March 19–June 15, 2023
Traces of Egypt**
The Sound of: Earth, Sun, Water, Air
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is proud to present its first contemporary art exhibition, Traces of Egypt, by Egyptian-German interdisciplinary artist Susan Hefuna. Commissioned by the GEM to launch its contemporary cultural programming, this exhibition is a celebration of the Egyptian craft applique tradition, the Khayamiya, which dates back centuries.
In Traces of Egypt, Hefuna draws on her extensive experience working with textiles and collaborated with local artisans to create a series of 28 costumes made of Egyptian cotton that pay homage to the Khayamiya tradition. The dresses feature connected dots and lines, reminiscent of Hefuna’s multi-layered drawings, and are inspired by the architectural structures that she is known for, such as the large-scale wooden Mashrabiya screens.
The dresses are both functional and aesthetic, representing the inseparability of art and life in historical and contemporary Egypt. They serve as a reminder of the country’s rich heritage and the importance of preserving it for future generations. Traces of Egypt is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in contemporary art and Egyptian culture.
The opening day of the exhibition saw a panel discussion featuring Susan Hefuna, Venetia Porter, former Curator of Islamic and Contemporary Middle East Art at the British Museum, and South African Architect Sumayya Vally, Founder of the Design Studio Counterspace and Professor of Practice at UCL, London. The panel discussed Susan’s artistic approach, the significance of her use of crafts techniques from Egypt such as Khayamiya, Mashrabiya wood turning, as well as drawing, and its relevance to contemporary art.
According to Saida El Harakany, Cultural Programming Director at Legacy (Manager and Operator of the GEM), “We are proud to host the work of Susan Hefuna, a talented artist who has masterfully reinterpreted the Khayamiya tradition presenting craft as art. This exhibition marks the launch of the GEM’s contemporary cultural platform which is focused on the arts, design, and craft."
Meanwhile, Susan Hefuna herself remarked on her work, stating that "Through the use of the Khayamiya tradition, I aim to bring attention to the living heritages of Egypt, and the importance of connecting them to contemporary art.”
In addition to being one of the largest archaeological museum’s in the world dedicated to single civilization, the GEM is Egypt’s leading cultural, destination, and Traces of Egypt is a perfect example of the museum’s cultural programming’s commitment to showcasing Egypt’s rich cultural heritage. By offering a wide range of experiences and activities with a focus on local and regional art, craft and design, the GEM aims to make culture accessible to everyone, to create lasting social impact and to contribute to Egypt’s economic development.
The museum also recently launched the GEM Artspace, a membership club for the creative industry that will allow local, regional, and international artists, designers and crafts people to showcase their work in several temporary exhibition spaces throughout the museum all year long.
For inquiries on the exhibition collaborations and GEM Artspace membership please contact: email@example.com
Although the museum’s interior spaces, including the galleries, are currently closed until the official opening, you can visit the exhibition by booking one of the guided tours that are available online through www.visit-gem.com. These tours provide visitors with a chance to experience the areas of the GEM that are accessible, including the Hanging Obelisk, the Grand Hall, the Glass Hall, outdoor areas, the gift shop, and retail and food and beverage outlets.
The exhibition is open and will run until June 15, 2023.
About the Grand Egyptian Museum
Conceived to present the world’s most comprehensive collection devoted to ancient Egyptian civilization, the Grand Egyptian Museum displays, conserves, and studies over 50,000 artefacts across seven thousand years. The Museum embraces the diversity of Egyptian history and culture to connect all visitors to creativity, knowledge, ideas, and to one another. By integrating entertainment, culture, learning and lifestyle, the Grand Egyptian Museum site incorporates a deep sense of history in an inclusive setting for all visitors seeking to celebrate, discover, and be part of Egypt’s past and future.
About Legacy Development and Management
A subsidiary of Hassan Allam Holding, Legacy Development and Management specializes in the management and operation of premium destinations. Hassan Allam Holding is one of the largest privately owned corporations in Egypt and the MENA region, with over 85 years of experience in engineering, construction, building materials, and utilities, with over 45,000 employees. In March 2021, Legacy for Management and Development won the contract to provide and operate services and facilities at the Grand Egyptian Museum for 12 years. As the operator of the GEM project, Legacy adopted a new business model for museum management in Egypt to support the sustainable growth of the project. Legacy aims to integrate cultural, commercial, and entertainment experiences at the GEM to create an inspiring visitor destination and enhance Egypt’s position as a world-class tourist destination, contributing significantly to Egypt’s economic development.