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The Art of Amang Mardokhy

The Art of Amang Mardokhy

Joanie Yeung

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Rubbing, splashing, sprinkling. The canvas has become a war zone. It is a war zone of contrasting colours, of light and darkness, and of conflicting emotions.

Such spectacle is recurrent in the paintings of Amang Mardokhy, a Kurdish artist currently based in Stockport, UK. For Mardokhy, the question of nationhood and identity of his people is always coloured with horrific wars and never-ending struggles. His art is an invitation to a journey into this particular world of his people. There is a burning desire to escape the painful turmoil, but still there is a yearning heart to belong. Such clashing emotions can only be expressed through a messy disarray of colours battling against each other. The crimson patches are constantly battling the black nasty strokes. The white, the amber, the green, the brown and purple, all join in the struggle from all angles.  There is nowhere to escape.

The result is a dream-like world that comes alive with violent movements of colours, shapes and layers constantly waging and struggling for dominance. There is no paintbrush, only bare flesh and sweat, bringing the vibrant oil paint to life. The scene grabs you instantly, and invites you to stare. You look and look into the space, because this ‘battlefield’ of colours is irresistible and overwhelming. You can see shapes of landscapes and figures that are familiar. Thus the dream-like world is as real as reality itself. Perhaps different viewers, Kurdish or not, see a part of their own national or personal struggles in the battle scenes on the canvas. There is something that connects the world on the canvas to our lives, because from the disturbance comes resolute solitude. Are the paintings grieving with pain? Or are they presenting us with new possibilities and hope?

The battles go on…