Mohamad Hafez in-conversation with Dr Clare O'Dowd

  • Online event
  • Wednesday, 4 August 2021
  • Interview between artist and curator, premiered on YouTube, 6pm. Part of our Portable Sculpture events series.

Watch online

Mohamad Hafez talks to Dr Clare O’Dowd about his three ‘suitcase’ sculptures included in the Portable Sculpture exhibition, which combine art and architectural practices to address the worldwide refugee crisis and the experience of exile. Hafez discusses the significance of the suitcase, the relationship between sculpture and architecture, and the importance of his religious faith within his practice.

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About the speaker

Mohamad Hafez is a Syrian-American artist and architect, born in Damascus, raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and educated in the Midwestern United States. Expressing the juxtaposition of East and West within him, Hafez’s art reflects the political turmoil in the Middle East through the compilation of found objects, paint and scrap metal. Using his architectural skills, Hafez creates surrealistic Middle Eastern streetscapes that are architectural in their appearance yet politically charged in their content. Hafez’ work reflects his deep interest in the cross-disciplinary exploration of street art and the realistic, yet ironic sculptural work. His artwork has recently been featured in several highly acclaimed exhibitions and profiled on National Public Radio, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. Hafez is the recipient of a 2018 Connecticut Arts Hero Award for his extensive and continuous body of work on issues such as the Syrian civil war, the worldwide refugee crisis, and an overall desire to counter hate speech. He currently serves as a 2018 Yale University Silliman College Fellow, Interpreter in Residence at U-Chicago Oriental Institute, and artist-in-residence at the Keller Center of Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. In 2019, he was selected as one of the ‘40 under 40 artists in the Middle East’ by London’s Apollo magazine.

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