The Algerian born artist, Hamza Bounoua, allowed us to roam with open minds through his exhibition Letters in Motion at Wadi Finan Gallery. His collection embodies paintings of human/animal like figures and his notorious soft yet powerful works of calligraphy and letter infused art. Notable for his distinct strokes of detail in each and every piece. As you enter the gallery the prominent compositions and movement of color pull you in for a closer look.

From Letters in Motion series by Hamza Bounoua at Wadi Finan Art Gallery

We asked the artist what the main vision behind this collection was and he shared with us how he was heavily influenced by the idea of a child bearing mother:

The idea of how everything originates from the belly of a woman/mother fascinates me.  Everything is made beginning from the inside out. Starting from the inner makeup to the last outer detail. And that’s how i worked on most of this collection; from the inside out. Painting and layering from the inside of the Plexiglas and aluminum pieces.
Hamza Bounoua
From Letters in Motion series by Hamza Bounoua at Wadi Finan Art Gallery

Throughout Bounoua’s contemporary paintings, the sense of spontaneity radiates. He describes his technique as the use of a thick texture of color combined with the organic textures of the brush.  With these he channels vital energy through motions and precision while incorporating a mystical script:

Despite the simplicity of my work, I always try to add a mystical touch in order to provoke something in the viewers. All my pieces hold the concepts of both simplicity and freedom. Yet, i love seeing viewers come up with their own philosophy for each one of my works. Sometimes there won’t be any specific meaning behind something i’ve made, but people will still derive some sort of perceptual depth to it. Interactions with the audience and getting to pick at their minds allow me new sources of inspiration for future collections. I love acquiring the audiences opinions, because their energy is what I take in as an artist.
Hamza Bounoua
From Letters in Motion series by Hamza Bounoua at Wadi Finan Art Gallery

Everything is so simple yet provides so much emotion.” Said Sham Kassisieh, a young audience member roaming the exhibition. Zahra Kilani, another audience member added, “His use of color really brings out the amount of detail in each piece. You can feel the free movement through the strokes in the paint. You can feel the freedom.

From Letters in Motion series by Hamza Bounoua at Wadi Finan Art Gallery

Though the artist openly invites any interpretation we, the viewers can come up with, Bounoua tells us how certain pieces of his seem to stump the audience’s minds. His figures and geometric patterns seem to be the topics of most discussions.

I usually allow the person to tell me what they see, rather than directly sharing what I had initially intended. But as they persist to learn the origin I go on to tell them. These figures are neither human or animal, but a mix of both. These duplicated figures represent the sheep we have become in this systematic society. People constantly try to fit the mold the societies we live under hand us. Leading everyone to dress, look, and think the same. Just becoming replicas which sadly results in the loss of individuality. Any use of square patterns throughout my work usually symbolizes this systemic culture.
Hamza Bounoua
From Letters in Motion series by Hamza Bounoua at Wadi Finan Art Gallery
This piece started off as three ripped out pages from a book from a whole different era. It fascinated me that I can take something so far from the past and rejuvenate it into my own modern art. The pages were faded for the most part. So I outlined what was still visible on the page and allowed my ink to flow freely over the rest. Turning it into what it is now.
Hamza Bounoua
From Letters in Motion series by Hamza Bounoua at Wadi Finan Art Gallery

Wadi Finan gallery associate, Basma Abu Alsoud, commented on the exhibition:

This is our third time working with Hamza and hosting his collections. He’s such a brilliant man that knows how to evolve as an artist. Each and every time he brings something new to the table. Whether it be a new template of color or a whole new medium, he never seizes to amaze.
From Letters in Motion series by Hamza Bounoua at Wadi Finan Art Gallery

This collection’s form of simplicity permits to be taken in with one stare, but demands to be read slowly. Crediting his cultural identity for his ability to create complex yet simple combinations. Abstraction of letters, geometric shapes and the flow of infused color has become Bounoua’s trademark over the years.

All images courtesy of Wadi Finan Art Gallery


Amanee Hasan
Amanee Hasan

I am an aspiring writer and stencil graffiti artist in Amman, Jordan. Currently, I am studying English literature at Petra University.

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