“Invisible Kuwait” is a photo documentary exhibition that takes you through an expat architect’s 450 km walk throughout Kuwait searching for a raw and undocumented city of the past. What was discovered was a surreal and magical emptiness hidden from the public and fragmented in time with one thing missing—people.

This body of work is presented through eight real imagined cities and poetic narratives exploring a creative approach to documentary photography and story telling.

The project is based on the architect’s experience of Kuwait during the period of 2015-2017. It questions the significance of a physical history that is no longer present by walking through a modern city to unravel what makes this Kuwait. By questioning “Where is the old city” he begins to understand how international contributions and transformations shaped Kuwait and how the country might be in conversation with its national identity and authenticity of design. The mission of the project is to bring exposure to contemporary Kuwait through undocumented photographs for the world to see rather than photographs of a country associated with Gulf Wars, oil, and desert heat.

Listen to the "Loving Kuwait" #038 podcast interview with Rafael Portillo for the story of "Invisible Kuwait"