Hamed Design [Burkina Faso]
[Image credit: Dogon Chair – Hamed Ouattara] The contemporary art market in Burkina Faso is relatively young, and needs nurturing by those who are becoming successful in the field be it creators or buyers. One such creator doing just that is Hamed Ouattara. The innovative fine artist and furniture designer from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso set up Hamed Design International in 2008 with the intention of promoting visual art from Burkina Faso to an international audience. ‘I create an African design which is consumed by Africans’, a statement that highlights his desire to help people gain a sense of pride in what has been designed and manufactured locally. Of his furniture Hamed says his key goal is to counteract cheap imports that do not reflect the local culture, instead ending up causing the erosion of traditional artisan craftwork. Citing the local African experience as his source of inspiration; through his work Hamed reinterprets discarded materials into unusual everyday objects; such as cabinets and tables.
The minute I saw Hamed’s furniture, I immediately knew of one person for whom they would be a perfect match; a person who would absolutely love them, I can so picture several pieces making a home for themselves alongside their other furniture. That said, the love or hate response that art tends to elicit from viewers fully applies here; the visual aesthetic of Hamed’s highly unique furniture designs, that are so distinctive and bold will almost certainly divide opinion and encourage debate on what defines luxury. Whatever your opinion there is no denying Hameed’s ingenuity in fashioning contemporary functional furniture from materials that include discarded metal and other objects; materials that give the pieces a raw, lived-in look and ultimately tell a story.
Through Hamed Design International, Hamed brings together local artists from the fields of; sculpture, painting, design and installation providing them with the opportunity to participate in exhibitions across the world and in those that Hamed has also organised. The organisation also runs competitions to encourage new talent and hosts gala dinners to draw sponsorship from those who are keen to get involved in its initiatives.
…Hamed’s furniture speaks volumes about a person and a place. Full of character I can see Hamed’s furniture setting the tone in a funky bar, restaurant, salon or office/studio; instantly adding to the mood.
Additional information sourced from: www.africancolours.com/hamedouatarra.htm
For further information about Hamed Ouattara and Hamed Design International visit: www.hamedouattara.org