RAKAN

I move around a lot. I was born in Saudi Arabia. I went to university in Tokyo. I have been in Dubai for the past three years. I picked up various aspects of their cultures in art, design, photography, and fashion. I was particularly drawn to digital abstract and graffiti art. Along the way I also became influenced by Japanese artists like Keiichi Tanaami and Yayoi Kusama and internationally by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. To me, I do not consider being an artist as a career. To me, it is a getaway and a language you can share with anyone regardless of their race, background, or religion. Art evokes feelings and reactions that everyone can experience. This is why I have always had a flexible idea of what purpose my art serves and how it is communicated. I want to send a message through my art regardless of whether the medium is on a canvas displayed in a gallery, or on a piece of clothing or an object.

 Looking at my work, it is clear that I am trying to communicate a meaningful message. There are three frames - two of which represent the past and the future. The third contains a person, and it represents the present. The message I am trying to communicate is to not be trapped in memories of the past, fear the future’s unknowns, or shy away from trying new things in the present. I want my viewers to feel hopeful and understand that they need not be trapped in the past, present, or future because it may inhibit their growth. Through my piece, I use methods that ensure every person of every background and culture is able to understand my message. For example, when drawing a person, I use a smiley face that merely represents a feeling that everyone can relate to rather than drawing a person of a specific gender, colour, or religion. This mutual language of expression that allows you to communicate with anyone regardless of background is what I like most about being an artist.

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