What Do You See? A Conversation with Razan Al Sarraf by Afnan Al-Yafaey
I met Razan in 2019 in her studio space at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I was seeking GCC identifying artists for the purposes of finding nuance, narratives, and stories from the region I grew up in. The search led to Razan and her art depicting powerful forms of storytelling and raw emotion. Her work throughout the years continues to be honest and possesses a candid intensity allowing for the ability to see lived experiences and conceptual interpretations through her eyes. Razan’s visual art possesses the ambitious goal of translating complex ideas to people and spaces around her---she strives to create a meaningful connection with her audience. In addition to her work’s complexity, Razan finds value in the aesthetics behind her work and is mindful of presentation, believing the impact and power it can have on viewers. Her work is rooted in connectivity, between herself and her subject, her surroundings, the mediums she chooses, so much so that it encourages onlookers to think and most importantly feel.
Born and raised in Kuwait, Razan AlSarraf has an impressive variety of artistic accomplishments including participating in solo and group shows in Los Angeles, New York City, and Kuwait, giving artist talks at Asia Society NY and the Arab Conference at Harvard, curating exhibitions in NYC and hosting studio visits for Sotheby’s Masters students.
She is the recipient of the Ministry of Higher Education of Kuwait Merit Scholarship, SVA Alumni Society Scholarship & Award, as well as multiple Kuwait Culture Academic Merit awards.
She has also been featured in TIME magazine and Harpers Bazaar Arabia, as well as several podcasts and interviews internationally.