Ahmad Angawi

"Street Pulse is an ongoing interactive piece that will evolve with the contribution of different people, whose voices will be recorded from different locations in the Arab world - each area or city will have its own sound, its own voice. The microphones offer an opportunity to speak and express oneself. The aim? 'Evolution, not revolution' (HRH Prince Turki Al-Faisal). The project acts as an electrocardiogram machine, which instead of measuring the vitals of the body, would measure the pulse of the street, to be silent is to flatline.."

1981 born and lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Ahmad Angawi, being of Meccan roots, is inspired by the colorful diversity of the culture of Hejaz. His works revolve around the human condition while also paying homage to both culture and the environment. His approach is inspired mainly by Islamic principles rather than the Islamic aesthetic. Influenced by his father, Architect Dr. Sami Angawi, he has adopted the concept of “Al Mizan in design,” which is the belief in the fundamental principle of balance, as a state of mind, as well as the belief in its application in the field of design.

Ahmad travels extensively throughout the Middle East, visiting historic cities such as Cairo, Marrakech, Fez, Damascus and Tunis where he intermingles with traditional artisans and craftsmen in an attempt to research their time-honored roles and their relationship to today’s mass-market productions. He strongly believes that industrial designers are the craftsmen of today.

Ahmad earned his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and a Master's degree in Traditional Arts from the Prince's School of Tradtional Arts in London. 

Ahmad also holds the following positions: Associate Director of Al Makmad Foundation, a cultural institution that aims to conserve and revive the Hijazi heritage; Program Director of The House of Traditional Arts in Al-Balad, the historical district of Jeddah. The school is an initiative by the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, and Art Jameel, and is a hub of activity serving the local and wider community of artists and craftsmen. This role is very personal to Ahmad, as it is his way of reviving the neglected district.

Ahmad is also a co-founder of Al-Hangar, an independent artist initiative that provides a platform for dialogue and cultural exchange through exhibitions, community-based projects and educational programs, and a Consultant and Program Researcher with Turquoise Mountain, a non-profit, non-government organization  regenerating historic cities, and spurring the sustainable development of the traditional crafts industries.

Ahmad has participated in many group exhibitions, including: #Cometogether, Edge of Arabia, London, UK [2012]; We Need To Talk, Edge of Arabia, Jeddah, KSA  [2012]; Rhizoma, 55th Venice Biennale, Edge of Arabia, Venice, Italy [2013]; A  Line in the Sand, Art Space, Dubai, UAE [2013]; Connected: Art in Airports, Art Jameel, King Fahad International Airport, Dammam, KSA [2014] ; Besmallah, Al Hangar, Jeddah,  KSA [2015]; Mangour: Loved and Beloved, 21,39 & Athr, Jeddah, KSA [2016] - solo  exhibition; Maboth Al Matar, Al Hangar, Jeddah, KSA [2016]; Parallel Kingdom, Station Museum, Houston, USA [2016], G#neration, San Francisco, USA [ 2016 ]; Phantom Punch, Bates collage Museum of Art, Lewiston, USA [2016].


Profile photo by Matteo Lonardi

CNN Inside the Middle East: "Saudi Arabian artists push art's limits"

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