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Handicrafts exhibition sheds light on unknown art techniques

By Andrea López-Tomàs - Dec 12,2017 - Last updated at Dec 12,2017

AMMAN — Handicrafts and artworks by more than 70 artists are currently on display at an exhibition on Islamic Art and Handicrafts which started on Monday at the Royal Cultural Centre.

“Each piece displayed here has a soul, it is a unique product,” said Raed Al Badri, chairman of Jordan Handicrafts Producers Association (JHPA) which was in charge of organising the exhibition.

Different handicrafts are being showcased including dresses, mirrors, glass fountains and jewellery, among others, all inspired by different styles present in the region, according to Badri.

The four-day exhibition aims to empower the local handicraft sector as most of the 63 artists participating are Jordanian. The rest come from Syria, Kuwait and Iran, among other countries. 

“Our pieces are traditional handmade decorations, originally from Bethlehem,” said Nisreen Hamdan, one of the exhibitors.

Stressing on the importance of the exhibition, Badri said: “Handicrafts in Jordan are very well appreciated and respected because of the added value of these pieces; they have a soul.”

The exposition is held for the first time in Amman, which was designated as the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2017. 

The exhibition also seeks to bring new techniques of handicrafts not very well known to the public. 

“My point is to show the attendees my art of painting glass,” said Michael Howard, the president of Home Creative Design, which is specialised in painted glass and has headquarters in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the US. 

He added: “This exhibition is about art, we want to introduce our unique products and find a new market.”

The exhibition, which is held under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, was inaugurated by Secretary General of the Ministry Issa Gammoh.

“This event is very necessary to our sector; it helps to market this art which is very unknown in Jordan,” said Moutaz Hamoosh who works with Lamassat, a company expert in making furniture with natural conches from Damascus. 

“It is important for children to learn about our culture; this is our DNA,” said Badri, noting that “all these pieces show where we come from and how rich our heritage is.”

The chairman told The Jordan Times about the different workshops organised by the association in order to improve the handicrafts sector in the country, adding that the JHPA has also traveled to China, Kuwait and Algeria, among others, to share this unique art to the world. 

“We encourage artists to compete with each other,” said Badri, adding “we don’t want them to stay in what is easy for them; they have to try new designs, new techniques.” 

He highlighted the “good reputation” of these pieces around the world. “Some of the artists get to export their products to Europe and the US and the foreigners living or traveling to Jordan are also really interested in this kind of art.” 

 

The exhibition will run through December 14, from 10 am to 10 pm. 

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