Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Realistic Art in a Virtual World: Interview with Najla Al Khalifa

Najla Al Khalifa details her medium of artistic expression and future aspirations in the interview with Bahrain This Week.

Art is the only medium that evolves as per the perception and temperament of the artist. It is absolutely justified in the artistic expressions of Najla Al Khalifa. Being the first Arab artist to use the medium of Virtual Reality (VR), Najla Al Khalifa takes her viewers to another dimensions of art world through her virtual paintings.

You are the first artist to use Virtual Reality as a medium in Bahrain. How did you get the idea?

The combination of my love for art and for computers lead me to buy a Virtual Reality headset. I was not fully convinced in purchasing a headset until I discovered the beginnings of VR art programs that were just released, one of them being the current program I use, Tilt Brush by Google.

How was the response with the participation in 45th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition?

I wasn’t sure of what kind of response I would receive and it had made me a little nervous. However, I met with a completely positive feedback and lots of curiosity during the exhibition. It encouraged me to progress in my art and hopefully submit to the 46th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition taking place next year. I also received a letter of appreciation from Her Excellency Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, for my work in a new field of art.

When and where did you first present your art form?

The first time my art was presented to the public (besides the use of social media), it was in the form of a 3D print of my work. I created a model within the VR world and 3D printed my piece. It was a commission from the Bahrain Embassy in Washington DC, and the 3D printed pieces were giveaways at the Bahrain National Day celebration that took place at the National Gallery of Washington DC.

How has your art form evolved over the years?

Along with updates to the VR art programs over the past two years, it had become easier for me to create within the VR world. My pieces are now larger than they were two years ago. I had also just begun making VR prints on high quality museum paper to be sold and framed, and I enjoy knowing that people are enjoying my prints in their homes and establishments.

How do you overcome the challenges in this evolving art form?

I am constantly staying up to date with any technological advancements as well as updates to the VR programs. It’s essential to know about the different programs available as well as any changes made within them. It’s also important to go into anything you do with wisdom and confidence!

How does the Kingdom support your art?

The commission from the Bahrain Embassy in Washington DC was an important milestone in my VR art journey. I plan to continue working with them in the future.

How are you planning to take the art form to the aspirants across region?

With the ever changing technology, there are now new ways for anyone to view my piece in any other country, around the world. My content can be easily accessible to people that own Virtual Reality headsets, and those that have certain programs such as Poly to view my work. Another idea is creating talks just like the one I had done on the 10th of July 2019.

Do you practice any art form in physical reality?

As a side hobby, yes I do. I enjoy drawing, painting, porcelain painting, and sculpture.

What does Najla the artist aspire to do next?

I currently plan on having YouTube or IGTV videos to show viewers how I create in my virtual environment, to give viewers a clearer perspective on what I do. Stay tuned for more content!

Finally, how do you introduce VR art to an aesthetic who is unfamiliar to it?

My best suggestion is to find a local VR hub to have the experience first-hand. I recommend Ultra VR that is located at Sitra Mall. One can learn from the professionals at the hub who would help them with any questions about where they can purchase a headset and how to set it up.

MOST READ

Health Ministry’s staff trained on dealing with COVID-19

The Ministry of Health has held more training sessions and workshops that targeted health workers and professionals, including doctors, nurses, support services, and other...

Bahrain participates in IPU Webinar on COVID-19 and Climate Change

Bahrain’s efforts to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were highlighted during a webinar held under the theme: “Webinar for Parliamentarians: COVID-19 and Climate Change”. A...

Before buying a used car, Check its history via Bahrain.bh

Buying a used car can sometimes be an overwhelming experience especially when you will spend your money not being sure of the car issues...

SCW, MOICT partner to lead women-owned enterprises into global markets through Export Bahrain

The Supreme Council for Women (SCW) and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MOICT) have announced their new collaboration through "Export Bahrain" in...

Batelco Changes the Internet Speed Standards in Bahrain

Batelco, Bahrain’s leading digital solutions provider, has announced today that fiber speeds will be boosted by up to 5 times for all fiber internet...

Voluntary Work Award to be dedicated to Bahraini frontliners

His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, Chairman of Bahrain Basketball Association and Honorary President of Good Word Society, said that the Voluntary...

RHF Chief: first consignment contains medical supplies and respiratory ventilators

The first relief aid consignment which was dispatched to the brotherly Lebanese followed directives from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, said Royal...

Malabar Gold & Diamonds opens 2 new showrooms as part of its global expansion plan

Malabar Gold & Diamonds, one of the largest global jewellery retailer has opened two new showrooms in India as part of its global expansion...

Protect Your Plants to Enjoy the Blossoms by Dhananjay Mahadev Datar

When my father retired from business, he handed over the responsibility of Al Adil Trading Co. and its retail shops across the UAE to...

HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad instructs to organise “Your Talent at Home” competition

HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport (SCYS) and President of Bahrain Olympic...

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Introduces PLEX’EAT for Safe and Luxurious Dining

The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain continues to elevate the guests’ experience by providing innovative solutions to provide a safe experience amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic with...

Education Minister Praises ‘AGU’ Leading Position

The Arabian Gulf University (AGU) has recently attained new achievements in the field of being granted accreditation from prestigious international institutions, as three of...

CrediMax Announces New “Donation” Feature on Thameen Loyalty Program for the RHF

CrediMax announced its latest feature on its Loyalty program “Thameen” where cardholders are now able to redeem their points and “donate” to the Royal...

Bahrain to Host AFC Cup West Zone Match in October

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced Bahrain as hosts of the 2020 AFC Cup West Zone matches in Groups A. AFC has also confirmed...

HM King receives HH Shaikh Nasser; hails RHF’s humanitarian efforts in Lebanon

His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Honorary President of the Royal Humanitarian Foundation (RHF), received at Al-Safriya Palace, HM the King’s...