Using the traditional textile Sadu as an element of the Kuwait traditions and representing it as a monumental modern art form

  • Musaed Albehairi

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This is a practice based research, based on a representation of motifs related to Kuwait's traditions and heritage through Sadu textile; the research starts with determining the factors needed by Sadu in order to move to the monumental modern art form. One of these factors is the analysis presented by the artists of the first generation in Kuwait concerning Sadu and what was presented by Sami Mohammed in his "Sadu Project" in the Eighties. From another side, to present what affected Sadu through the globalisation concept and to benefit from the same in order to show Kuwait visual culture, analyse and develop the colour
    philosophy in order to reach a colour group that represents Sadu modern art.

    This aspect of the research is bibliographic, along with other aspects, including a critical reflection on practice. The research begins by using Jacques Derrida's "Deconstruction" as a process to dismantle Sadu motifs as ornaments, symbols, colours and subject matter. It is original research as it is based on an interview with Sami Mohammed's, which revealed that, in the Sixties, he was one of the pioneer artists who used modern art as a different area in their art careers, while also building national abstraction in Kuwaiti art.

    The other interview is with Yahya Swailem, an art teacher and critic in Kuwait since the Sixties, who provided the research with an overview of the history of art in Kuwait. The research aims at attracting the current and young generations to the heritages and traditions of their country by transforming the Sadu textile to a Sadu modern art form in paintings and increasing the art appreciation and their cultural awareness.

    The research title is also the research aim and the selection of it was based on the existence of words that contributed in refining the twentieth century art as modern art and monumental and Kuwait for determining the research location that is considered the base of the research and linking them with the word "representing" that also shows something new presented by this research.

    Sadu was selected for this research since it is a major and essential part of the heritage and traditions of Kuwait and since it is a textile, it may be on a two dimension form and for what it witnessed through the art in Kuwait through the first generation artists. Sami Mohammed considered it a start to success in changing its form and making it more modern. The paintings produced in the research display Sadu motifs with a colour philosophy that is different from previous presentations, with a focus on large-scale paintings to gain a new meaning through monumental Sadu art.
    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish


    • Sadu
    • textile
    • modern art forms
    • Kuwait
    • fine art

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