Strong & bold .. are exact two words that describes Shurooq Amin, a Kuwaiti artist known for her controversial artworks that targets the taboo world in conservative societies.
In an exclusive interview with Al Maha; Shurooq talks about her new collection, upcoming projects & much more!
Al Maha: Tell us about your participation in MENASART Beirut 2011?!
Shurooq: I was happy when FA Gallery asked me to participate in MENASART. As it is the 1st time for a Kuwaiti gallery to be part of a regional contemporary art fair; and I am honored & proud to be part of it.
I am participating with “The Kiss” from “It’s A Man’s World” the sequence of “Society Girls” series. I am seeking and exploring the hidden world in the middle east especially in gulf countries what’s going on behind closed doors.
“It’s A Man’s World” focuses on men; each painting tells a story about their world, showing the contradictions of our society & confusion between what’s forbidden & what we want to do.
Al Maha: What are your upcoming plans?!
Shurooq: I have been exhibiting most of my art works exclusively in (Galerie Quint-Essences) in Switzerland and (Lahd) gallery in London; represented by them since 2010 and for 3 years ahead.
Al Maha: Does this mean you will exhibit the entire collection of “It’s A Man’s World” in London & Switzerland?!
Shurooq: No, some of the collection will be showcased in Kuwait but I can’t announce which gallery yet.
Al Maha: How did your participation in an international art galleries helped you as an artist?!
Shurooq: It gave me a boost! I feel powerful for having galleries in London & Switzerland backing me up, I have more freedom to paint whatever I want & showcase what I am not allowed to in Kuwait. This will definitely give my new collection “It’s A Man’s World” a bigger & wider effect for the strong mechanisms that I used & the higher freedom scale that I have.
Al Maha: What do you think of the art movement in Kuwait?!
Shurooq: There is a huge progress in Kuwait art movement; which was very strong in the 1960’s & 1970’s, died in 1980’s & 1990’s, But now it is rising up again.
Al Maha: Piece of advice for upcoming young artists…
Shurooq: There should be no fear among the new generation! Each artist is a voice of society; every painting, art work should have a message that opens a discussion & has a “domino effect”. In other word, each work should advocate people to deliberate, make one person cascade the message to another. An artist can change the world in the simplest way & with little effort.
Another advice I’d give them is: Be Bold! its important for me as a Kuwaiti artist to show this to the world & it opens the door for new generations though I might get into trouble but someone should take the first step & break the society boundaries in art.
Al Maha on “The Kiss”
The painting shows a funky man, kissing the hand of a girl wearing abaya, and she seems very happy with his affection. It is eye-catching, with the redish background, contrast of black, yellow in the girl who’s face is covered except her smiling mouth and blond hair. The Kiss knocks the taboo door of relationships in gulf countries; unless it is under the “marriage umbrella”, it is forbidden for men & women to fall in love or be in a relationship. That’s why we don’t exaggerate if we say that all relationships are growing in the shadows, in a hidden world that the society forbids us to spotlight it!
You can feel strong vibes coming from the artwork & the artist! Shurooq Amin is a driven, inspiring & courage artist and person. Talking to her for 4 minutes gave me positivity & energy to believe in my dreams no matter how others view them.
Thanks Shurooq & wish you all the best not only in changing the society but also in changing the world.