Hazem ElMestikawy’s work incorporates elements of ancient Egyptian art, Islamic architecture, as well as contemporary minimal art philosophies, such as the Bauhaus. Moving between the realms of architecture, design, sculpture, and visual art, ElMestikawy uses cardboard, cartonnage and other paper-based materials to design installations. The artist plays with these fragile materials to explore light, shade, volume and its surrounding space to ultimately design deceptively light forms. In his latest body of work, ElMestikawy puts South-Oriental and North-Western forces in opposition. Using sceptres and symbols from ancient to modern monarchies, ElMestikawy raises questions regarding zones of power and influence to explore the rise and fall of ideologies, empires, economies, wealth and power, where millions seem to follow, yet demonstrate the same helplessness.
Having obtained his BA at Minia University, Egypt in 1986, ElMestikawy has had several solo and group exhibitions in Egypt and internationally in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Dubai. He has received international acclaim and in 2011 was shortlisted for the Jameel Prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic tradition.