Ahmed Umar

  • 1988

The Norwegian-Sudanese artist Ahmed Umar works in a number of different materials and artistic expressions, including ceramics, textiles, graphics, photography and performance. Umar came to Norway from Sudan as a political refugee in 2008. In 2016 he earned his master's degree in medium and material-based art at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. His art has been exhibited at several major art institutions in Norway and purchased by, among others, the National Museum, Drammen Museum of Art and Cultural History and the City of Oslo’s art collection.

Finding his own voice

A childhood that was characterised by political instability, and completely structured around religion, forms the starting point for Umar's art projects. After he came to Norway, the experiences of having to adapt to a new culture and the desire to find his own voice have been central.

Gripping stories

Umar explores the relationship between gender, sexuality, power and art. He conveys strong stories that communicate directly with basic human senses and emotions. The works reflect stories from his own life, and include a long process of self-understanding and acceptance. He draws inspiration from Sudan's vast wealth of culture and art, often from female artisans. Arabic calligraphy is also a recurring element in his works.

Umar was awarded Scheibler's Arts and Crafts Award in 2018 and the debutante award for his installation Hijab (Annual Protection) at The Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts annual exhibition in 2017.

Key works

2017 Hijab (Annual Protection)

2017 “Would any of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother?”

2016 What Lasts! (Sarcophagus)

2021 Glowing Phalanges: Prayer Beads

2014 Thawr, Thawra ثور, ثورة  (Ox, Revolution)

Website: ahmedumar.com


  • The artist in conversation with curator education Helga Gravermoen, 12.2020
  • Interview with Ahmed Umar, by curator Anne Sommerin Simonnæs, 5.8.2020
Objects in the collection:

Related works

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