Hiwa K

Year and place of birth: 1975, Sulaymaniyah, Irak Location: Berlin

Hiwa K is one of the most important contemporary Iraqi artists, who, especially in the last few years - since the internationalisation of the art world and the consequent growing interest in contemporary, non-Western art - has also made an international breakthrough. His self-education has left a strong impression on his later artistic work, which is a constant criticism of the system of art education and the myth of individual artistry. Hiwa K also deliberately shortened his surname to K. By literally concealing his identity, the letter K paradoxically comes to the fore as an almost anonymous sign that cannot be identified with an 'I' or a particular group. The contrast between belonging and alienation will continue to develop as a constant in Hiwa K's oeuvre.

Coming from a country that is constantly at war, Hiwa K says that his artistic view is constantly shifting between the horizontal (landscape) and the vertical (heaven), which makes him hyper-sensitive to his everyday surroundings. This constant sense of detachment from what is usually defined as 'home' is the true motive behind Hiwa K's work, which mixes everyday (social) forms, orally transmitted stories and history and political constructs. He draws on various sources and references for the construction of his works, such as stories told by his family members and friends, found situations or everyday encounters, which always have to do with a certain pragmatism and necessity. The constant desire for connection, a wild, broad-based curiosity and an unbridled urge to keep learning are the driving force and content line of Hiwa K's art, which always revolves around uniting and balancing the individual versus the collective within a multi-layered and multi-cultural reality. Many of his works have a strong participatory and collective slant, expressing the idea of acquiring knowledge through everyday experiences rather than through an educational doctrine.

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