The Hayy Jameel Façade Commission is an annual programme that gives one artist the opportunity to develop a major public work for the 25-metre “canvas” on the front of the building — a feature integral to the architectural intent.

For the second edition, and for the first time, an open call was announced in August 2022. The Facade Commission’s esteemed jury – including Saudi artist Dr. Ahmed Mater, General and Artistic Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut Aric Chen, NEON Director Elina Kountouri, and Art Jameel curator Rahul Gudipudi – considered more than 80 highly-competitive, diverse and ambitious proposals from Saudi and Saudi-based artist and chose Mohammad Alfaraj for the commission. 

Titled ‘The Face of the City’, Alfaraj’s proposal posits the façade as a site of expression, inspired by and paralleling the ways in which the walls of the city simultaneously act as unofficial records of its history and a site for its residents’ expression.  With community at its core, this iteration of the façade is produced  with facilitators and volunteers from diverse backgrounds in Jeddah with whom he’s previously worked. ‘The Face of the City’ is revealed mid-January 2023 and remains on view for the remainder of the year.

The jury also opted to award a Jury Special Mention to three of the shortlisted proposals in recognition of their originality and bold vision. Congratulations go to:

  • Alaa Tarabzouni, Fahad bin Naif, Sarah Abu Abdullah and Afia bin Taleb (collective)
  • Ali Hashmi, Majed Munshi, Leila Zahid and Bayan Barboud (collective)
  • Obaid Al-Safi

The Hayy Jameel Facade Commission is kindly supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Motors – Lexus KSA.

About Mohammad Alfaraj

Having studied engineering and growing up loving the camera in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, a region considered to be one of the largest desert oases in the world, Alfaraj’s work can be described as a cinematic collage of mediums, practices and ideas. With his artwork and projects, Alfaraj aims to create a world charged with stories, poetry and the search for truth via exploration, documentation and interpretation, resulting in works that the artist hopes nurture imagination and empathy. His use and reuse of organic and manmade waste work as a physical capsule of memories and time, with these materials and their histories holding a spiritual quality. A visual artist that works in film, photography, sculpture and poetry, influenced by his hometown and his travels, Alfaraj attempts to capture the imprint and impact of life both literally and metaphorically. Alfaraj also engages in workshops and action-based activities with the community as a believer in collective creativity.