A Yemeni Plastic Artist Invents a New Art [Archives:1999/49/Culture]

December 6 1999

Abduljalil Al-Matari is a talented Yemeni plastic artist who had his solo exhibition in Sana’a several days ago, in which he displayed a lot of his fine paintings and marvelous art works with light beams. This latest method of drawing has attracted several local and international observers who were interested in knowing how he could managed to create different images that reflect the solar system, and geometric shapes with a high degree of symmetry. In a statement to Yemen Times, Abduljalil Al-Matari indicated that he did not study art, but rather began drawing as a hobby. He started painting when he was a teenager, and now that he is almost 28, he has fascinated most of the people who saw 60 of his magnificent paintings and drawings, of which 30 were normal plastic art, and the other 30 were images created with light beams.

The method which Abduljalil uses to create light pictures is quite simple, but requires a lot of patience and concentration to have a beautiful scene out of light. He reflects the light coming from a source such as a flashlight, on a white sheet or wall after going through various transparent materials such as glass covered with oil or water, etc.
Abduljalil added, “I won the first prize in a plastic art contest held at Sana’a University last year. In the contest, I only participated with one painting which was my best painting so far. Every other competitor had several paintings of his, but I only had one, and I thought that it was not fair. However, at the end of the exhibition, I was delighted to receive the first prize for my painting, which I later gave as a gift to the President of Sana’a University who helped me a lot in promoting my work and encouraged me to do more in this field.”
When asked whether he thinks that drawing with light would flourish in the future he said, “Of course, I think it is one of the most attractive, interesting, and talent-demanding fields. Hence, I feel that it will gain a lot of significance in the future. 
I think that the images created using this technique are magical and inspiring as they usually consist of imaginary views from outer space, sunset, sunrise, eclipse, comets, and even extinct creatures. The amazing thing about these images is that they can all be in motion like cartoons that can have magical effects when played with music in the background. That is not all, as with this method, if enough light is available, the art can even be reflected on mountains and clouds. I feel that there will be a great future for this field, however, I also need all the support I can get to reveal this mysterious method to the public and show it to the world.”
It was quite fascinating to know that such techniques, which are not yet known in the rest of the world, are being used by a talented Yemeni artist.
We, at the Yemen Times, believe that if he gets more attention, he may one day be a great artist on an international level.