Stringing pearls in the ‘Pearl of the Gulf': the art of Kuwait’s Mohammed AlKouh
Romanticism and nostalgia are still often regarded as passé in fine art dialogues, as ideas and aesthetics belonging to the 19th century and the chocolate box. But when a tiny, progressive, and unique Arab state produces an artist who is not only one of the rare jewels who hand-colours his images – photographed on an array of vintage equipment – but also so sensitively beguiles his viewers into the rich fabric of the little-known ‘Pearl of the Gulf’, Kuwait, romanticism and nostalgia demand and command attention once again.
Through Mohammed AlKouh’s photographs, one enters a demure world of delicate emotion. Imagery combining Kuwaiti aesthetics – from traditional attire to items from daily life – strikes a chord within the memory of the Kuwaiti. In the Untold Stories series, old-school hand-colouring is accentuated by the artist’s eloquent revival of vintage studio backdrops and the emotional dialogue he forges, which result in a visual poetic poignancy.