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"It all started when I was a little child. I had this big dream to have my own art gallery..."

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Good morning Alia, first of all, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. We are very excited about our new collaboration with Alia Gallery. Your works explore inner beauty and are in a way immediately relatable. What are you inspired by and what is the artistic process behind your work?

I am inspired by my homeland, Oman. A place where authenticity, genuinity, and culture are not only well-preserved but honored and celebrated. From the colors of Omani women's traditional dresses to the colors of our untouched natural landscapes, Oman inspired me to show the inner beauty of the relationship between humans and nature, and that's why my works are global and relatable. I also make it a point to include the fabric of Omani women's dresses in some of my mixed media works to celebrate my identity. 

All my works are results of real-life experiences that affect me directly or indirectly. They are the contemplations of my surroundings. 

 

Alia Al Farsi, The Face of Earth II, 2020

 

Alia Gallery display hall extends over 860 m2 and is home to more than 120 paintings. When exactly did you decide to open your gallery and how did the project begin?

It all started when I was a little child. I had this big dream to have my own art gallery. Since 1993, I have been taking part in regional and global art fairs to represent my country and build my brand. In 2017, after exhibiting in the Venice Biennale and Art Basel, I had a decent collection of art and clients. It was then that I decided to build a sanctum of art in Muscat, Oman. In 2020, Alia Gallery started as a display hall and a small public library. Today, the gallery is one of the biggest private art galleries in the world and it also features a cafe, a gift shop, and has a web of branches and partnerships in airports, hotels, and luxury car showrooms. 

 

Courtesy Alia Gallery

 

Courtesy Alia Gallery

 

You said you are a firm believer that art needs strong roots but these should not act as barriers. Since March 2022, visitors to Muscat International Airport will be greeted by your paintings. I believe the choice to exhibit your works in such a location is not casual, what is your relation to traveling and discovering new places and cultures?

Traveling the world and meeting people of different cultures and backgrounds helped in shaping the way I perceive the world. The VIP Primeclass Lounge in Muscat Int Airport welcomes hundreds of travelers every single day who are on their way out of Oman. My collection: 'Voyagers' is there to say goodbye in style! The center piece is named: "Nations and Tribes", which is part of a Quranic verse that highlights the importance of blending with people of different cultures and tribes.

 

Alia Al Farsi, Amulet, 2019

 

Since 2009, your works have been presented in numerous exhibitions, in Tokyo, Paris, Dubai, and Seoul, just to name a few. The International Art Scene is rapidly changing these days... According to your experience, how did the artistic scene in Oman change in the last years? Did you register any interesting trends?

Absolutely. Young artists are now more dependent on marketing their art individually through digital platforms, and through collaborating with other emerging artists in small-scale, modern, and well-marketed galleries. Moreover, different forms of art are becoming trendy in Oman, such as conceptual art, video art installations, graffiti, and more.

 

Thank you Alia, we can't wait to see more of your works on Kooness

 

Cover image: Alia Al Farsi, Speaking eyes, 2017. Courtesy Alia Gallery

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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