Mohammad Alfaraj ‘Face of the City’ for Hayy Jameel Façade Commission

The Hayy Jameel Façade Commission is an annual program that offers an artist the opportunity to create a significant public work on the 25-meter front of the building, an integral feature of the architecture’s design. In its second edition, an open call was launched for the first time in August 2022. The esteemed jury, including Saudi artist Dr. Ahmed Mater, Aric Chen from Het Nieuwe Instituut, Elina Kountouri from NEON, and Art Jameel curator Rahul Gudipudi, reviewed over 80 highly competitive, diverse, and ambitious proposals from Saudi and Saudi-based artists, selecting Mohammad Alfaraj for the commission.

Face of the City (2023), ‘Mohammed Alfaraj, The Hayy Jameel Façade Commission

The jury also awarded a Jury Special Mention to three shortlisted proposals in recognition of their originality and bold vision. These included artists Alaa Tarabzouni, Fahad bin Naif, Sarah Abu Abdullah, Afia bin Taleb (collective); Ali Hashmi, Majed Munshi, Leila Zahid, and Bayan Barboud (collective); and Obaid Al-Safi.

Face of the city (2023), ‘Mohammed Alfaraj, The Hayy Jameel Façade Commission

Alfaraj’s proposal titled ‘The Face of the City’ envisions the façade as a site of expression, drawing inspiration from city walls, which serve as unofficial records of history and outlets for residents’ expression. With a strong community focus, this iteration involves facilitators and volunteers from diverse backgrounds in Jeddah, with whom Alfaraj has previously collaborated. The artwork, unveiled in mid-January 2023, remains on display for the rest of the year.

Supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Motors – Lexus KSA, the Hayy Jameel Façade Commission celebrates Mohammad Alfaraj, an artist from Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, with a background in engineering and a passion for photography. Alfaraj’s work is characterized as a cinematic collage of various mediums, practices, and ideas. Through his art and projects, he aims to create a world filled with stories, poetry, and a quest for truth, exploring, documenting, and interpreting experiences to nurture imagination and empathy. He uses organic and man-made waste as a physical repository of memories and time, infusing these materials and their histories with a spiritual quality. As a visual artist working in film, photography, sculpture, and poetry, Alfaraj draws inspiration from his hometown and travels, capturing the impact of life literally and metaphorically. He actively engages in workshops and community-based activities, believing in the power of collective creativity.

About Hayy Jameel

Hayy Jameel, developed and managed by Art Jameel, is a dedicated arts complex and creative hub in Saudi Arabia, complementing Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai, which opened in 2018, in fostering culture-oriented and connected communities. Designed by Waiwai, an award-winning architecture firm, Hayy draws inspiration from its Arabic namesake, meaning “neighbourhood,” emphasizing the collaborative and convivial nature of the complex. It brings together diverse creative disciplines under one roof, comprising Hayy Arts, a museum; Hayy Learning, an education platform; Hayy Studios; and Hayy Cinema, Saudi’s first independent audiovisual centre, designed by Bricklab architects. The launch of Hayy Jameel in 2021 marks 75 years of Jameel family philanthropy and aligns with Vision 2030, heralding a new era for the arts and creative sector across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Location: Hayy Jameel, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Date: 17 January – 11 December 2023



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