Shadows of the Past, Foretelling the Future

Shadows of the Past
Shadows of the Past

Shadows of the Past, Foretelling the Future

Shadows of the Past

Waqar Naseem Wamiq, Riyadh – The artist Aljohara grew up in The Netherlands, she lived in various countries and four years ago after a short first-time visit only, she chose to settle in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

She is one of those rare international cultural voices whose work is based upon her keen observations which she subsequently translates into her recordings. The versatile artist is a sensitive yet critical observing witness to the cultural metamorphosis engulfing the Kingdom as she endorses the realities of contemporary Saudi Arabia without neglecting its rich history or its traditions.

landscape as a tool for uncovering and registering the many colors and shades known to the Kingdom and in this way, she creates a reflecting composite of the intricate and spirited dynamic scenery of today’s Saudi Arabia.

Some of Aljohara’s works from ‘Shadows of the Past, Foretelling the Future’ selected for the first-ever annual photography exhibition event. “Jeddah Photo 2022” (from 17th February – 17th April) by Saudi Arts Council at Athr Art Gallery, Jeddah. Their central theme is ‘The Time is Right’ – exploring ideas around interconnection and transformation.

Shadows of the Past, Foretelling the Future.

Shadows of the Past

“The King is Dead, Long Live the King”, when a king dies the old is being abandoned and the new will be embraced.

Shadows of the Past

Palaces, once opulent and flourishing as in the colorful epic of ‘A Thousand and One Nights’ are seemingly easily disregarded after the death of its King. They are left to decay and what remains is a mere memory of their previous self.

The old perishes and becomes a shadow of its own, a witness, foretelling of what will come next.

The past, present, and future are connected. By looking back into the past, into history, we can better understand the present and it helps to predict the future. If we only look to the future, we are condemned to repeat its past. If we look to the past only, we shall be trapped into history and shall not be able to appreciate the present nor the future, the time inevitably ahead of us.

Full Circles

‘Shadows’ is embracing the changes we are witnessing right now in Saudi Arabia. It brings together its past, present, and future in single works, combining images of today’s abandoned palaces with applied high cultured elements, double exposures with iconic vintage photographs, and other elements.


Waqar Naseem Wamiq is a Riyadh-based journalist and Chief Editor of Riyadh Xpress. Wamiq believes in balanced, independent, and fair conversations on all matters. Email:

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