By Faten Omar
Many artists use interesting materials to create. Wire – the tough can slim hardness of a string – hardly seems like a creative medium and yet, manipulated in the right way, it can be. In 3000 BC, ancient Egyptians were using various materials including wires in their sculptures and pieces of jewelry. Various artists have now taken the concept to a whole new level. Khaled Hamdan, 28, a road and bridge engineer, has found wires to be an interesting material for his artwork. Kuwait Times spoke with the Jordanian artist to learn more about this art and how he embarked on this path.
Kuwait Times: Can you tell us about your journey as an artist – when did you start working with wires?
Khaled Hamdan: When I saw wire artworks by Khaled Nawsreh displayed in a cafe in Jordan. I loved the idea and started to make random pieces, learning by myself and hoping to turn a piece into a 3D form. In 2014, I worked on my first piece – a motorcycle – and it was not that good. Piece after piece, I began to master the art.
KT: What initially drew you to the material and how does it compare to other mediums that you have worked with? |
Hamdan: Originally, I’m a cartoonist and calligrapher, and when I saw this kind of art, I thought converting my drawings into tangible shapes would be something unique. I chose wire art because it gives you freedom in shaping. I found the wires unique materials, where the artist can easily shape, twist, wrap, braid and coil.
KT: How do most of your pieces come about? How long does it take?
Hamdan: The pieces that I like to do over and over again are motorcycles, because of their cool and detailed design. Also, I shape faces and random shapes and write names with wire in dream catchers. Small pieces usually take up to one hour and the largest one took me 10 hours to make.
KT: Do the people of Kuwait show interest in your work?
Hamadan: People of Kuwait liked my art when I participated in the Boulevard exhibition and had a booth in Kuwait City twice. People are attracted to this kind of art. They said this is the first time they’ve seen such art here in Kuwait.
KT: Can you talk us through creating one of your sculptures, from inception to realization, and what challenges you face during the process?
Hamdan: In the beginning, I turn my idea of the piece into a drawing, as it will be easier to shape later. After drawing and designing it, I determine the required dimensions and sizes accurately, particularly if the shape is under fixed standards and sizes with scale (such as bicycles). Then I start to shape it with wires and spray it with customized colors. One of the most challenging things I face is trying to match the shape with the original form.
KT: Do you take customized orders? What is the strangest order you have done?
Hamdan: I take customized orders on my Instagram account @theartology. But the orders are delivered after a week because it is hard to work on them while working full-time as an engineer. Average prices range between KD 1 to 20. The strangest order was for a woman who ordered her signature on wire artwork.
KT: Who are the artists that influenced your work?
Hamdan: Amjad Rasmi is an Arab artist who inspired me in the field of art.
KT: What is your future plan in the field of wire art?
Hamdan: My future plan is to support and develop art, especially for children, by organizing educational art workshops in schools. Practicing art is like practicing sports. It is a responsibility that should not be neglected – it must be developed and improved. Art should be a part of our lives. Hopefully, one day there will be more acceptance and appreciation of handmade art in Kuwait.