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Ayad Alkadhi

January 18 - January 30, 2013

Ayad Alkadhi was born and raised in Baghdad and spent his childhood between England, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq. At the age of 23 after the first Gulf War, Alkadhi left Iraq for a better future - first in Amman, Jordan and shortly thereafter in Auckland, New Zealand. He then moved to New York City where he graduated with an MFA from New York University's ITP Tisch School of The Arts. Alkadhi’s work focuses on cultural and political topics of Iraq and the Middle East. His use of street art language, Arabic newspaper on mixed-media canvases, as well as his use of calligraphy, connects elements of traditional media to contemporary art. This collision produces images that ultimately express the artist’s concern with the polarities of Middle Eastern politics. He has exhibited internationally and his most recent exhibitions include: "Umbilical", Leila Heller Gallery, New York, Abu Dhabi Art; "Cross-Currents: Tradition and Innovation in Contemporary Art of the Islamic World" at Colorado College I.D.E.A Space, ArtSpace Gallery, Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE; “The Seen and Hidden”, Austrian Cultural Forum, NY; “Tarjama/Translation”, Queens Museum of Art and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum in New York; the Station Museum in Houston, Texas; and the Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah in the UAE. Alkadhi currently lives and works in New York City.

Ayad Alkadhi’s residency is in partnership with the Intersections Program at the University of Hawai’i Department of Art and Art History. As part of his residency, Alkadhi presented a public lecture Quest to Belong on his work at the University of Hawai’i Department of Art and Art History Auditorium. He also conducted studio visits with University of Hawai’i graduate students.

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