Sunday, November 28, 2010

no ban on DSLR cameras!

haha, now the Kuwait Times admits it never verified the info and printed a false story! typical Kuwait!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

DSLR cameras banned in Kuwait??!!???!!

Multi ministry camera ban frustrates artists

Published Date: November 20, 2010
By Abdullah Al-Qattan, Staff Writer 

KUWAIT: After the ban three ministries placed on photography, most Kuwaiti youth are a bit confused about what to do with their cameras if they can't use them in public and why such laws were implemented in the first place. The Ministry of Information, Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Finance recently came to the conclusion that photography should be used for journalism purposes only. This has resulted in the ban of Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras (DSLRs) in public, on the streets and in malls

What most Kuwaiti photographers have come to wonder is how such a decision could be reached by authorities, especially considering that digital cameras and cell phone cameras have the same abilities. What most people think of photography as a hobby has become a bit misguided due to the fact that the country has so little exposure to art. While using a DSLR, passersby may wonder if the camera is being used for the wrong reasons.

Mohammed Al-Eisa, who picked up photography as a hobby more than 10 years ago, said that he has decided to take photos of animals or still life due to the fact that these subjects don't mind having their picture taken and don't make a scene. "I started facing problems the very first day I bought my camera," Mohammed added.

What often happens is that a big black camera tends to worry people. Taking a picture of a stranger would seem like much less of an issue if you were using a more discreet camera or even a cell phone. Mariam Al-Fodiry said that she has faced similar problems with her hobby and that being a girl doesn't help at all. She said that in some cases it makes the problem even worse. "Switching to abstract and landscape photography was one the options I considered after getting into enough trouble," Mariam said.

Majed Al-Saqer said that sometimes people stop him while he is in his car with his camera, as if he were planning to kill someone with it. He said that he isn't sure what the real problem is, whether it is people taking photos of each other or the size of the camera.

original stories:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

14 young Iranian artists

Dar Al Funoon has the pleasure to invite you to I Am Not Half the Man I Used to Be an exhibition by 14 young Iranian Artists on Monday the 22nd of November 2010 at 7pm. The show continues to December 9th.

Dar Al Funoon Gallery
Al Watiah, Behbehani compound, House #28
Kuwait, Kuwait

"I Am Not Half the Man I Used to Be" presents a selection of works by 14 artists and examines how artists as human beings in an Islamic society can flourish their goals despite the seeming restrictions which are imposed upon them by their society and traditions.

Artists presented in this show are: Reza Abedini, Samira alikhanzadeh, Saba Alizadeh, Azarakhsh Asgari, behroo bagheri, Ghazel, Babak Golkar, Ghazaleh Hedayat, Mahboube Karamli, Mandana Moghddam, Romisa Sakaki, Behrang Samadzadegan, Eilya Tahamtani, Houri Yaghoubi

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ai Weiwei’s studio party cancelled?

Read the full article and see more photos at:   Ai Weiwei’s studio party cancelled? Art Radar was there | Art Radar...

So the media thought the Ai Weiwei party was cancelled … but it wasn’t. Only a handful of the press were there – Reuters, South China Morning Post, Le Monde and a few others. A few hundred people turned up to the artist’s studio, which served as a venue for music, food, overnight residence and political presentation.

As controversial Beijing artist Ai Weiwei remained under house arrest in Beijing for planning a protest party, his “party of politics” went into full swing at his soon to be demolished $1.1m (£670,000) studio in the Jiading district of Shanghai. It was an ironic celebration of the decision made by authorities to tear the building down after they had persuaded him to build it. Ai publicly cancelled his party via Twitter and through the media on Saturday. He led the authorities to believe it wasn’t happening, only for it to go ahead on Sunday afternoon from 12pm.
People had travelled from far across China, staying and sleeping at his studio from Wednesday to secure a place at the long dining table, which crossed the central courtyard. The feast included dishes of stewed beef, pork and asparagus, fresh bread, white rice and the promised 10,000 local river crabs. Local chefs and kitchen-hands made and served the food from a small room at the front of the building, viewed through an open window which turned into a public viewing platform.

The crabs, considered a local delicacy, were used at the party as a jibe at officialdom. In Chinese, the word for river crab, hexie, sounds very similar to that for “harmony”, the ideological buzzword of the current regime referencing the censorship of China. It is a word that is frequently used ironically by Chinese Internet users, and here is used in reference to the “harmonising” of Ai’s new studio. As the crabs were served, people started to chant repeatedly, “For a harmonised society eat river crabs…”, whilst smiling and laughing, considering it a personal yet political joke.
At one stage, a young teenage boy held up a handmade sign making his own personal protest, only to quickly be patted on the head by an elder and told to think clearly about his actions. Later on in the day, the commercial reality of the event set in as the organisers sold books and large photographic portrait posters by Ai. These posters were held up by individuals as another form of visual protest, explicitly referencing back to the propaganda posters used during the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1970s.

Only a handful of Westerners were present at the event where the atmosphere was jovial, although there was a serious undercurrent filled with the negative possibilities of what could occur that day, making you realise the local and global presence and power of not only Ai, but the authorities.

At the end of the event questions remained. Will river crab become a banned food in China? And would consuming this delicacy mean that you hold subversive intent against the authorities?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says house arrest over

AFP - Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said Monday he was no longer under house arrest, after police confined him to his home for three days to stop him from attending an event at his Shanghai studio set for demolition.

Ai, 53, is one of China's most famous and controversial artists, who currently has an exhibition at London's Tate Modern. He also is an outspoken critic of the country's Communist rulers.

"My house arrest was supposed to last until midnight last night. In fact, the police left at about 11:00 pm," Ai told AFP.

The action against Ai comes amid a widespread crackdown on dissidents, lawyers and professors after jailed writer Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month.

While the artist was not allowed to leave his home over the weekend, others including reporters were able to visit him.

Ai had planned a feast for supporters at his Shanghai studio on Sunday as an ironic celebration of a decision by authorities to demolish the building -- despite having originally asked him to build it.

Supporters said on Twitter that hundreds had shown up at the studio.

original source:

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei says house arrest over

Sunday, November 7, 2010

China’s Taoism Revival?

my favorite Taoist temple anywhere (photo above), mostly because of the otherworldly spectacle of its annual festival, the Qingshan Temple (or 'dark bluish green' Mountain Temple) is hidden between apartment buildings just down the street from my old domicile in Taipei, at the end of Snake Alley, behind the much more famous Lungshan Temple (Dragon Mountain Temple) and surrounded by a dozen other Buddhist and Taoist temples.  If you want to see real Taoism, head to Taiwan or Hong Kong, but there seems to be a revival happening on the Mainland (read New York Times recent article  China’s Taoism Revival), although from what I've seen, it is much more about tourist dollars than anything else.

Pretty Green Bullet | The Exhibition

Sultan Gallery cordially invites you for the opening of 'PrettyGreenBullet|The Exhibition' - an exhibition by Ghadah AlKandari from 9th-11th November,2010.

The opening of the exhibition is on 9th November from 7-9pm.