Painted Musings by Lukman Ahmad
Exhibit dates: April 28 – June 10, 2023
Artist Reception: May 20, 6 pm – 8 pm
Live Painting Demonstration: June 2, 6 pm – 9 pm
ARTfactory is pleased to present “Painted Musings” an exhibition featuring a series of paintings by American-Kurdish artist Lukman Ahmad. The paintings in this exhibit were inspired by classic Kurdish folkloric singing, or Kurdish “epics." Kurdish music is a central part of Kurdish culture, and epics are considered unique to Kurdistan. Traditionally, Kurdish folk songs are passed down orally, from generation to generation as a means of preserving cultural history. Kurdish songs range from historical stories to epic tales, and from lyrical poems to literary works. Most epic songs are associated with action, adventure, love stories, and even heroic themes, such as the Kurdish uprisings for independence. Epic singing is a continuation of two decades of research on the process of transforming the sung story (epic) into a visual story.
Continuing this tradition of preserving history, Ahmad transforms Kurdish abstract sound into a two-dimensional form on the surface of his canvas, and uses color and shape to illustrate the details of the lyrics. Each and every brush stroke within Ahmad’s compositions represents a piece of a Kurdish sung story. Through the sharing of classic Kurdish epic songs and the vibrant expressionism of Ahmad’s paintings, he invites the viewer to experience another culture.
Ahmad’s muse for this exhibit is a Kurdish singer named Ezzeddin, or in Kurdish, “Ezzedino”. Ezzeddin was born in 1933 in the village of Harmshad in the Kurdish city of Mardin, Turkey. Ezzeddin was famous for his strong vocals, and consistent, careful selection of lyrics paired with harmonious melodies. He recorded 8 tapes, most of which were recorded in the Kurdish city of Qamishlo in Syria, and in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The tapes include the following: Bavê Nûrî, Derwêşê Evdî, Kalê Se'dûn, Kor Elî Beg, Wey Lo, Memê Alan, and Bavê Lalo.
About the Artist
Lukman Ahmad is an American-Kurdish artist living in Manassas Park, Virginia. Ahmad first came to the United States in 2010 as a refugee. He is self-educated and began creating art in 1986, while still living in Syria. Ahmad has exhibited in over 100 exhibits in various countries, such as: Syria, Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Switzerland. He combines symbolism, imagination, color, and rhythm, to transport the viewer into the world he lived in and the emotions he witnessed. Ahmad’s art expresses the rich history and culture of the Kurds, and adds a new experience to American art and culture.
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