Biography

Mohammed Kazem’s practice is characterised by the use of reductive elements in repeating formats. A leading figure in the ‘Second Generation’ of contemporary artists in the UAE, initially a painter under the tutelage of Hassan Sharif, Mohammed Kazem has developed an artistic practice that encompasses video, photography and performance to find new ways of apprehending his environment and experiences. Kazem responds to geographical location, materiality and the elements as a means to assert his subjectivity, particularly in relation to the rapid pace of modernisation in the United Arab Emirates since the country’s founding. Also active as a curator, he has assembled 14 exhibitions of young artists from the UAE.

Kazem’s exhibitions include I Love You, Urgently, Jeddah Arts, Saudi Arabia (2020); The Creative Act: Performance, Process, Presence, The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (2017); But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, Guggenheim New York (2016); For An Image, Faster Than Light, Yinchuan Biennale, China (2016); The past, the present, the possible, Sharjah Biennial (2015); /seconds., Sharjah Art Foundation (2014); Fluid Form II, Arab Contemporary Art, Busan Museum of Art, Korea (2014); RAW DATA, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2013); Directions, New York University, Abu Dhabi (2013); Directions, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2010); Venice Biennale (2009); Sharjah Biennial (2007); and Line Exhibition, Sharjah Art Museum (2004). In 2013, Kazem represented the UAE at the 55th Venice Biennale.

He was awarded first prize for installation in Sharjah Biennial (1999 and 2003). He has completed residencies at University of Cincinnati, Ohio (2018); Shangri La: A Museum of Islamic Art, Culture and Design, Honolulu (2017); Pepper House Residency, Kochi, India (2016); Maraya Art Centre’s Artist in Residence; Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Seoul Art Space, Geumcheon (2016); ArteEast Watermill Residency, Long Island, New York (2014); and Artist in Residence, Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India (2011).

Kazem received his MFA from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2012). He was born in 1969 in Dubai where he continues to live and work.

SAF participation:
March Meeting 2021
Sharjah Biennial 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 12

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