Oman art: “Reflection of the Other” exhibition at the Stal Gallery
October 12, 2016 | 8:15 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan
“Reflection of the Other”, Meer’s latest exhibition at the Stal Gallery.

The Circle of Experimental Art was founded by leading Omani Artist Hassan Meer in an attempt to show the people of the Sultanate that there was more to art than the traditional outlook that many seemed to hold.

Titled “Reflection of the Other”, Meer’s latest exhibition at the Stal Gallery in the heart of Qurum sought to break conventional boundaries of what people consider to be art, and on the basis of the crowds that packed the venue to take a look at his latest offerings, there seemed to be plenty of food for thought on the night.

The works for the exhibition were designed by Meer and eight other Omani artists: Budoor Al Riyami, Ahmed Al Mullahi, Ruqaiya Al Balushi, Rawan Al Mahrouqi, Sarah Al Balushi, Muzna Al Musafer, Safa Al Balushi and Raiya Al Rawahi.

“I started the Circle of Experimental Art to show people that there is more to art than the traditional outlook,” said Meer, speaking exclusively to Times of Oman. “We are always learning more about art and this is a different way of looking at it. “Art is about expression,” explained Meer, who has held exhibitions in Zurich, Japan, Houston, and London. “It is about different perspectives and different understandings of what we think the art conveys.

“The Reflection of the Other” explored the discrepancies and inconsistencies between what we actually perceive and what we think we perceive. In addition to works of art from the nine artists, it also featured an installation by Safa Al Balushi and Ahmed Al Mullahi.

The installation featured a man lying face upwards on a bench, headphones covering his ears, an eye mask blocking all external visual stimuli. Music plays from a set of speakers nearby, a plaster-cast of a hand is suspended from the ceiling, mere inches from his face. It signified the state of the modern world we live in, and the extent we have to go to in order to find time to reflect upon and think about our actions.

“People in Oman need to learn more about the different forms of art,” added Raiya Al Rawahi. “Here in Oman, we try to learn as much as we can from the outside and also try to develop our own art.” “When we see art, it can have a different meaning for different people,” added Muzna Al Musafer. “You might be reminded of something that happened to you in the past or something that happened to your friends, but I might think of something else completely, maybe this work of art inspires me to think about the future.”

“Art is a source of creative expression,” opined Meer. “It is stimulation for our creative thoughts and it is an expression for what we think. It is very important to give voice to these thoughts and through these exhibits we are making that possible tonight.” [email protected]

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