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October 22 2021 8:18 PM ˚

Jordanian painter Alqam urges artists to ‘communicate with nature’

Works of Jordanian painter Hani Alqam. (Photos: Handouts from Hani Alqam)
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AMMAN — Jordanian painter Hani Alqam has been creating richly colored expressionist works of art since 1996. With rough swatches of paint, he vividly depicts the unique people and structures of Amman.اضافة اعلان

Works of Jordanian painter Hani Alqam. (Photos: Handouts from Hani Alqam)

The 44-year-old artist works out of a home-based studio in the neighborhood of Shmeisani. His drawings and paintings have been showcased in exhibitions locally and internationally.

"My passion in life was art,” said Alqam in an interview with Jordan News. “I tried everything to put myself in this field, like participating in exhibitions, reading books that are related to art, drawing many sketches, until I finally opened my (first) gallery exhibition around the year 2001.”

Works of Jordanian painter Hani Alqam. (Photos: Handouts from Hani Alqam)

After Alqam's first exhibition, he was selected by the Italian embassy for a scholarship in Italy. After a period of study in Italy he returned to Amman and continued his artistic career there.

Works of Jordanian painter Hani Alqam. (Photos: Handouts from Hani Alqam)

"I had many opportunities to display my work in America, Europe, and Jordan; I had around six exhibitions," Alqam explained. 

Works of Jordanian painter Hani Alqam. (Photos: Handouts from Hani Alqam)

For Alqam, the most crucial art education does not occur in schools and universities, rather artists learn to make art through a high level of communication with nature and each artist’s environment. "I developed myself through my observations, contact with society, and nature, and not through study," he said.

According to Alqam, love and art are deeply interconnected; “two sides of the same coin.” Love helps artists make their best work, according to the painter.

Works of Jordanian painter Hani Alqam. (Photos: Handouts from Hani Alqam)

"An artist is not supposed to follow a particular school of art, a certain method of drawing, or a certain type of color," he added, "it is the feeling that imposes itself on the artist, not the other way around."

Alqam argued that each artist needs to communicate with the painting itself and negotiate with it.

He explained that art is affected by absolutely everything, including the economy, culture, and politics. Because artists are sensitive to their environment, "the artist is ultimately tied to the planet from its sky to its land," he said.

On social media strategies, Alqam believes that artists should let their work speak for itself, rather than raising their profiles through personal content. "I am so thankful that I made a considerable name for (myself) a long time ago," he said. He added that instead of posting personal content on social media, he only posts his own paintings.
According to Alqam, the obsession with social networking sites negatively affects artists. "Artists should make social media follow them rather than the other way around," he said.

"Working only in the field of art is not economically sufficient (for many people), but I am lucky because I built a network of many acquaintances and clients a long time ago, so I do not need another job, thankfully," he said.

He stressed that, unfortunately, “artists are often deprioritized in society in favor of other sectors.” But he suggested that there are solutions to this problem, such as raising awareness and educating the community about art. Societies should pay more attention to exhibitions and attract and support local artists from all age groups, said Alqam.

Despite this struggle, the artist is pleased with his career path.

"I do not have any plans for the future because everything I ever wanted is coming true,” said Alqam. “I am delighted with my job and with what I am doing."

The artist also hopes to give back to the community through his work. He teaches workshops at Al-Ruwad Foundation for Social Development and People with Special Needs; he also works with them to produce high-level artistic works. Currently, he gives two lessons at the foundation per week.

Alqam's paintings can be ordered for delivery all over the world.

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