The 5th solo exhibition of Dr Salman Al Hajri, “The Village”, was launched at the Franco-Oman Centre with 32 acrylic paintings and three pieces of phone art. Most of the paintings are in the abstract style. The title of the exhibition, “The Village”, indicates where the artist is coming from. Salman is from a town called Bidiyah in the middle of the Al Sharqiyah region in Oman. This town is known for sand dunes surrounded by palm and mango trees.
The town has a rich agricultural and nomadic culture, which makes it a popular tourist destination. The young artist has since childhood been fascinated by the sand and the clear sky, the magnificence of the moon and stars.
These rich experiences have been documented in Salman’s imagination. At the end of his second decade, he partly moved to Muscat to study arts at the university, graduated with excellence and was appointed a lecturer at the university. Then, he went to Australia for two years to study and then to the United Kingdom for four years, where he completed his Ph.D. During the same period, he visited many countries to document and draw those places.
“At the exhibition, I presented my own personal experience with a new contemporary vision and in styles distinguished by simplicity and influential ability,” said Salman. There is diversity in the artworks at the exhibition. Most of the paintings are abstract; three are done using phone and iPad drawings. Salman is known for his ability to use expressive, digital, and contemporary art. He has lectured on digital art (phone arts) and written articles about this new trend in art.
At this exhibition, most of the paintings are lined up in such a way that they appear as an integrated, harmonious and coherent artwork. They provide contrary definitions to the most common shapes, through experimentation in a world filled with choices, colour relationships and new shapes.
“I was bringing to life a new artistic vision and philosophy of beauty that takes experimentation as a basis for it,” said Salman.
Salman’s philosophical and aesthetic vision has become deeper and more reflective. There is no doubt that working as an assistant professor of art and design, and scientific research has helped Salman adapt contemporary western experiences; he was greatly influenced by the works of Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.
As for the themes of the paintings, there were a variety of Omani historical motifs. He romanticises memories of the village — visualised with palm trees and old houses. The exhibition is open to visitors until May 13 from 9am to 9pm on weekdays. It is closed on the weekends.