Video: Sadik Kwaish Alfraji

The House That My Father Built

Filmed on October 14, 2011, at “Pivot: AIGA Design Conference

About this video

War, philosophy, culture, change and alienation have contributed to shaping Iraqi artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji both as a creator of art and human being. Alfraji discusses the context and meaning behind his most recent work, The House That My Father Built, and the deep, emotional force it releases. Examples of his very early graphic work, more recent print work, and video clips and images of his family, city and war help put art and design into both global and intimately personal contexts.

Speaker bio

Born in Baghdad in 1960, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji studied at the Institute of Fine Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Iraq. In 2000, he earned a high diploma in graphic design from the CHK Constantijn Huygens in the Netherlands, where he is now based. Having participated in countless exhibitions in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the United States since the 1980s, he has work housed in the collections of the National Museum of Modern Art in Iraq, the National Gallery of Fine Arts, the Shoman Foundation in Jordan, the Novosibirsk State Art Museum in Russia and the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum in Romania. Recently, he was commissioned to produce new work for Told/Untold/Retold, one of the inaugural exhibitions of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar. His pursuit of art as a profession began in the 1980s in Baghdad. Much of his work explores the expressionistic intensity of the graphic, and focuses on the ideas and concepts of human existence. A visual artist, print maker and designer, Alfraji has often blended art and philosophy as a means of expanding the formulistic and conceptual boundaries of his aesthetic. His haunting mixed media compositions explore a variety of themes, including everything from the universal human condition to experiences of exile and fragmentation.