By Wafaa Khairy
In Swim Good, a man in a light blue suit is depicted floating in a swimming pool with pineapples surrounding him. The photograph symbolises the escape that many of those working under the stress of the corporate world dream of; an escape to a world that is ‘perfect, where you swim in an ocean, and where the sun always shines,’ the photograph’s accompanying description provides. The photograph is the work of Mujahid Al Malki (who is better known simply as ‘Muji’), a 27-year-old multidisciplinary artist from Oman whose reflective photographs and digital artworks highlight the issues that the everyday man and woman face – from maintaining a positive mind set in a world of negativity to love and living with nostalgic feelings. In particular, his photography, which is often set in dreamy settings and has been exhibited in Oman’s Stal Gallery and the Khaleeji Art Museum, has captivated viewers in Oman and beyond. His recent work Utopia was showcased Stal Gallery in 2021 .
In the following interview, the artist recounts the beginnings of his photography journey, unpacks why he chooses to describe himself as a ‘visual poet,’ discusses the messages his work sends out and reveals how Oman inspires his art. This interview was edited for length and clarity after it was translated from Arabic.
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