Iraqi-Kurdish artist Hiwa K examines themes of migration, identity and collective ways of being in his first solo exhibition in Ireland. Bringing together works created over the past ten years he frequently refers to the geopolitical ties between his native Kurdistan and the many European locations he has called home.
In 1996, at age 21, the Iraqi-Kurdish artist Hiwa K fled Kurdistan on foot, embarking on a journey to Europe that lasted five months and twenty days. He lived in Germany for almost two decades and in 2020 he moved back to his birthplace of Sulaymaniyah, in Kurdistan. ‘Do you remember what you are burning?’ is Hiwa K’s first solo exhibition in Ireland, bringing together works created over the past ten years.
The exhibition’s title is taken from one of the featured artworks Do you remember what you are burning? (2011-2017) where the artist invited students to bring a book of choice to the old town square ‘Saray Azadi’ (freedom square),Sulaymaniyah, the site of long anti-government protests. They quietly read these books with a magnifying glass, focusing the sun’s rays and erasing the books’ contents letter by letter.
Comprised of films, installations, and performances, Hiwa K’s work examines themes of migration, identity, and collective ways of being. Concentrating on the conditions one can experience when on the margin of society, the artist frequently refers to the geopolitical ties between his native Kurdistan and the many locations in Europe that he has called home.
“Hiwa K’s intense dedication to current concerns is what makes him one of the most exciting artists working today and we are very pleased to welcome Hiwa K to Hugh Lane Gallery” – Barbara Dawson
His work is a unique combination of autobiographical stories in which politics and history form the backdrop to performative interventions.
“There is an insistence energy around Hiwa K’s practice – that is first felt emotionally and then intellectually”. – Michael Dempsey
A supporting programme of talks and lectures to be announced. Please visit Explore & Learn for updates.
‘Hiwa K: Do you remember what you are burning?’ Is an exhibition conceived as a three- venue collaboration with the artist Hiwa K by the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto.
“The works that I do mostly point with the pinkie; they leave space for the audience to produce their own readings.” – Hiwa K
Hiwa K (b. 1975) Lives and works between Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan and Berlin, Germany. Hiwa K’s works have been included in group exhibitions including documenta 14, Kassel (2017) Venice Biennial (2015); Asian Art Biennial, Taipei 21; Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc Videobrasil, Sao Paulo (2019); Anren Biennale, Sichuan (2019); Yinchuan Biennale (2018); and MOMA Ps1, New York (2019). Recent solo exhibitions include: Museum Abteiberg 2021; Kunsthalle Mannheim (2019); S.M.A.K. Museum, Ghent (2018); KW Institute of Contemporary Art (2017) and KOW Gallery, Berlin (2016). His work has been awarded the 2019 Hector.
- Published Material
- Further information
Do you remember what you are burning
Exhibition view Hiwa K: Do you remember what you are burning? Hugh Lane Gallery 2021. Photography by Ros Kavanagh.
My Father’s Colour Period
View From Above