|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
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Born in Cairo, Egypt in 1974, Amal Kenawy studied film and fashion design at the Cinema Institute and received an
undergraduate degree in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan University in 1999.
career while studying in Egypt, Kenawy quickly gained recognition for her multimedia works and installations,
winning the UNESCO Grand Prize at the International Cairo Biennale. Later she received the Pro-Helvetia Swiss
Arts Council artist residency in 2004 and was honored with the Global Crossings Prize in Los Angeles in
Among Egypt’s internationally recognized artists, she has been given solo exhibitions at Townhouse
Gallery (Cairo), Darat al Funun (Amman) and Galerie El Marsa (Tunis) and has participated in group shows
and collective events such as Ashkal Alwan’s Home Works Forum, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art’s
inaugural exhibition “Told/Retold/Untold,” the Sharjah Biennial and the Venice Biennale.
Working with her mentor and brother Abdel Ghabi Kenawy, an established artist in his own right, for over
a decade, she does work, which often explores issues of existentialism, spirituality, and the experiences of man within
a physical and metaphysical world. Employing an intricate approach to installation, photography and new
media work, she attempts to surpass cultural borders, speaking to viewers that experience her work in a
variety of contexts.
Of this aspect of her work Kenawy has said, “I don’t think of my work as feminist in the
traditional sense of the word. In a way, I am concerned with pain and isolation among other sentiments. On a
technical level I try to create a visual language accessible to different audiences, a language that transcends
the specificities of culture, be it Eastern or Western.” (Darat al Funun, 2007).
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