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Art Exhibition Reflects Reality of Yemen

National Yemen

By Tamjid Alkohali

In his exhibition titled Details, which was held on December 21st, 2014, Hisham Al-Olufy embodied a lot of fine and clear detail from the reality in his paintings.

Al-Olufy, 27 years old from Sana’a, said that this exhibition reflects the reality of Yemen and represents the realistic school. “These paintings are considered a result of many years of work, and this exhibition is a starting point for me after winning the Prize of the President for Youth in 2011″Said Al-Olufy.

According to Al-Olufy, the aim of the exhibition is to spread the culture of love and peace and to make people aware of plastic art and its schools as well as it explains the country situation.

Al-Olufy showed many paintings, the most attractive being the paintings that show old men. Al-Olufy said that after he specified his aim of drawing, old men were the best characters to reflect the reality of life through their old clothes and the popular places where they live.

“Looking at old men gives me deep themes to paint, such as civilization, traditions, struggle, misery, and their contentment,” he added.

In most of Al-Olufy’s paintings, there is a place for the traditional buildings of old Sana’a. For him, old Sana’a is a beautiful source for his drawings. Moreover, he likes to mix more than one civilization in a painting. For example, in one of his paintings he has embodied the old Sana’ani buildings, traditional furniture made in Tihama, and Yemeni popular fashion worn by a modern woman.

In his paintings, Al-Olufy uses oil colors, acrylic colors, as well as pencils and pastels.

Like many artists, Al-Olufy discovered his painting talent when his was in school. He continued drawing randomly until the age of fourteen. At that age, Al-Olufy began realizing the importance of his talent and specified his style in drawing.

In 2005 Al-Olufy went to the Professional Institute of the Arts to refine his talent and to become a specialist in plastic arts.

However, when Al-Oufy became older, he realized the difficulty of art as the only source of income for one person. “In our society, plastic arts are still the beginning. I can’t even earn the cost of painting tools that I use in drawing, so I started working in different business to increase my income.”

Al-Oufy, who won the prize of the Republic President and many other prizes in art competitions, said that it’s possible to participate in exhibitions outside Yemen. However, until now he hasn’t had the chance.

“Unfortunately the Ministry of Culture always gives the opportunities for specific people to represent all the artists and Yemeni art in general. I consider this unfair for each artist has his own way in painting,” he said.

Al-Oufy confirmed that artists need the encouragement from concerned authorities. He added that one of the problems face artists is the lack of buying their paintings by businessmen and interested individuals.

Al-Oufy said that the lack of students’ knowledge in this period influence negatively on plastic art and cause the community absence in the  Yemeni society.