Muna Al-Bader Uses Art to Build Cultural Bridges
Muna Al-Bader was born in Doha, Qatar and is known as Artist of Blue because she paints mostly using the color blue. Highly educated, Muna has several degrees including a Master of Business Administration as well as a Bachelor of Science and engineering in Information and Communication Technology, a diploma in Networking and system Administration. She has exhibited her blue series artworks at a number of solo exhibitions including the 2019 Dan Danah Exhibition, 2019 Katara Dhow Festival, 2019 Dandanah, Qatar National Library, as well as the Arab Youth Forum and a solo exhibition at the Youth Creative Art Center in Qatar. Her unique art has garnered her numerous awards including 2020 Qatar Art Ambassador, ACWB, Spain, 2020 Qatar Art Ambassador UNESCO, and one of 2020’s top 20 change makers around the world.
HI! THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH US! PROFESSIONALLY AND ARTISTICALLY SPEAKING, WHO IS MUNA AL -BADER?
I am a computer engineer by profession but art is my passion. I graduated from the University of Huddersfield in technology science and from the University of Angelina, majoring in business administration. My love for art began when I was a child. I was drawing all the time, but I did not realize that art is a gift from God until I graduated from high school and it seemed to me that I had a lot of leisure time which I filled by taking art classes. The instructor told me that I was very slow compared to the rest of the students, but when I finished the first drawing, he liked the drawing. After that, I participated for the first time in my life in an art competition and won first place among the Arab world. After that I had two awards from Sotheby’s Auction House which encouraged me even more to dive deeper into art.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TOPICS THAT YOU FOCUS ON IN YOUR WORK?
The artist is the son of his environment. In the past few years, I have been greatly influenced by the Qatari heritage, especially the traditional weddings and music. I am attracted to that loud melody and my paintbrush moves with it. The colors in my paintings connect with human emotions. There is no sadness that ends without the beginning of joy and joy cannot continue without the passing of sadness. I primarily use the color blue because it is beautiful and makes us happy. My paintings are inspired by the maritime heritage and the golden throats of sailors in the thirties when they were away from their homes for months, grieving for the separation of their families but hung out at night and gathered together to sing and dance and forget their worries and their grief.
HAVE YOU DELIVERED YOUR ARTISTIC MESSAGE TO THE WORLD AND WHAT IS YOUR AMBITION?
My artistic mission is to increase communication between people and I think that I convey that message through my art. I created my first virtual exhibition in Qatar when the Covid 19 pandemic began and I reached about 4500 views within 24 hours. In 2021 I painted a mural at the University of Houston in America. While I was there I met many students who had questions about Qatan society after seeing my mural which is an example of how art helps build bridges between different people and cultures.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PARTICIPATION IN NOTABLE ART EXHIBITS AROUND THE WORLD.
I have participated in many art exhibitions, the most important of which are the Carthage exhibition and the Collision exhibition in Britain. In addition to my mural at the University of Houston, I also recently collaborated with Splendor Unique to paint on the dial of the famed Rolex watch.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ARAB WOMEN AND WHAT MAKES THEM UNIQUE FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THEM IN MULTIPLE FAIRS?
What distinguishes the Arab woman is her passion and ambition and the time and effort she spends doing it despite some societal restrictions imposed on her by customs and traditions.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
My biggest influences are actually me! I am my biggest supporter, influence, and inspiration because I love life and choose to look at the positive side of life.
WHAT’S SOMETHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT MIGHT SURPRISE US?
I am a pianist and enjoy playing music as it inspires me to flow into my own world and imagination and helps me find new creative ideas.
YOU ARE A SUCCESSFUL, AMBITIOUS WOMAN AND A ROLE MODEL FOR MANY, WHAT IS YOUR SELF-DISCOVERY ADVICE FOR WOMEN AROUND YOU?
My advice for women around me is to move away from your comfort zone and always challenge yourself to be better.