Hide and Reveal
Hide and Reveal" is a portrait series of women adorned in a style reminiscent of the old days, representing various countries. This series creatively explores the concept of feminine self-identity, both hidden and revealed, while delving into the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our lives and identities. Throughout this period, the confusion brought about by the pandemic has affected us in many aspects, leaving us questioning our sense of self and how we relate to the world.
The artwork plays with the notion of "who am I?," using both masking and illuminating elements to explore personal identities versus social IDs, such as passports and immigrant ID cards. The central focus of this photography and digital printing is to evoke an emotional connection with viewers, prompting them to reflect on how their identities are shaped and reflected in various aspects of life.
Living as a Middle Eastern artist in the conservative country of Yemen, my lens turned toward Arab women, who are typically forbidden to be photographed due to traditional cultural norms. Unexpectedly, my experiences living in the United States influenced me to broaden my perspective and context of this identity theme.
Through my images, I aim to depict the journey we navigate through time, culture, and art as we grapple with the instability of identity. The COVID-19 pandemic further amplified these struggles, challenging us to question who we are when we adapt to socio-political currents or when we resist them.
The concept of identity first arose during my adolescence when I was forced to accept that the freedom of my innocence must be traded for a life behind the veil, which sparked my desire for creative exploration into the profound impact of identity.
Ultimately, "Hide and Reveal" begs the question of whether we are satisfied with our reality and the future expectations based on these identities, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left us questioning and reevaluating our identities in the face of uncertainty.