"In keeping with its tradition of presenting ground-breaking exhibitions, Darat Al Funun has set a new standard in exhibition design with a commemorative exhibition about the life and work of Khalid Shoman. What others could have treated as a traditional photo exhibition was elevated to new heights.
A concept was developed that gives each of the three bays or halls of the main house of Darat Al Funun a unique role.
The middle bay was designated as a photo exhibition portraying Khalid Shoman with family and friends. Mr. Shoman's hobby of deep sea fishing dominated this hall with an enlarged, wall size image of his last fishing trip against the backdrop of a rippled sea. The other two bays on the left and the right, acted as poles; one focusing on Mr. Shoman's accomplishments as one of the Arab world's most prominent bankers in the 20th century, the other presenting a spiritual space for contemplation. The 'banker' zone adopted a corporate design language, with nine glass information panels focusing on specific areas of activity of Mr. Shoman's banking leadership at the Arab Bank - a giant financial institution that his father, Abdulhameed Shoman, founded in 1931 in Palestine. Large headlines applied on Plexi-glass dividers where hung from the ceiling, giving the space a distinct typographic character. A dominant element that broke the rythm of the panels and dividers was an internet booth where visitors could browse the Shoman website and leave electronic guest book entries. The walls were also treated as informational surfaces on which quotes from Mr Shoman's speeches and annual report messages were applied.
Contrasting this information-rich space was the other pole: the spiritual room. That a spiritual space could incorporate high tech elements is something straight from Suha Shoman's experimental approach. With her digital camera she shot hours of unique footage in Petra from their home overlooking an impressive panorama of mountains and hills. This video material which documents sunrises, sunsets, mist, clouds and the interplay of sunlight with the landscape's topography was edited and projected on a wall, complemented with an enlarged photo of Petra's mountains and a black and white photograph of Mr Shoman. The video image's digital aesthetic is contrasted by a grid of Petra stones arranged by Mrs Shoman on the floor in a grid formation. The interplay between the immaterial digital pixels of the projected video and the material realness of the stone arrangement, together in the context of Darat al Funun's architectural space, suspends the viewer in a state of contemplation."
Ahmad Humeid, 2002