Stroke by stroke Shurooq Amin is a global force of change and a woman who is credited for her continuous persistence and dedication to change. While speaking to Amin it was obvious that her persistence will not cease anytime soon! Her critically acclaimed exhibitions and her voice of change in the GCC embody Amin as a woman of strength, passion and above all – a role model for all who need to find their voice. Amin has not ceased to exemplify what a true artist embodies and has captured audiences since her youthful beginnings at 9 years of age.
Exhibiting since the mid 90’s with her first solo show in 1992, Amin’s paintings are housed in public and private collections in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Her work has explored religion, sexuality, and cultural issues as well as pushes social boundaries. Amin is well known for her provocative paintings and has become a leading feminist voice in the Arabian Gulf. She was born to a Kuwaiti father and Syrian mother in 1967 and her father passed away when she was 11 years old. While speaking to Amin, it was clear that her life is reflected in her art and poetry as well. “My work is not shocking. Society is shocking” shares Amin.
Amin earned her BA in English literature from Kuwait University in 1988 and her M.A in modern literature from Kent University in 1989. She earned her PhD in creative writing from Warnborough College in 2007, specializing in Ekphrastic art and poetry. Amin uses a postmodern approach that combines photography and painting. Her figures in her portraits reveal an irony that lies within many souls as we are all privy to temptation. Amin explores the cultural rifts of our modern day society and a global world that affects the humanity in us all.
Amin’s work is bold and can be controversial yet she is a woman of poise and grace. Her voice was smooth and she spoke in a way that can captivate any audience. Her work is a glimpse into the sometimes controversial side of the Khaleeji society and it captures the emerging sub-cultures within the Khaleeji society. The subject of her 2012 exhibition at Al M Gallery, It’s a Man’s World, was the depiction of some men in GCC countries. Kuwait City officials shut down the show three hours after its opening, deeming the content pornographic. Her 2013 exhibition in Dubai, Popcornographic, explored many taboos in Middle Eastern society. She is represented by Ayyam Gallery.
Amin also writes short stories and poetry. In 1994 she published the poetry collection Kuwaiti Butterfly Unveiled. Her writings have appeared in the literary journals Words-Myth, Etchings, Diode, and Beauty/Truth. In 2007 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her poem “Framboise Fig and Bronze Nude”. “A shift in my work happened about 7yrs ago. I had a change in my life path and I needed to find my voice as a woman” says Amin. As a result of Amin’s change, she has become a very influential member amongst the arts community and is redefining the boundaries of visual culture.
Currently in Kuwait, Amin’s solo show It’s a Mad World is on until May 21st 2016 at the CAP Gallery Kuwait, in collaboration with Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, and curated by Martina Corgnati, Italy.
By: Natasha E. Feghali
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