Visual Arts in Oman

As seafarers, the Omanis have been in constant exchange with other cultures for millennia. In doing so, they developed the ability to integrate elements of these other cultures into their own art without losing their own identity. From this experience, the Omanis are developing their own way into modern art in harmony with Islam.

There is currently no academic training for the fine arts. Most of the Omani artists are working as employees and can only give free reign to their creative impulses in their free time. However, certain centres of culture, such as the Omani Society for Fine Arts and the Photography Club, do offer studio space, materials, workshops and opportunities to meet with one's peers.

Viewing the works of the artists who have achieved a nationwide reputation, such as Hassan Meer und Madny Al-Bakri (www.madny.net),  it becomes evident that they have developed a special feeling for expressing the mysticism and spirituality of their own culture, thus perpetuating it through the techniques and methods of modern art. Calligraphy holds a special place of interest in this respect. The pictorial space becomes a poetic color space in which literal meanings appear or disappear as free "arabesques".

The "Gallery Sarah" continues the heritage of Sarah M. White, the dedicated curator of the Bait Al Zubair Museum in historical Muscat, who unfortunately died much too early. An interesting web platform for the work of young Omani artists has also been established: http://www.gallerysarah.com

-> Literature: "Islamic Art in Oman" An academic overview of almost all topics of Islamic art in Oman.

-> Documentary film: The documentary film "Islamic Art in Oman" offers a glimpse into the diverse and vivid field of religious motivated art in Oman.