Hamad & Ali

Thank you Bazaar Magazine
April 29, 2011, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Art Kuwait, General, H&A news, Press, Reminiscing Kuwait II

Developing a story, as an artist, requires strenuous pursuits of growth, quiet periods of surreal contemplation and reflection, and the allure of innate talent to engage the viewer. Presenting the historic story that is Kuwait is a patriotic journey that has been the popular subject matter chosen by a myriad of artists this year. However, Reminiscing Kuwait II, is a captivating showcase that has recently caused the art community to stand back, take note, and more importantly reflect. The inspired artistic visions of design team Hamad AlSaab and Ali Sultan leaves little room for debate yet allows the viewer to engage in endless moments of inflection and self-exploration.

Exploring one’s roots and developing a relationship with one’s home is a universal journey that usually triggers unusual reactions. When we examine the history of Kuwait, we never think to deviate from the picturesque textbook renditions we grew up with, from post-card perfect images of the beautiful Kuwait towers to visiting architectural monuments embodied by the historic dhow ships. We are always impressed and often proud yet triggering the ephemeral notion of forming a strong connection with one’s home could only be achieved by living an experience.
In Reminiscing Kuwait II, Hamad and Ali have undoubtedly triggered a series of commanding, and gently poignant, patriotic emotions often overlooked by most. Connecting with one’s home is connecting with one’s roots, the nature of life as it once was. Perhaps innocently portraying a visual reflection of the traditional classroom is alien to the youth of our modern society, yet it connects one with the idyllic and simplistic process of learning in a community. Today, this process is no longer idyllic, yet it is replaced by a series of demanding curricula and complicated requirements, isolating the youth from becoming active members of their communities.
Inspired by a vintage cover for the Arab Observer, which dates back to the 25th of February in 1963, the special issue dedicated to the development of Kuwait gave birth to the story of the exhibition. The concept behind Reminiscing Kuwait II is deeply reflective of Hamad and Ali’s belief, where once upon a time, a single item used to have many different uses, while today we need many different items to perform a single task. An enlightened realization as such if often mistaken for utopian, yet it goes without question that our history is often neglected by the belief that our young country needs to compete amongst nations in the modern world. Although we can carry on to explore this very thought in writing, one simple observation of Hamad and Ali’s work presented in Reminiscing Kuwait II sparks a series of heated and unlimited debate about the rich cultural makings of historic Kuwait.

The series of historic visuals are clear markings of the different paths and journeys that have left a stamp on the development of Kuwait. A collection of abstract and pop art visuals in a variety of mediums subject the viewer to examine history. According to Hamad and Ali, it is the innate and basic nature of our history that has once manifested Kuwait as an Arab utopia, a destination sought after by individuals looking for opportunity, arguing that “time often manages to twist history right in front of our eyes, without us even having the slightest of notice. We wish to take the viewer through a journey of time from 1936 to 1964, by screening a collection of historic articles, pictures portraying different aspects of Kuwaiti lifestyle during that period.” By taking this journey, the young and talented artists succeed in reminiscing about long-lost ideals, and invoke simple emotions that were once the hopeful foundations of our budding society.

An awakening artistic experience, Reminiscing Kuwait II is yet another enlightened installment from the artistic team of Hamad and Ali, who have taken the pop art scene by storm to compete at international exhibitions. When looking back to their first exhibition in Kuwait in 2006, they have illustrated an inspiring feat of growth with Reminiscing Kuwait II. Deciding to dedicate 20 percent of all profits from the exhibition to the Kuwait Dream Centre for Children with special needs, Hamad and Ali look to themselves first as active individuals engaged to the betterment of their community.


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