Abul Hisham

IN, 1987
  • resident
    • 2021 – 2023

My body of work explores the notions of desire, death and memory. These three points each have their own multi-layered profundity, and I’m interested in how they are intertwined with the social and cultural spaces in which I live – although I’m also concerned about the role of an artist as an observer in these spaces. The motivation for me is always evolving, from curiosities about socio-political cultural spaces to personal narratives, with cinema, pop culture, art history, mythology, and religion as reference points. And I enjoy the process of letting viewers decipher the many metaphors and symbols for themselves.

My interest in the existential finds expression in the medium of soft pastel, which I have been using over the last decade. The experience of working with powdered pigments is like sculpting from dust, keeping with the Christian and Islamic belief that humans were created from dust, and to which they return after death. Some of the pigments I use are made from mined minerals, themselves part of the terrestrial cycle of creation and transformation over millennia. Along with my investigations in two-dimensional space, I’m also currently exploring sculptural installations that address memories of inner space, and their potential connections to the idea of the Self.

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