German-Yemeni plastic arts gallery opens [Archives:2006/915/Culture]

January 26 2006

A plastic arts gallery opened Thursday, Jan. 19, at Bait Al-Thaqafah (Culture House) in Sana'a. Exhibiting are German artist, Berno Heitmann, and two female Yemeni artists, Amal Abdul-Salam and Entisar Al-Shaibani. Inaugurated by Minister of Culture and Tourism Khaled Al-Rowaishan, the show continues through Jan. 30.

Heitmann, who came to Yemen last August and works for an NGO, stated that he derived his paintings' subjects from the Yemeni environment. His works are characterized by simplicity and plainness, treating philosophical as well as religious issues. “I hope I can repeat this experience,” he said. Heitmann has exhibited in Berlin and Hanover, Germany in 2000 and 2003, as well as Amman, Jordan.

Abdul-Salam's works can be described as abstract and tackle different themes. “How can you describe the features of a magnificent, sweet, tormented voyage?” Al-Rowaishan rhetorically asked her. She exhibits some 20 colorful paintings with profound connotations. A psychology major, Abdul-Salam has exhibited locally and internationally, including Sana'a University in 1992, the Sana'a-based French Center in 2003 and Cairo.

Al-Shaibani's works are realistic, depicting real facts and observations. Numbering about 18, her paintings cover a wide range of feminist and other subjects. She has exhibited in galleries in Taiz and Sana'a, such as those in the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Education in Taiz and Al-Sa'eed Cultural Foundation.

Besides being a move to encourage young talent, the exhibition features works that have artistic depth and value. Its importance lies partly in its providing a chance for more women artists to express themselves and promote their art and in allowing national and foreign artists to exchange experiences enhancing cultural ties.

Culture House director Zaid Al-Faqih said this exhibition is part of its 2006 scheduled activities. “We are trying to bring our artists and creative people into the spotlight,” he added, stressing that many other relevant activities will be held throughout the year.