Artist Conversation- Ihab Ali

Artist: Ihab Ali

Exhibition: Eye Witness

Gallery: California State Long Beach, School of Arts Marilyn Werby Gallery

Media: Car, Cloth, Everyday household items, spanish iron oxide ceramic arson

Website: Does not have one

Instagram: ihabali

Ihab Ali is a Ceramics Artist finishing his last semester within the Ceramics program at California State University, Long Beach. Ali is from Sira with a quite interesting background, escaping the Syria political asylum from the Iranians along with his family and has been in the United States for the last 11 years. Ali loves to travel and create pieces around the world and meeting new people and inspiring the youth in these different countries. Summer of 2016, Ali will be visiting Italy for a second time. He mentions the reason is that he loves Italy. Ali bases his pieces off of his past experience and the experiences of others. Ali’s pieces sheds light on the wars and the impact of war victims stuck in horrendous situations by forcing his audience to be a part his installations and based off their immediate responses of his piece forces them to reflect on their lives and the lives of others.

Ali’s installation has a lot of chaos within the action and is built as a home that just went through a bombing.  As the audience fist walks in there are white walls with blood on them. Then the audience is forced to walk into a broken wall and walk through a narrow hallway that adds suspense as the audience are walking through the hallway as they look right there are is a room with a TV and a sleeping palet. Many of these rooms within the installation are dark and empty, and invites a scary feeling within the person walking through the narrow hallways. Ali uses a lot of snap likes and the narrow spaces to influence and manipulate the audience’s emotions.

Ali has an amazing background and experience with human connection. His outlook on life and art is rather interesting and enlightening. He art is based in politics standing and enlighten people ideas on disasters and the hurt around the world. The use of installation is a way of expression that focuses on the war in Syria and the mental imprisonment that he experienced within his home country and other countries a he has visited. He mentioned as an artist his art is made to make people think and feel, which is similar to other artist goals but he said he also wants to build a human connection with his audience that inspires them and makes them curious about the world around them through their unintentional reactions to his pieces. He mentions in most of his pieces he does not use color and this reflects on his views on life. Ali says that on reality the real world is only in black and white. Many people in society do not realize the other things that go around the world because they are blind of their own lives, lacking compassion for the others lives around them. 

He mentions that every piece and installation gives people a different reaction that he takes as a self-reflective lesson for himself and the birth of his new creation.

Ali’s piece was very different from what I am normally experience. People often think that what make art, “art” is the “beautiful” colors and the sharp lines but in reality the beauty of art comes from the meaning and the concept which comes from the artist but is manipulated and sparks new meaning in the audience. The art that is about serious issues rather than just about the cute colors is the most inspirational and beautiful art. Ali creates this beauty piece that opens my eyes to what people in third world countries experience and helps me appreciate the chaos of America. Through his piece and speaking to him, it helped me build a better understanding of people around. The diversity in America is beautiful and meeting people from different walks of life is very inspiring.


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