Collection: Amani Al Thuwaini

Amani Al Thuwaini is a Kuwaiti artist and designer, born in Ukraine in 1989. 

Amani Al Thuwaini believes that the cultural duality she inherited through her Kuwaiti and Ukrainian roots greatly influenced her unique awareness of identity and culture, impelling her to explore this in her work. This duality offers a unique perspective, whereby she can often see through the eyes of the ‘other’, consciously becoming the spectator; observing, analyzing and absorbing the varying facets that form cultural identities. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Al Thuwaini combines individual and collective narratives with symbols that are open to differing cultural interpretations. She reveals the juncture where identities converge and exposes behaviors and rituals that are often taken for granted. Themes of luxury and socio-politics relevant to Kuwait and the Gulf region are emphasized in her work.

Employing mixed media and two-dimensional forms within her work, Al Thuwaini aims to expose this cultural collision by incorporating insinuations of modernism, superficial display, commodity fetishism and gender. Her resulting works are a candid response to the commodification and changes of traditions and customs; hybrids that represent a far more ‘globalized’ ritual.

Amani Al Thuwaini, by Sarah Daher

To have a conversation with Amani Al Thuwaini is to uncover the wealth of depth hiding behind her expansive and growing artistic practice. Domesticity, womanhood, luxury, consumption, traditions, and symbols persist as recurring ideas in her practice. Growing up half Kuwaiti and half Ukrainian, the feeling of otherness was never far from her lived experience. While intuitively a cultural rift as wide as this Khaleeji-European one can be read as an isolating and challenging way to grow up in the world, Amani is very clear that her work about feeling like an outsider does not inflect a tone of oppression. Her practice is a filter through which she parses out the complexity of feelings and memories that she has, womanly or otherwise, in order to arrive at a pared back view of what a human might look like beneath the many layers of consumerist extravagance we bury ourselves under.

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Amani Al Thuwaini holds a Bachelor degree in Architecture from Kuwait University, which has influenced her methodical approach of collecting information and meticulous approach to designing and creating artwork.

In 2017, she received her MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London. Subsequently, she was shortlisted for the Warsteiner BLOOOM Award in 2017 and in 2018 she was selected to attend the International Designer’s workshop at the V&A Museum, London.

She has exhibited extensively throughout London and Kuwait and has also shown her work in Prague, Dubai, Brazil and Bolivia. 

Volition, 2015

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