Hashal Al Lamki is a UAE-based artist who has gained a reputation for poignant multimedia artwork that cross-examines the stories we tell ourselves and opens dialogues, using over-sized collaborative canvases and ambitious themes.
What is the role of an artist in society?
Artists play many different roles. I can only speak to my own: my role is to be honest and genuine with my practice rather than trying to be slick, commercial, or to impress anyone. I try to engage with the public and create dialogues.
Please describe your art.
This is the hardest question that I am ever asked. You see, I have no one medium. It’s boring to become a master of any one medium, so I am constantly experimenting with literally anything I find in front of me. If I had to list it, I would say my media is paint, sculpture, performance, but that list goes on. Critical thinking lies at the heart of my every work, and I am constantly interested in conversation using different voices and diverse media.
Tell us about Bait 15—your artistic collaboration with other UAE-based artists.
Bait means “House” in Arabic, and Bait 15 was conceived in early 2018 by a group of young artists who shared one common need: studio space. Before we opened Bait, we worked from hypothetical places. We felt that working in such silos was not healthy and can lead to artistic narcissism. So, we decided to take over the lease of the villa of the departing artist Mohamed Al Mazourei.
You just closed a group exhibition with Al Mazourei at NYUAD called Allibadiah. Can you tell us a bit about it?
My dialogues with Mohamed are always rich in content and inspiring to my critical thinking. After one of our countless dynamic conversations about existence, evolution, or any other philosophical matter, I would always paint through my after thoughts. Much like people used to correspond in letters, after Mohamed left, we began to correspond visually through our paintings. Allibadiah is basically two artists’ dialogues visualised.
Follow Bait 15 on Instagram @bait_15.