Are Aden Artists Neglected? [Archives:1998/41/Last Page]

October 12 1998
By: Ridhwan Al-Saqqaf, Yemen Time, Aden  
Mohsin Hassan Al-Rada’i
“I began 23 years ago. I first exhibited at an exhibition at the Culture Institute in Sanaa. The last Sanaa exhibition I took part in was in 1979 at Sanaa University, when I won a silver medal. Then I participated in several exhibitions in the southern governorates.
My work has been included in exhibitions in Russia, Korea, Syria, France, and a few other countries. Many of my paintings have been sold at such international exhibitions and I also won many prizes.
“We artists suffer from the neglect of the Ministry of Culture. We don’t have a proper gallery to exhibit our work.
“I’m ill and have a very limited income. I’ve spent the last year-and-a-half of my life following up paperwork at the ministry, requesting their support. Living costs are constantly rising. It’s become quite difficult to buy basic commodities, let alone purchasing painting material.
“Our paintings are exhibited for sale. But lack of visitors to Aden has hit the market hard. Many of those who do come to the city don’t know much about fine art.”
Adel Salem Ahmed
“I started drawing when I was a little child. At primary school, I used to take part in almost all painting competitions. I enrolled in the Fine Arts Institute in 1984. I was taught by a Russian teacher, from whom I learned a lot. Currently, I’m an employee of the Ministry of Culture and run Al-Tawahi private atelier.
“I have taken part in several arts exhibitions in Yemen and abroad, d
rawing on purely local Yemeni themes in my paintings. Realism is my driving force.
“The most massive obstacle facing any Yemeni artist today is lack of state support. Most of our artists are skint. I mean I sometimes have to stop painting just because I can’t afford to buy paint and canvas. If the government takes upon itself to sponsor artists, then we’ll have greater opportunities to be creative.”