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27-08-21 Profiles

Art & Culture

Moath Alofi, the artist who is also an explorer

Why choose between being an artist and an explorer when you can be both? Moath Alofi, a 37-year-old Saudi who translates his discoveries into art, never intended to. Over the last 7 years, he explored the Kingdom “not looking for answers” but rather for unexplored questions.

“I think I mostly get attracted to what moves my intellectuality or my thoughts”

A lot of personal-related matters and the vision of the land itself: this is how Moath finds his inspiration. By creating artwork such as objects, (conceptual) photography, or even films, he is allowed to express his vision of the beauty of Saudi Arabia, in its most unpolished way. He soon embraced the relationship between art and exploration: “it can be different but it can also be super related if you know how to do that”. He started from his home city and the villages around, before exploring the region surrounding it and the whole country, always with the goal of keeping it all an enjoyable journey.

“People haven’t been everywhere yet”

Originating from Medina, Moath always had a massive curiosity in his heart and mind, and thus became an explorer. “I told myself: Moath, you have to plant a seed for the next 20 years”. And so he did. After a long time of traveling, he came back to Saudi Arabia and was instantly drawn to photographing deserted places. Even in 2021 and even after having been confronted with the various landscapes the wide world has to offer, he finds himself best in Saudi Arabia: “I thought at some stages that I’d seen it all, but then my country kept surprising me”.

“The interchangeable landscape and development of Medina”

When asked why he chose to stay in Medina rather than expand towards further horizons, he confessed he loves the city “because it’s organic, ancient, historical. Development is taking place in the city, in an interesting way. I can’t wait to see more of this in the city”. Moath prefers to shoot landscapes and constructions rather than humans, yet he manages to see the interconnection between the two. “Humans lift these places […], they pass through this landscape and leave their mark”. A statement that led him to the project of his soon-to-be-released book about the people of Medina, Nabawi: a more intimate approach to his work, but still exploring new grounds and territories in his own way. We can hardly wait…

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