Ahmed Askalany

b.  1978

 

Ahmed Askalany connects traditional forms and materials in a way that respond to the complexities of contemporary art.  

 

Working with the resources engrained within his culture and community Askalany takes natural palm leaves and weaves them using an ancient Egyptian craft technique, typically confined to objects of mundane necessity such as baskets. Askalany instead derives inspiration from the human figures and animals that he encounters in his hometown preserving and capturing these fleeting moments in a "mummie-like" form. By doing so, Askalany’s work challenges the very boundaries associated with the notion of what is perceived as crafts and the arts and manages to respond and contribute to the complexity of contemporary artistic practice. Characteristic of Askalany’s works are the aesthetic forms that place an emphasis on both structure and volume, as well as an innocent sense of isolation that reflects frankness, candour and a poetic sensitivity. Among other important exhibitions worldwide, Askalany represented Egypt at the 2009 Venice Biennale.