The Spirit of Cohesion

Role of mosque focus of photo exhibition

A significant point  in Al Bahri’s photos is the absence of life.  He intended to wait for a long time to take a shot without human beings or animals in the surroundings

Mai al Abria –
Omani photographer Soud al Bahri’s exhibition titled ‘The Spirit of Cohesion’ has opened at Gallery Sarah at Bait Al Zubair in Muscat.
The exhibition, Al Bahri’s first solo show, was inaugurated by Najib bin Ali bin Ahmed al Rawas, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs.
It depicts mosques as not only a venue where Muslims pray five times a day, but also a venue that plays a central role as a place of knowledge and education. It also portrays mosque as a place for making friends with fellow worshippers, which will “lead to close family ties and help in building community cohesion”.
Soud uses his vision to express his concept of the deeper role of mosques and emphasises it through different techniques, including monochromatic themes rather than coloured images, to “refrain from distraction and focus on the subject matter”.
Another significant point is the absence of life. The lensman intended to wait for a long time to take a shot without human beings or animals in the surroundings.
In terms of finishing, Soud has defied the concept of framing his works with black and has chosen a white frame in an attempt
to grant a comprehensive design to his subject matter.
He has also tended to occupy only one-third of the space for the image and two- thirds as negative space to give the
viewer a chance to imagine and mediate, which is a reflection of the photographer’s ideology.
Al Bahri began his career in photography in his early grades. In 1993, he joined the Photography Club in Omani Society of Fine Arts and became an active member of the Photographic Society of Oman. He participated in many exhibitions there.
In 2006, he began his pursuit of personal photography, ‘Panorama of the Capital Muscat’. The project lasted for two years and resulted in the success of his own exhibition in February 2008, hosted by Omani Society of Fine Arts. The expo contained 35 panoramic images of its kind.
Later that year, he showcased some of these unique images in Berlin.
In 2013, his second project, titled ‘The Essence of the Mosque’, illustrated the importance and depth of the mosque and its role in tolerance and deepening ties in the community.
The exhibition was held at Bait Al Baranda Museum and the Photographic Society of Oman.
‘The Spirit of Cohesion’ will be on display until February 2 from 9.30 am to 5:30 pm.