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For true aficionados of art
by Manjula Ramakrishnan January 18, 2013
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Emirati artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim Al Mansouri and Abdulrahman Al Maaini from Oman have joined hands to present their paintings in an exhibition titled “Miniature Precision in Motion”. The event is organised by Swiss Art Gate UAE in association with Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi and will be held at the Yas Viceroy Hotel until Feb.2.

The exhibition is part of the Crossroads series being presented by Swiss Art Gate UAE in collaboration with Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi to promote art and culture in the region. With the objective of making art accessible for any aficionado of good art and to showcase local talent, Crossroads has garnered many an accolade.

Emirati national Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim is an award-winning artist who has won global acclaim for his work. Adopting a special technique that uses raw materials such as hashed leaves, clay, paper and glue, he believes that such products derived from the earth enhances his artistic expression. Since the 90s Ibrahim has been actively in sync with nature and environment in the region of Khor Fakan, a place that has proved to be a source of immense inspiration for his creativity. With his “pieces of ink on paper”, as he refers to the theme of his paintings, he calls it “Art is motion”, explaining the basic concept of his work.

He says, “My work that I started some years ago is an expression of symbolism. When you close your eyes immediately after having seen sunlight or after staring at a light bulb for a while, you can see some abstract signs and symbols moving around, behind the closed eyelids. This is precisely what I express with my paintings.

“They are archaic symbols, which people see all over the world. Most of the displayed work in Yas Viceroy was created by me when I traveled to Belgium. During these trips, I have had the good fortune to meet and have a dialogue with other artists, resulting in a healthy artistic exchange.’’

Born in 1962 in Khor Fakan, UAE, Ibrahim created his unique piece titled The Circles of Khor Fakan deriving inspiration from the bicycle rides he shared with his son in the mountainous region of the place. The large circles were made of rocks and inspired by motion. “In life, we do not want to stop for we are in perpetual motion.  The geography, the social life of Khor Fakan is in constant motion, hence the exhibition title, Miniature Precision in Motion.”

Ibrahim is one of the key figures in the contemporary art circle in UAE and a member of the Flying House Dubai and the Emirates Fine Arts Society.

Omani artist Abdulrahman Al Maaini’s paintings comprise small drawings that depict several symbols and shapes, which subsequently he transfers into huge paintings or at times paints directly on the exhibition walls. And in this transfer no artistic value is lost. On the contrary he goes to great lengths to preserve the intrinsic aesthetic value of his work that has won great contemporary acceptance.

Commenting on his display at Yas Viceroy he says, “I created these paintings circa 2010 and 2012. When I travelled to Maghreb, my friends narrated to me the poor living conditions in that country, the rampant unemployment and the poor quality of life there. When I actually met the residents, I was greatly inspired by their determination to survive amidst such tribulations. One of my artwork shows three persons I met during this journey. More than a year after meeting these people I started to draw and paint what I had experienced, for it had left such a deep and indelible impact on me.’’

Abdulrahman’s work is a fine display of optical elements, which enables the viewer to imagine its various nuances beyond the boundaries of his paintings. His work is thus visually attractive and imposing and the art lover who stops to give it a quick glance is soon involuntarily drawn towards the canvas, wanting to establish visual contact at close proximity.

 “My paintings are fields of visual signals, created with accuracy and precision. Maybe it is related to the science of Alchemy and carries with it a tantalising sense of mystique. They are also inspired by the fast-paced life of the urban space, its endless stream of sounds, the giant billboards in the streets of the crowded city, its malls and shops.’’

Born in 1975 and living in Sharjah, Abdulrahman is a young artist from the Khasab area, a mountainous terrain, overlooking the Hormuz Strait. His early influences being the decorative style of the area’s traditional homes, the costumes and jewellery of the period, he soon translated these on to canvas. His signature style consists of non-repetitive spaces of colour with organised geometric shapes, some with exciting warm colours, and some others with hues that serve to calm the persona. Abdulrahman has been a part of The Flying House Dubai for many years and is a regular participant in the Sharjah Annual Fine Arts Society’s exhibition.

The exhibition in the Light Box Galleries of Yas Viceroy Hotel displays 20 works by Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim and four large sized artworks by Abdulrahman Al Maaini.

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