Arab League Café, by Hani Alqam

Arab League Café, by Hani Alqam
Men clad in unusually bright colors, certainly do not allude to cheerful sentiments, these colors rather isolate the figures from their surroundings…"My work speaks of ordinary life…I am interested in reflecting the private and public face of mankind and juxtaposing the harshness and softness of life", says the young Jordanian artist.

The staircase leading up into the coffee shops in Down Town Amman are well worn.
This wear and tear is evident by the indelible stains left from the constant flow of traffic of feet over many years. These stains are part of legacy that is important to the memory of all card players, coffee drinkers and many others, “for we live in a time of change where in future years it may not be commercially viable to linger for hours nursing one cup of coffee” says the artist, “the contrast of murky, bleak staircases to the fluorescent lit spaces of the coffee room is comforting and somewhat familiar place. It is familiar as during my adolescence, I would have seen many of these men walk in and out of these coffee houses. Sometimes I would take the courage and climb those steps inside and watch for a moment, quietly absorbing this intimate world where plain men came together to forget the everyday realities of life”.
Arab League Café, by Hani Alqam
Hani Alqam
Hani have learnt to appreciate the ordinary side of life, “it is the simplicity and uncomplicated way of life that helps to hold my integrity working as an artist. The coffee house holds everything that is true to me of mankind”. It’s a place where there is no room for social pretension. There is a harsh rawness and at the same time a fragility that leaves all exposed. Its worn chairs and tables balance precariously, paint peeling from the walls, bent ashtrays from years of use and lit pipes gathering a haze of smoke….

Hani Alqam, born in 1977, participated in two summer academies (1999, 2001) held at Darat al Funun under the direction of Berlin based Syrian artist Marwan.

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