Since his childhood, Qatari artist Mohamed Faraj al-Suwaidi had huge interest in a unique medium and technique previously ignored by many of his contemporaries.
“The software tools used have been rooted to my main interest in animations and design – the concept of movement and computational simulation has always been a growing interest that has evolved from a young age,” he said.
Mohamed Faraj al-Suwaidi
Al-Suwaidi is an alumnus of Doha Fire Station’s Artist in Residence programme, along with 19 other artists whose works were showcased from July 15 to September 1 in 2019.
His fascination for digital platforms opened new opportunities to further his passion. In the same year, he was selected for a three-month residency at International Studio and Curatorial Programme in New York in 2019.
The artist often use polygon based shapes influenced by facial features and contextual forms in his works
According to the Doha Fire Station, the residency offers “a 24-hour access to a private furnished studio space, communal facilities, regular studio visits from guest critics, field trips to museums, galleries and other cultural venues.”
“Accepted residents are granted living and materials allowance, accommodation allowance, and one return travel ticket. Only one artist is accepted per residency term.”
Al-Suwaidi is an architect, animator and designer
Al-Suwaidi’s successful stint in Brooklyn culminated in his “Digital Transaction” series, held at the Doha Fire Station in January 2020. The exhibition featured “a series of digital prints, composed of scenes captured around New York and altered using 3D software in a repetitive manner.”
“One of my most important exhibitions is the Digital Transactions series. The exhibition explores various societal habits that have evolved due to the influence of technology,” al-Suwaidi said. “My works have been digital, computational and simulation-based ever since.”
“Polygon based shapes influenced by facial features and contextual forms are often used in my works, representing the coding language used for facial tracking and spatial mapping techniques,” he added.
An animator and designer, al-Suwaidi created a certain distinction of his work to become one of the most prominent artists in Qatar.
As an architect, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Plymouth University and a Master in Architecture from the University of Liverpool, he was motivated and inspired to purse art saying: “Architecture embodies a combination of both form and function, through structural and conceptual works. Art fuses well into this creative process, fusing both the architectural techniques that I have developed into a series of works that explore various ideas.”
Al-Suwaidi said his profession complemented his work as an artist and helped him to become more creative and innovative. Some of his works were part of an auction organised by AlBahie Auction House for young Qatari artists last year, including his famous ‘Consumer Consumed’ pieces.
Several exhibitions and galleries in Qatar have also featured al-Suwadi’s stunning installations and paintings, attracting a large number of art enthusiasts.
“There is a continued drive to develop my style of works and I continue to experiment with different tools and forms of representation. This is a habit that I have picked up during my studies abroad that has thankfully complemented my works,” he noted.
The artist is currently spending his time experimenting with new tools and collaborations with different artists, which allows him to exchange knowledge and develop new works with colleagues.
His message to aspiring artists in Qatar: “Continue to evolve and integrate yourself in different platforms of development - including workshops and networking groups. Exchange of knowledge and experience is a vital source of self-development.”