Khaleejia said: Today i would like to tell you about my friend Khalid al Banna, an Emarati artist who attempts to preserve traditional taste of the youth through his art works. This interview was prepared by him for the Kashya gallery. I asked him to show up in my blog and he happily agreed :) I love his artworks, because they feature national heritage of the khaleej and UAE partiularly. Each artwork is a masterpiece and Khalid definitely has been gifted. His artworks are absolutely unique and the most important thing, his love to the heritage gave him idea on how to demonstrate its pieces in the different way to keep it alive for the new generations.
Visit his site: http://khalidalbanna.com (We are looking for a webdeveloer support to keep his brand site up-to-date, please contact us you re interested and really willing to help email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Facebook group that reveals the past of the UAE: https://www.facebook.com/groups/431661066844904/
Khalid Al Banna was born in Sharjah in 1975.He graduated in 1993 with a degree in Architecture Engineering from Emirates University. This background has encouraging him to consider forms and spaces and has enhanced his sense of mass and dimension. In 2002 Al Banna began his apprenticeship with artist Yasir Al Duwaik, who inspired Al Banna to delve into the world of etching and taught him the principles and techniques of that art form.
Read this inspiring interview to know what ideas lies behind the artworks and what/who motivates this talanted Emirati artist in his work.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I started drawing since my childhood, it was as a hobby that evolved, deepened and entrenched over the time. I got encouraged that i have a talent for drawing and decided to develop it and refine.
When you say you trained with etchings does that mean you use this technique in all of your work?
I began with an etching technique, It was a very difficult technique and unique in the Emirates, I used to produce art work with etching, unfortunately I did not continue with it due to lack of materials and knowledge about it, beside that it needed time to produce art works.I consider it as one of the most difficult technique in the art.
What training did you receive that influenced your career?
I got trained in oil, acrylic, coal, and sculpture in Emirates Fine Art Society.
Who have been your mentors or teachers?
Yasir Al Dweek, the a Jordanian pioneer of etching is my teacher, I have been influenced by different Artists in Emirates such as Abdul Raheem Slem.
It would appear the black and white work are more a reference to the dark politics in the Middle East the colorful sculpture work are more a reflection of the social trends that exist now. Can you expand on this.What influences your work most? Politics, Current events?
Basically my work was influenced by the dramatic events in the Middle East such as the 1st and the 2nd Gulf War along with terroristic attack on 11 September in New York City back in 2000.Those periods were dark and gloomy that determined my choice of black color for the paintings as it is commonly associated with sadness and depression.
The fabric materials reflect a result of the rapid development experienced by the UAE.
Within just 30 years since establishment of the Union, lots of new things have appeared that have changed social life and the same time many of customs and traditions have disappeared.
Human behavior have been changed from a simple to complex life in the UAE as well.I tried to use raw cloth which have roots in the history of the UAE, as a way to link the past with the present. It is my attempt to revive these materials before they disappear once and for ever.This fabric works clearly demonstrate the economic impacts on the Arab Emirates nationals, showing feelings and emotions that exposure as a result of the economic crisis.
Do you work simultaneously with both series of work? (sculpture and B&W?)
I work all the time on the idea, I may use either black or white or fabric techniques, that assist me to produce that art work which based on my idea.Sometimes I combine two techniques at a time.
Do you feel it opens up more possibilities?
The experience, repetition and research push an artist to open new horizons fields and get new ideas.
Sometimes while I am working I get an idea generated by another work of art. It is a series of interrelated ideas that are sequential.
Do both bodies of work reflect personal experiences you have had or are they more reflective of your perceptions of change in the UAE?
Some of art work reflects personal experiences and some of them are a reflection of perception on changes in the UAE.
Do you view your work as giving a historical context to the fast changing UAE?
My art works has their history that came through the old materials that are used used primarily in the garment of the Emirati dress (“thoub”). The row materials have historical roots which associated with the local Emirati heritage. Now a days, new generation become more interested in the modern fashion trends that leads them far away from everything that represents our local heritage and traditions. I got an idea to make this old materials as part of my art work, as an attempt to protect this fabrics from its extinction.
Have you ever lived outside of the UAE?No I have not tried this experience yet. Does your work make any reference to your own identity and any persona struggles you have experienced?
In some works I imagined the suffering of some friends affected directly by the economic crisis and in some works I give an idea of the suffering of others from the experiences of wars and crises.
P.S.Everyone who got interested, you have a unique chance to buy Khalid's artworks through his site.
With love by Khaleejia