This Woman Uses Some Unexpected Materials to Create Art Inspired By People of Dubai
She's lived in Egypt, India, China, US and the Caribbean, but it's the UAE that has inspired this Moroccan artist's latest exhibition. Najoua Ajjour aka Naj, was influenced by her interest in anthropology and the contrasting cultures of Morocco, where her parents are from, as well as France. However the melting pot of Dubai where she lives was what got it all going.
"Mila Na Asili (tradition and culture in Swahili)was born from watching all the people that we see in Dubai's streets and on the Metro. The ethnic mix fascinates me," she said. "It took weeks to find the right models, to create costumes and do the body painting," she says. "The photos are then printed on canvas and then I work with different media, sometimes superimposing wood and paint ceramics or metal and natural products like spices, gold or sand."
As well as paprika and body paint, some of the more unusual elements of her work combine the use of umbrellas and balloons.
The artist will be doing a meet and greet at Coya Dubai September 4 (7pm-9pm in their private members' room) where guests can see how countries such as Japan and New Zealand have also influenced her work.
Naj - who has been experimenting with 3D street art and is working on a series of paintings based on French celebrities - is already planning future shows exploring similar themes. "This exhibition is the first and the summary in a series and is a way of saying thanks to all these cultures that persist despite the modernity of the world," she added.