Lives & Works in Edinburgh, Scotland
Fathi Hassan was born in Cairo to Nubian and Egyptian parents. His family were forced to leave their homeland of Nubia when the Aswan High Dam was built in 1952, causing a vast area now under Lake Nasser to flood. Influenced by his experience of displacement, Hassan experiments with the written and spoken word to represent colonial erasure, focusing on the loss of ancient and indigenous languages. Whether in photographs, paintings, installations, drawings often directly on walls, his texts are deliberately illegible so as to highlight the loss of oral history and cultural knowledge that is affected by the erasure of language. With invented Kufic-inspired scripts, he plays with the symbols, textures, and calligraphy of his Nubian heritage to explore the space between graphic symbolism and literal meaning in vibrant colours and collage.
Hassan work is in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum, London and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC and Farjam Collections among many others.
Fathi Hassan will be presented by Nil Gallery.