Artist Ali Cha’aban, photographer Rayan Nawawi, and Saudi Arabian designer Mohammed Khoja of Hindamme have collaborated for the first time. Naturally, the results are thought-provoking, aesthetically on-point, and oozing cool. In a series of photographs featuring Hindamme’s Fall 2017 collection, the artists explore motifs of Arab culture and investigate the tension of today’s Middle Eastern identity. Cha’aban describes the project as “a research of how we remix our heritage as well as our customs into one melting pot.” Vogue.me explores the dynamism between the meeting of these three minds…
When Ali and Rayan wanted to create an editorial series for Hindamme, they wanted to embed our traditional patterns and motif into the photography to capture the neo-oriental essence of our culture.
Focusing on visualizing modern orientalism, the idea was to incorporate traditional aesthetics that are always seen in our everyday life into a visual that stands out as timeless. So I came up with the rug imprinted with the word "The Arabic Dream" a sentimental notion on over-saturating our traditional patterns with those of the brand; creating this fantasy world of design.
For those who have gravitated towards Cha’aban’s artistic magnetism on the Kuwaiti art scene, his art direction for this project will be easily identified and perhaps even elicit a “so Cha’aban” comment from his fans. The seemingly normal, everyday poises of his subjects are off-set by the unusual, be it a man crouched down in a fridge (see his collaboration with Nawawi exploring the Nike Air Max ’97 generation), or an edgy neon sign in Arabic, with a closer look revealing a war-torn scene as its background. It’s the juxtaposition of the mundane alongside the shocking that make his work so important in 2018: it makes you think, it makes you talk, it challenges you and, hopefully, it provokes you into nurturing the richness of Middle Eastern culture with millennial progressiveness.