Naima Morelli

Archive
Language
Artist and curator Alia Zaal

Responding to Impressionism, UAE artist Alia Zaal studied the natural landscapes of Vétheuil, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, both in their natural and artificial ecosystems, finding connections between her own UAE landscape and the impressionist one. The artist reimagines familiar scenes of the sea, the desert and the city lit by the sun, the moon and street lights.

I have interviewed Alia Zaal for Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the piece

Read More

There is but one truth spoken in many different languages. This belief lies at the core of Indonesian artist Eddy Susanto’s practice. With his artworks that examine the cultures of Europe and Java, he signals to us that while the forms, protagonists and settings of each culture’s mythologies differ, they ultimately convey similar fundamental truths about humanity. 

Over the years, Eddy Susanto has reframed how the East and West meet. The Jakarta-born, Yogyakarta-based artist is on a mission to uncover the culture and seminal texts which are the patrimony of the Javanese. However, some of these have been forgotten over time, due to reasons such as the limits of oral transmission, the impact of colonialism and, later on, mass culture.

I have written about Eddy Susanto’s show I have curated in Venice for Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the piece

Read More

Cambodian artist Pen Robit’s work constantly bounces between figuration and abstraction. In the unpredictability of his style and subjects, he shows a willingness to explore and expand his understanding of reality through his artistic practice.

“I paint to discover the world, history, and reality through colour,” he tells me from his home studio in Phnom Penh. “I don’t care if what I’m doing is seen as contemporary art or not – my approach to painting is very classical, and I constantly look for a way to connect with the history of art.”

I have interviewed the artist for Plural Art Mag

Here is the link to the interview

Read More
Courtesy of Dia Mrad and Zawyeh Gallery

“The Road to Reframe” by Dia Mrad is a photo series capturing local architecture after the explosion at the Beirut port on Aug. 4, 2020, and one of the most interesting works that has been presented at Art Dubai.

I have interviewed the artist for Al-Monitor

Here is the link to the interview

Read More

Middle East Eye has just published my gallery piece on a new exhibition which sheds light on coastal landscapes in Palestine, how they’ve changed over time and the narratives that have emerged.

A People by the Sea at the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, aims to change the standard depictions of Palestine and showcase stories that are often overlooked.

Here is the link to the piece

Read More

Podcasts have been my constant companions since their inception, so I was thrilled when artist and journalist. Joana Alarcão interviewed for her “Insight of an Eco Artist” podcast.

In the interview I spoke a ton about researching Southeastasian contemporary art, my writing about art in the MENA region and even a little about my graphic novels, so the interview was divided in two parts.

Here is part 1 of the podcast

Read More
Farah Saleh in What My Body Can/t Remember (2019) © Chris Scott , courtesy of the artist

Where does a refugee find her homeland? Perhaps in unexpected places; a memory of the country might emerge through the most mundane gestures, or even from a simple interaction with certain objects.

I spoke about this subject with Palestinian dancer Farah Saleh for Middle East Monitor. Farah is preparing a new interactive live performance installation called PAST-inuous for the upcoming Dance International Glasgow.

Here is the link to the piece

Read More
Joseph Kai

For my new piece for Al-Monitor I speak with a comic book artist and a photographer/editor about the queer community in Lebanon – and in Beirut specifically – and how it has changed over time.

Here is the link to the piece

Read More

Plural Art Mag has just published my interview with Italian artist Giacomo Zaganelli, who has created a project called Somset Art Centre for the second edition of the Thai Biennale, held in Korat.

Here is the link to the piece

Read More
Diana Al Hadid [Diego Flores]

Musing around the work of an artist who draws her inspiration from multiple, diverse sources is always extremely enjoyable for me – especially if the artist’s references encounter my own, in a high-brow, low-brow dialogue.

In this piece I wrote about the outstanding work of Syrian-American artist Diana Al-Hadid, and read it in the light of both Buddhist philosophy and the Foo Fighters.

Here is the link to the piece

Read More

In Southeast Asia, several artists are looking deep into local traditions and narratives, giving the mythical and historical figures obscured by colonialism, patriarchy, and consumerism, their rightful place.

Their works challenge Western-centric and patriarchal narratives, opening up new interpretations for the viewers. Each artist is bringing forth a different yet very relevant narrative.

I wrote about four of my favourite artists from the region working on these themes for CoBo Social, but truly I’m thinking to write an entire book on the subject, or at least curate a show! In the meantime, here is a taste of it.

Here is the link to the piece

Read More

Can machines create value? And do objects have meaning if there are no humans around to experience them?

These are the questions that Singapore artist Gerald Leow has been grappling with in the past few months. If you’re based in Singapore, you might have seen his latest work while walking by Marina Bay Sands. Called Perpetual Motion, it’s a series of column-like sculptures with reflective surfaces that appear to be in constant dialogue with the skyscrapers on the bay.

I have to say that Gerald is one of my favourite Singaporean artists, and I have been following his work since 2015. Plural Art Mag has just published my article on his new exhibit:

Here is the link to the piece

Read More