Marwan Al Balushi is a 24-year-old Omani spatial designer and artist. A graduate of the University of the Arts London, and a surrealist movement enthusiast, his artistic journey started at 16 with analogue film cameras. He then moved onto architecture and design. The young designer interned at London-based architecture firm Fletcher Priest Architects (FPA) before moving back to Oman, where he established design studio Progress Bureau.
He is currently working on designing an installation and pavilion to be built in Muscat. He is also working on a collaborative exhibition between him and his friends after his first design exhibition in Muscat’s Stal Gallery last January proved to be successful.
“The creative industry in Oman is still young; therefore, I try to get involved with my creative friends to build up on this movement”, starts Marwan.
But throughout his academic and professional design journey, his camera never left his side.
“I have a habit of carrying my film camera to most places I go. It allows me to express my perspective of life ” he tells us.
For Marwan, reality is very different than it is for most people. He tells us that his background in spatial design, as well as the diverse people, spaces, and experiences he was exposed to while studying in London triggered a sense of reflection on how he perceives reality.
Marwan gives us a peek of the reality he chooses for himself through art in ‘reality/ واقع’- a series of collages he exclusively created for Sekka- in the gallery below.
“My collages express a hidden narrative captured through the film strip. They are a manipulation of an intimate reality between the photographer and the subject”, he explains.
“Usually the personality of the subject speaks to me through the lens or perhaps while editing a photograph, I depict what I sense of the person and space being photographed, influenced by either the exact situation we are in or a characteristic that relates to a character. ”