Mohammed Sami was born in Baghdad, Iraq, 1984. He studied drawing and painting at The Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, Iraq 2005. He immigrated to Sweden in 2007. Later, in 2015 he earned a bachelor with honour degree from Ulster University-Belfast school of art, Northern Ireland. He has completed his master degree of fine art at Goldsmiths College, London, 2018. Mohammed lives and works between London and Norrköping, Sweden.
Sami’s paintings underline the darkly suggestive response of memory through the observation the everyday life surroundings since he immigrated to Sweden as a refugee in 2007 from his native Iraq.
Rather than using the theme of trauma as a testimony to the Iraq conflict, which he witnessed first-hand, he deployed the painting to articulate to the war and memory obliquely.
Modern-domestic, external spaces and ordinary appearances are the triggers of distressing memories in the artist’s works. These triggers are symbolic equivalents for human figures and familiar but loaded with tension. The familiar suddenly appears to become strange or threatening but formed by historical harmonic composition and rhythmic structures.
Sami tries to free the subject matter from the need of imitating reality and its time-honoured since he applied the index and pun as delusive signifiers from content that is traumatic and violence imageries. As a result, the paintings often appear to be about something else other than the source of the trauma to allow the context to be transitive to the viewers as opposed to being didactic. However, the affective nature of the transaction in my paintings does not force itself to convey a concrete message, but it intends to engage the spectators with artworks conceptually and intellectually.
Eventually, Mohammed Sami’s paintings aim to provide an alternative perspective to the war and its effects while it offers a slow and often personal reading through the complex painterly interplay of the daily objects, atmosphere, textures, and costumes - to evoke the widespread sense of loss and conflicts that inhabit cultures collectively.
2004 Diploma in Drawing, The Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, Iraq.
2016 BA Fine Art with First Class Honours Degree, Ulster University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
2018 MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London, United Kingdom.
2013 JAMM ART Gallery, Kuwait.
2012 Dag Andersson Gallery, Norrköping, Sweden.
2006 Al Khanji Gallery, Aleppo, Syria.
2005 Alwasity Gallery, Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Baghdad, Iraq.
1999 University of Baghdad, Iraq.
Selected group exhibitions*
2019 FBA Futures, Mall Galleries. London.
2018 Bloomberg New Contemporaries, following by Liverpool Biennial and South London Gallery. The Sea is the Limited, York Museum/ Art Gallery, York, UK.
2011 Culture Night of Norrköping city, Norrköping Art Museum, Sweden.
2010 Autumn Salon Paris, France.
2007-08 World Discussion; the international Biennial of Contemporary Art, San-Petersburg, Russia.
2006 The Iraqi National Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad.
2019 Hottinger Prize for Excellence, Mall Galleries, London.
2016 The Undergraduate Award (The global winner of Visual Art and Design Category), Dublin, Ireland.
The permanent collection of York Museum, York, UK.
The Government Art Collection, UK.
The Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Baghdad, Iraq.
2018 The Swedish Arts Grants Committee ( Konstnärsnämndens), one year grant, Sweden.
2015 Region Östergötland (Kultur och utvecklingsstipendium), Culture and Development Grant, Sweden.
2014/15 PRŌTOCOLLUM Global Perspectives on Visual Vocabulary (1st issue), Berline, Germany.