Mohammed Kazem

Even the Shade Does not Belong to Them

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Mohammed Kazem, Even the Shade Does not Belong to Them, 2018, Acrylic and ink on canvas, 140.5 x 106 cm, Images courtesy of Isabelle Van Den Eynde Gallery, Art Jameel Collection

Artwork Details


Mohammed Kazem


Even the Shade Does not Belong to Them




Acrylic and ink on canvas


140.5 x 106 cm

Credit Line

Art Jameel Collection

Work Description

Even the Shade Does Not Belong to Them is a series of tonal paintings depicting migrant labourers working on construction sites around the UAE. Based on photographs taken by the artist, the figures are painted in acrylic paint and washed over with ink, preventing an easy reading of the scenes. The treatment of the paintings echo a generalised encounter with blue collar workers – who despite their presence across the city, are not always rendered visible within the everyday urban landscape.

Artist Biography

Mohammed Kazem (b.1969) lives and works in Dubai, UAE.

Mohammed Kazem’s practice encompasses video, photography and performance and is largely developed in a response to the geographical location, materiality and the elements to assert his subjectivity, particularly in relation to the rapid pace of modernization in the Emirates since the country’s founding. Mohammed is acknowledged as one of the ‘Five’, an informal group of artists at the vanguard of conceptual and interdisciplinary art practice in the country.

In addition to representing the UAE at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), his many solo exhibitions also include Cadoro-Zentrum ur Kunst und Wissenschaft, Maine (2019); Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai (2018 & 2017); Aicon Gallery, New York (2018); Taymour Grahne, New York (2014); Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2013); and University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2012). He has participated in the Annual Exhibitions of the Emirates Fine Arts Society since 1986, as well as the Sharjah Biennial (1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2015); Havana Biennial (2000); Asian Art Biennial, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2002); and the Singapore Biennial (2006). Mohammed also co-curated the 8th Sharjah Biennial (2007). His works are held in the collections of the British Museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and New York, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Sharjah Art Foundation, Barjeel Art Foundation among others.