Art director and Saudi photographer, born in Germany, Rayan Nawawi is now based in Jeddah.
After graduating from the Academy of Arts in San Francisco, Ryan Nawawi quickly opened his creative studio.
The photographer is working with Nike x Vice on the “Summer of White” theme. His support: the famous Air Max 97.
In his “Satellite Culture” series, which he envisions with artistic director Ali Cha’aban, Ryan Nawawi builds a ’90s aesthetic – before the internet air – he depicts, one after the other, simple objects that are transformed by the Time go by: a dishdasha (traditional Arabic dress), a mini fridge, a satellite, and finally a pair of Nike Air Max 97s. His work is simple and effective, and the message is obvious.
Collaborating with magazines like Vogue or Vice and brands like Nike and Calvin Klein, Nawawi has carved a place for itself in the visual arts world. He regularly showcases brands that uphold the values of Arabic aesthetics. His paintings express a strong identity of meaning around a minimalist artistic conception.
A talent to imitate!
Your first photographic click ?
Rayan Nawawi : I grew up with various digital cameras as a child and since 2004 with a professional camera.
The man of images who inspires you?
Rayan Nawawi : My father, he is an orthopedist and had a lot of cameras when I was young and that was my start with photography as a child.
The picture you wish you had taken?
Rayan Nawawi : Hejazi Dome. The mythical practice of dome building.
The ones you regret doing‘not done?
Rayan Nawawi : None yet.
What moves you?
Rayan Nawawi : Wake up and try to be better than yesterday.
And what makes you angry?
Rayan Nawawi : Working with people just to get the project done.
If you only had to choose one of your pictures?
Rayan Nawawi : Nike Satellite Culture in 2017.
The quality that a good photographer needs?
Rayan Nawawi : Keep playing with the camera until magic happens.
The secret of the perfect picture, if it exists?
Rayan Nawawi : The perfect picture is the one that tells a story when you look at it and stare at it over and over again.
The person you dream of photographing?
Rayan Nawawi : No one.
An indispensable photo book?
Rayan Nawawi : Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016
The camera of your beginnings?
Rayan Nawawi : The first DSLR camera I owned was the Nikon D80.
The ones you use today?
Rayan Nawawi : Leica full-frame mirrorless camera.
your favorite drug?
Rayan Nawawi : My passion for photography.
The best way to switch off for you?
Rayan Nawawi : Being in a dark room with a dim light source.
your greatest quality?
Rayan Nawawi : Be passionate.
The job you wouldn’t have liked to do?
Rayan Nawawi : Working as a banker.
Your greatest extravagance as a photographer?
Rayan Nawawi : Only photograph projects that I like.
The values you want to share through your images?
Rayan Nawawi : Everything in my paintings that relates to me and my culture.
The city, country or culture you want to discover?
Rayan Nawawi : Iceland.
The place where you never get tired?
Rayan Nawawi : Anywhere I can spend my time alone.
Your biggest regret?
Rayan Nawawi : I don’t remember anything.
Instagram, Tik Tok or Snapchat?
Rayan Nawawi : Instagram
color or black and white?
Rayan Nawawi : Every day in color and on my days off with my Leica in black and white.
Daylight or artificial light?
Rayan Nawawi : artificial light in summer, daylight in winter.
The most photogenic city in your opinion?
Rayan Nawawi : Tokyo, I’ve never been there, but I can feel everything looks interesting and different.
If God existed, would you ask him to pose for you or would you choose to take a selfie with him?
Rayan Nawawi : I just want to thank him.
What is missing in today’s world?
Rayan Nawawi : humanity.
And if everything should be redone?
Rayan Nawawi : I would rather do what I do than do it again.