6 cool art experiences to check out at Hayy Jameel’s opening season

Hayy Jameel opens to the public on December 6…

Welcome to Hayy Jameel, the first bespoke home for the arts in Saudi Arabia.

The new 17,000-square-metre creative complex opens tomorrow (December 6) in the residential area of Al Mohammadiyyah in north Jeddah.

Hayy Jameel exterior

The opening season runs until April 30, 2022, and will feature a roster of exhibitions and art programmes. Workshops, tours, and talks will also take place throughout the five-month season.

It includes more than 45 artists and researchers from around 20 countries and features existing and newly commissioned works by 19 Saudi artists.

@whatsonksaJeddah’s neighbourhood museum Hayy Jameel opens tomorrow on December 6 with a broad range of cool exhibitions. ##whatsonksa ##hayyjameel ##jeddah♬ G.A.B – Gill (길) / BoA (宝儿)

Sara Al-Omran, deputy director of Art Jameel, shared, “The first Hayy Residents to join us during the opening season are all partners with Art Jameel in this journey. They embody the best of the Saudi creative spirit. All are pioneering enterprises with renewed and compelling new concepts – from contemporary art and design to performance and culinary arts, through to publishing and design houses.”

Wander the halls of Jeddah’s unparalleled cultural complex

Hayy Jameel is designed to bring together a broad range of creative disciplines in one destination. Get ready for major inspiration with these six cool displays.

Hayy Arts

1. Illuminate: A Noor Riyadh Capsule

December 6, 2021 to February 6, 2022

Situated across Hayy Jameel’s first floor is a series of large-scale, immersive light installations on tour and adapted from the inaugural 2021 Noor Riyadh festival organised by Riyadh Art.

It brings together works by 11 well-known Saudi artists. Participating artists include Ahmed Angawi, Dana Awartani, Ayman Daydban, Manal Al Dowayan, Sultan bin Fahad, Ahmed Mater, Maha Malluh, Marwah Al Mugait, Nasser Al Salem, Rashed Al Shashai and Saeed Gamhawi.

2. Tactile Surfaces by Bricklab

December 6, 2021 to March 30, 2022

Hayy Cinema may not be launched until April 2022. In the meantime, you can look forward to Jeddah-based architecture studio Bricklab’s three-part installation. It brings together objects, models, videos, and archival material that visually map out Bricklab’s experimental design approach to the city’s first arthouse cinema.

The interactive and tactile installation is based on the body of work produced during the three-year design and research process, focusing on the community-building role of cinemas.

3. Staple: What’s on your plate?

December 6, 2021 to April 30, 2022

Staple what's on your plate

The Hayy Arts’ neighbourhood museum opens with the first exhibition of its kind in the Gulf, co-curated by Art Jameel’s Rahul Gudipudi and Delfina Foundation’s Dani Burrows. It features 21 artworks, drawing upon the long-standing interest in food futures and the eco-social entanglements of what we eat.

Through a plethora of media that spans chocolate sculptures, beehives, print and audio-visual installations sampled from Jeddah, the exhibition looks at themes of trade, exchange, coloniality, labour, tradition, myth and neo-imperial food production.

4. Hayy Jameel: A creative community in the making by waiwai

December 6, 2021 to April 30, 2022

Hayy Jameel concept sketch

Set in Fenaa Hayy, a multidisciplinary space for the community, this display charts the making of Jeddah’s new creative complex by waiwai. It brings together a display of early architectural sketches, drawings, and models of Hayy Jameel.

The exhibition unfolds through space in four chapters, which anchor the design principles of the complex conceptually and aesthetically: Agora, meaning a gathering place and assembly in ancient Greek cities; Light, a fundamental formal component within waiwai’s conceptual toolkit; Courtyards, the heart of Hayy and around which all activity is centred; Canvas, Hayy’s facades conceptualised as a ‘blank canvas’ on which to commission public artworks by emerging and established artists and designers.

5. The Hayy Jameel Façade Commission

December 6, 2021 to August 1, 2022

It is a new annual programme that allows an artist to develop a major public work for the 25-metre canvas on the front of the building – a feature integral to the architectural intent.

Hayy Jameel facade

For the first edition of Hayy Jameel’s Façade Commission, you’ll notice an intricate, sculptural design, titled ‘Contours on Collective Consciousness’, adorning the pedestrian-facing façade.

The piece by Riyadh-based painter and sculptor Nasser Almulhim is inspired by the regional folk tale – the dove, the partridge and the crow. It recounts the story of birds in a time of famine and hunger.

6. Paused Mirror: The Saudi Artists

December 2021 to December 2022

Displayed throughout Hayy Jameel’s three-storey building, ‘Paused Mirror’ is a series of artists’ portraits. Artist Osama Esid uses wet plate collodion to explore historical photography methods.

The project is intended as a multigenerational tribute to artists at the heart of the Hayy Community. The textural, hands-on nature of the photographic method also reflects Hayy Jameel’s commitment to the artistic process and the trust placed in and between artists and the institution.

Hayy Jameel, Al Muhammadiyah District, Jeddah 23615. Free entry. Tel: 053 722 2770. @hayyjameel

 Images: Provided