About The Work
Sound of Light continues Mohammed Kazem’s exploration of materiality and the visualization of light and sound. He tunes into the light collected in the interior spaces of buildings under construction. With large swathes of paint, Kazem creates an illuminated surface that beckons one to step inside its world. Each stroke captures light streaming in through openings of architectural expanse.
Kazem explains how buildings emit sounds that are determined by light touching it. Loudest is daybreak as light thrusts through the darkness while a murmur happens at sunset as the lights fold into the night sky. He began his process with photographing images of sites across Dubai, and then painted these images on large canvases. His collections of light on architecture are painted with the strokes of an industrial roller among other materials and every surface transmits the sound Kazem has picked up from the light stretching across each site.
Throughout his practice, Mohammed Kazem (b. 1969, Dubai) has tried to capture the un-capturable. From his own body and the objects of his quotidian to nature itself, Kazem senses what is un-measurable—sometimes even un-seeable—and transfigures it into a visual work. He observes and measures, yet he does not record. He collects and analyses, yet he does not portray. Rather, Kazem responds to the abstractness of nature. He hears, then renders sounds visually. He sees, then uses action and performance to make a vision manifest. His scratchings, paintings, drawings and sculpture are at the fulcrum of many senses—sound, sight, touch, movement. And each work offers new proof that Kazem has the ability to see what lies beyond sight.
Kazem was a member of the Emirates Fine Arts Society early in his career and is acknowledged as one of the 'Five', an informal group of Emirati artists – including Hassan Sharif, Abdullah Al Saadi, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim and Hussain Sharif – at the vanguard of conceptual and interdisciplinary art practice.
In 2013 he represented the UAE’s National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale with an immersive video installation entitled Walking on Water, curated by Reem Fadda, and in 2015 he showcased works from the Tongue series at 1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the UAE, curated by Hoor Al Qasimi.
His works are held in the collections of the British Museum, London; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim New York; Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Vehbi Koç Foundation, Istanbul; Jameel Art Center, Dubai; King AbdulAziz Center for World Culture, Dhahran among others.
After establishing B21 Gallery, one of the first contemporary art spaces in the United Arab Emirates, in 2006, Isabelle van den Eynde launched her eponymous space in Dubai's Alserkal Avenue in 2010, representing a pluralistic roster of artists from the Middle East and North Africa. Through exhibitions, book publishing and international fair participation, the gallery prides itself on closely collaborating with its artists to create insightful, and often provocative, presentations that challenge the conventions and ideologies related to the notion of art display and exhibition making.