada Reehan. Her paintings were a surreal depiction of her emotions through her bold use of complementary colours creating movement in the painting. It was almost as if the blossoming points of colour leapt through the conventional straight lines of art creating a flow.
“These paintings are a portrayal of my feelings, I express my emotions — love, sadness, joy and anxieties are all displayed in my art. What is even better is what one feels when they see my art then becomes an expression of their emotions. I hope to start a conversation between these different communities and hope that everybody enjoys my art and is happy”, said Mayada.
The second artist whose paintings using a combination of faceless figures, dots and bright colours depicted in the most unconventional way, visuals of Omani women and architecture adding moments of what seemed like women dressed in western clothes. Saleh al Alawi through his paintings shared with his audience his culture, welcoming outsiders to experience it for themselves. He said, “I want to share with the world the beauty of Oman, its culture and its vibrant traditions. Bright colours compliment Oman’s vibrant personality and that is what I wanted to show through my paintings.”
Youssef al Nahwi, a charming and high-spirited individual whose paintings exhibited the artists own personality was our third artist of the evening. In his painting, he said, “I wanted to invite Omani traditional horse riders to the beautiful Paris in one painting and in the other I show a traditional French wedding happening in front of our Royal Palace, Qasr Al Alam as a way of combining the cultures of these two beautiful nations and giving the world a message of unity.”
His art was a mixture of fine architecture and figures along with the bold use of colours and backgrounds, the paintings a mixture of warm and cool tones — oranges, yellows, blues and pinks that created a mesmerising piece of art that truly caught the attention of its viewers. Youssef said, “The aim of this exhibition, on our behalf and of that of the CFO was to bring people of different cultures, backgrounds and languages together and make them happy through our paintings.
Although stationary, through our bright colours we hope to achieve this. And this is why we called the exhibition “singing colours”. Because colours in our paintings are singing, and colours are an integral part of our lives, it’s always moving, changing and tuning itself as does music to adapt to its surroundings and make something plain more vibrant. “
Raya al Manji was the fourth artist of the evening, although she couldn’t make it her art made her presence known. Bright colours with paintings that left art enthusiasts in a state of tranquil trance, Raya’s paintings drew its audience in.
Christian Adam de Villiers, Director at the CFO, said, “It is very important to host artistic works created by people having so diverse experiences to express and share with others. In a world in which the communication is everywhere-anytime, it is precious to give to the people the occasion of meeting creators and their creations, wishing that it could lead to true encounters.”