Ahmed Umar (1988) is a cross-disciplinary artist who came to Norway in 2008 as a political refugee. His practice is strongly influenced by the themes of his upbringing and his experiences of living in a society structured around religion. His works recreate a narrative of his own life story utilising various techniques such as sculpture, printmaking, painting and performance. In his attempt to resolve the contradictions of living in a distant and secular place, Umar mobilises these methods to explore the complex relationship between identity, authority, sexuality, depression and art. His work is charged with social critique, a sense of directness, Arabic calligraphy and a hint of his Nubian visual heritage. They reflect his memories and signal a long process of self-understanding and acceptance.

Exhibitions and activities:

2018:
 
-«Det Felles Eide», Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo
-«ADORNMENT AND GENDER: ENGAGING CONVERSATION», Artist residency, PRAKSIS Oslo.
-«The obsession of the No», Doing the No No seminar, performative presentation,  organised by Norwegian Crafts, Munich, Germany
-«Puissance du Hijab » + «If you no longer have a family, make your own in clay», Bronks theatre, Brussels, Belgium
Yet to come in 2018:
-«Carrying the ungly face», Kunstplass contemporary art, Oslo.
-«If you no longer have a family, make your own in clay», KLAP, Marseille, France. 
-The Art and Craft Annual Exhibition «Årsutstillingen2018», Fridrikstad, Norway.
 
 
2019:
-«Espace protégé», BOA, Oslo
-«...», KRAFT, Bergen.
-Hanne Ryggen Triennial, Nordenfjeldske Museum, Trondheim
-«...», Østfold Kunstsenter, Fredrikstad
-«Hijab-annual protection vol.2», LastFrontiere, New York, USA
 
2017:
-«Juleutstilling», Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo (G)
-«The Oslo Museum of Contemporary Art», Oslo Kunsthall (G)
-«1900-tallet», display at the permemant exhibiton of Drammen Museum for Art and Cultural History.
-Kunsthånverk2107, Norske kunst og hånverkers Årsutstilling, Nordenfjeldske kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim (G).
-«Mina/Meg», collaboration with Zanele Muholi (ZA), Nordnorsk Kunstsenter, Svolvær.
-Particepant at «Why have there been no great non-European artists» round table talk, Gallery Format, Oslo.
-«Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?», Nordic Black Theatre-Cafeteateret, Oslo.
-Speaker at «Firing Up» seminar, organized by Norske kunsthåndverkere, Bodø.
-«Tribute to Ali», performance-20min, Galleri Format, Oslo. -«Resilience», Galleri Format, Oslo (G).
-Art Fair Suomi, Helsinki, Finland.
-«Mina/Meg», collaboration with Zanele Muholi (ZA), Galleri KiT, Trondheim.
-Workshop facilitator on «Visual Activism», ISFit, Galleri KiT, Trondheim.
-«Bride/Groom of the Nile», photography for art publication 10Undersøkelser.
2016:
Mina/Meg, collaboration with artist Zanele Muholi, Small Projects, Tromsø (G)
Mina/Meg, collaboration with artist Zanele Muholi, Historical Museum, Oslo (G)
Master's degree graduation show, KHiO (G)
Open school exhibitions, KHiO (G)
Pottery is back, Kunstnerforbundet. (G)
 
 
2015:
«Lonliness, religion and melancholy», Oslo City hall gallery (G)
 
 
2014: 
sky view, Ahus
Art for Palestine, Nordic Black theater (G)
Black dream, Norberg Church (G)
Words of Protection, Twisted Corener gallery
Bachelor degree Graduation exhibits, Oslo National Academy of the Arts KHiO (G)
Arrested, Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo
Selfie, Seilduksgalleriet, Oslo (G)
 
2013:
Past, Present, Nordic Black Theater
Life after Migrapolis, Pride Parken, Oslo
Flashbacks, Holmenkollen Park Hotel (G)
Flashbacks, Kunstplass5, Oslo (G)
“If you no longer have a family, make your own in caly", Performance, Galleri Seilduken , Oslo.
 
2012:
“Sinking self” , Ceramic Sculpture, Prosjekt Torvet, KHiO , Oslo 
Coming out hysteria, Pride Parken , Oslo (G).
Åpen KunstHall, Kunsthall i Oslo (G).
 
2011:
-“May we have a walk!”, installation, Søylegalleriet, Oslo (G).
Totaly new in this life!, Pride Parken , Oslo (G).

Grants and Prises:

 
 
2018:
-The 3 years full grant for younger and newly established artists, Kulturrådet(Arts Council Norway).
-Exhibition grant, Kulturrådet(Arts Council Norway).
-NOoSPHERE artist residency award 2018 , New York
2017:
Debutante Award at Kunsthåndverk17, Årsutstillingen at Nordenfjeldske Kunst Museum. 
Diversestipend, Kulturrådet (Arts Council Norway)
 
2016

The Art Student Grant from BKH (The Norwegian Relief Fund for Visual Artists)
New Establishing Artists, Kulturrådet (Arts Council Norway)
 
 
2015 
 

The Art Student Grant from BKH (The Norwegian Relief Fund for Visual Artists)

Public Collections:

2017

Hijab (Neckpiece), Drammen Museum of Art and Cultural History.

Hijab (Annual Protection), Oslo Municipality Art Collection.

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