Saturday, April 25, 2009

Art for Manufacturing's Sake

Origin Oman’s “Portraits of Manufacturing” photographic exhibition was opened Saturday 25 April at Qurum’s City Centre by HE Eng. Ahmed Al Dheeb, Under Secretary for Commerce & Industry, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

The exhibition which runs until 1 May includes 60 stunning images showcasing the faces of manufacturing. Taken by local photographers – Abdullah Al Shuhi and Rami Al Lawati – these images present manufacturing as it has never been seen before and give it a human face. “The clarity and power of the photographs on display is outstanding,” observes Bader Al Zadjali of the government-run Origin Oman campaign.

Origin Oman’s Marketing Director, Ibtisam Al Faruji, says: “This exhibition follows months of work by Abdullah and Rami and has ben a true labour of love on their part. It’s a unique collaboration by the two. Indeed, the result is absolutely fascinating. I’m sure the exhibition will provoke a lot of debate and I hope as many people as possible will get along to Qurum City Centre to see the pictures. Also, we hope it will educate people about the vibrancy of what’s happening in Omani manufacturing. Personally, I’d like to think that in the long-term it might encourage some people to consider careers in manufacturing,” smiles Al Faruji.

The photographic approach taken by Al Shuhi and Al Lawati is known as “Record Pictures.” This was the original 19th century, matter-of-fact photography employed by industry for functional applications – showing what something looks like as accurately as possible - rather than for aesthetic purposes.

“Why should a photograph be dressed up to look more interesting? Surely a faithful photograph, made to look as realistic as possible, allows you to see more? suggests Al Lawati, Founder and MD of ProShots.

Zuhair Al Balushi, Origin Oman Co-ordinator said: “This will be an emotional exhibition for many people who are involved in industry. It also offers those not familiar with manufacturing a real insight into this economically crucial and growing sector. Indeed, those featured in the exhibition have been captured in an amazing and respectful way.”

“Having Qurum City Centre come in to support the exhibition has been extremely important”, says Al Faruji, adding: “And it was the Mall’s management team offering us their gallery space that has enabled the Origin Oman Team to take this important photographic exhibition to the public.”

After showing in Qurum City Centre, the exhibition moves to the Department of Commerce & Economics at Sultan Qaboos University and then on to a nationwide tour of PEIE’s six industrial estates.

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