Shurooq Amin

Biography

Born to a Kuwaiti father and Syrian mother, Shurooq Amin is a mixed-media interdisciplinary artist and an Anglophone poet whose purpose is to instigate change in society. She has a PhD in Ekphrasis, the connection between art and poetry, and has been published and anthologized internationally. She has been a guest speaker at various universities, a judge for various events, and has been interviewed by BBC’s Stephen Sackur on HARDTalk (Nov 17, 2014), as well as BBC’s Democracy Day (Jan 20th 2015), making her the first Kuwaiti woman to appear on Hard Talk. Shurooq has had 14 solo exhibitions, more than 45 group exhibitions, her paintings have been sold at auctions, commissioned privately and publicly, awarded prizes locally and internationally, and shown at biennales and art fairs. A retrospective of her work was featured in the biannual art journal Contemporary Practices: Visual Arts from the Middle East. Shurooq's poetry has been published into two books to date, in more than 40 literary journals across the globe, and has been anthologized in the Gathering the Tide: An Anthology of Arabian Gulf Poetry by Ithaca Publishers in association with the Virginia Commonwealth University of Qatar. Her second volume of poetry “The Hanging of the Wind” is taught as part of the contemporary literature curriculum in universities in the Gulf. She is the first Kuwaiti to be nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize in December 2007 in the USA.  In 2012 she was nominated as one of Kuwait's 46 Inspirational People in Sheikha Intisar Al-Sabah's book The Alchemy of Wisdom.

Despite the shut down and censorship of her show It’s a Man’s World in March 2012 by Kuwaiti authorities, a year later, in April 2013, Shurooq was awarded the title of Artist of the Year by the Arab Woman Awards, and has since become the first Kuwaiti female artist to be auctioned at Christie’s auction house. She exhibited her 2013 series Popcornographic during Art Dubai with Ayyam Gallery. Her 2014 series We’ll Build This City on Art and Love was exhibited from September 14th to October 23, 2014, with Ayyam Gallery, DIFC, Dubai, and exhibited in London from 12th November 2014 to 10th January 2015, with an artist’s talk and panel discussion. In October 2014, Shurooq was nominated for the 2014/2015 Sovereign Asian Art Prize by Art Radar. She was a moderator, panel speaker and poet at NYU Abu Dhabi’s workshop FIND: Reversible (7-10 December 2014). Shurooq is the first Kuwaiti female artist to show her work at the Venice Biennale (56th International Venice Biennale, Italy, May to November 2015).
She exhibited her 14th solo show in Kuwait, in April to May 2016, a collaboration between Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, and Contemporary Art Platform, Kuwait, and curated by the renowned Martina Corgnati from Italy. This was Shurooq’s comeback to her native Kuwait, where she had been censored and banned from 2012.

In May 2016, Shurooq was invited to be on the PhD examining board at the University of Trento, Italy; and to speak about art for change at the Academy of Fine Arts, Brera, Milan, and in the summer of 2016, she worked on a series of artworks entitled The Four Seasons of Love at her art residency at Villa Lena, Italy. On October 5th, 2016, Shurooq was listed as one of the top 50 GCC Women Leaders and on October 24/25th, she will be speaking at the Global WIL Economic Forum in Dubai. 

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