Muscat: A young Omani artist, Mohammed Al Maamari, has won a gold medal in the '3a Biennale di Arte Contemporanea' in Belgium.
Speaking to Times of Oman after receiving the gold medal and a diploma, Mohammed, who is the only Omani to win the top prize, said: "I am totally excited about winning it, and I am the only Omani to receive this prize. This award came as a real surprise to me because there were a large number of artists participating in the event. This is quite a special moment in my life."
Mohammed started his artistic journey with a lead pencil and soon became a master at drawing light and shadows. Gradually, he developed an interest in surrealism and calligraphy.
"This is the second-highest honour for me. I received the first prize during a Visual Arts Symposium in Qatar in 2011. There were about 15 participants from across the region, and we had to sketch the [marine life at the] Marina," he remarked.
Mohammed, who was inspired by local artists in the Oman, had recently participated in a painting exhibition titled 'Rozna' at the Bank of Beirut. "That exhibition was a collection of works illustrating our love and devotion to our homeland," he said.
"I focused on traditional clothing and accessories as well as lifestyle elements. When I started, I had no teacher. I learnt myself and was inspired by the works of many great artists," he added.
Speaking about the young artists in the Sultanate, Mohammed noted, "Most of them are taking art seriously and that is quite pleasing. They take the time to witness and explore most of these art exhibitions here. They also get inspired by real-life events."
Harmony and rhythm
In his current set of paintings, by employing a variety of media and techniques, Mohammed has depicted his search for harmony and rhythm.
Mohammed, who works as a financial manager at the Ministry of Finance, has exhibited his works not only in Oman but also in France, Kuwait, Egypt, and the UAE. "It was a great experience. You get the chance to meet and interact with some of the best-known artists. I want to organise an exhibition of my own works, but it requires a lot of resources, so I will do it when it becomes possible," he added.