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Bouthayna Al Muftah, Kan Ya Ma Kaan, 2019


Ink on paper with steel mounting system

Bouthayna Al Muftah (b. 1987, Qatar)       

The theme around this piece centres on Qatari Women and their culturally rooted association with thahab (gold). The portraits of women explores the notion of a place and time - hence the title, Kan Ya Ma Kaan. It’s a phrase that has the same connotations as ‘Once Upon a Time’ – any person, male, female or child has a deep-rooted relationship with this phrase coming from folkloric tales, cinema and satirical idioms.

Here, it references the idea of time vis-à-vis its audience today. When we think of the words Kan Ya Ma Kaan, we also think of the next few words following these words in any tale, ‘Fe Khadeem al Zamaan’. It is the visuals of the title that the artist presents to its viewers and wills the instinctive continuation in their minds – ‘Fe Khadeem al Zamaan’. The artist questions embedded phrases, memories and stories of her culture. Provoking an automatic reaction that mirrors the said person’s background and childhood recollections, the artist aims to reignite her audience’s ingrained traditions and history.

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