Enlightening Entertainment
Designs of Enchantment and Freedom -Iraqi Ceramic Artist Salam Jamil (In Arabic)      
Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Arabic, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

Halo precious viewers, and welcome to today’s edition of Enlightening Entertainment. Today, we will meet Mr. Salam Jamil, an Iraqi artist based in the United States. Mr. Jamil graduated from the Arts Academy Baghdad, Iraq. Prior to that, he studied in the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad. During his 28 years of professional experience, he has given exhibitions in top art galleries and schools in Amman, Jordan, and his works have been featured in the Modern Art Museum in Baghdad, Iraq.

An international artist, Mr. Jamil has had 25 personal exhibitions in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United States. His works have been featured as well in Netherlands, Thailand, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and many nations. Born in the region of the ancient Babylon, in present-day Iraq, Mr. Salam Jamil frequently visited the fascinating walls and sites of the great Mesopotamian city-state.

Its lofty spiritual and cultural heritage was imprinted in Mr. Jamil’s heart and would inspire his works for a long time. Mr. Jamil is also a talented actor who has contributed to movies on Iraqi culture, especially ones featuring idyllic village life. Thus, as an artist, he is an ambassador of Iraqi tradition and culture.

[Iraq] is rich in natural resources with desert, mountain, river, garden, customs and traditions. The southern region is different from the center of Iraq, and the north is different from the west and the middle.

The entire Iraqi people are artists in nature. And anyone who visits the Iraqi streets finds the gorgeous sculpted doors, and the Iraqi Aelchenachel (wooden latticed windows) which is made by skilled hands. They are really artists in nature. The visual influence in my childhood has had a big effect in this aspect. The Iraqi environment differs from one quarter to another and one city to another, in color, method, designs. That charm is in the nature of Iraqis.

By his early youth, Mr. Jamil already participated in several exhibitions. Recognizing his extraordinary talent, his close friend encouraged him to continue developing his artistry to a professional level.

Eventually, Mr. Jamil moved to Baghdad where he attended the prestigious Institute of Fine Arts. Initially, Salam Jamil was engaged in drawing and painting, then ceramics. Despite any obstacles or unfavorable circumstances, Mr. Jamil remained faithful to his artistic calling and evolved as a successful and innovative artist.

I was the honor of the whole stage. I loved art to the extent that most of the study days I slept in the Institute. I considered it my home where I stayed until the morning and did not get out of the Institute for six days (a week). I kept working within the Institute. It was a very nice period in my life. We had a highly competent staff that encouraged students. One of them who encouraged me was Mr. Badr Basem, hoping he is still alive. Among my teachers who are still in my memory is Jawad al-Zubaidi…

I liked the art of ceramics, and everything related to mud. And I kept searching and moved from the traditional ceramic to the particular experiences of it. Most people know that I have worked as a potter or with ceramic. No, it’s not this.

I've been using ceramics and created a painting that is different from the traditional concept. For people, the traditional ceramic is dishes and vessels; I turned it into a painting, so it will be stronger. I always like to do something with ceramics all the time.

In 1991, the versatile Mr. Jamil moved to Jordan where his works were successfully exhibited and warmly received.

I had a lot of exhibitions in very good halls in Jordan such as Alea, Al Mashrek, Broadway and Salat Baladna. There were common exhibitions and personal ones, about 32 personal exhibitions. The last personal one was in the Broadway Hall and achieved a great success.

I always aspire to reach more than I am and always like to try and love my job. If not making ceramic paintings, then drawing and designing or planning the colors. I do not like to spend my time without giving the beautiful results of my work. Many newspapers wrote about the exhibitions and I obtained good awards.

Let’s enjoy some of Mr. Salam Jamil’s masterpieces. When we return, we will learn more about Mr. Salam Jamil’s artistic journey in the United States. Please stay tuned.

Welcome back to Enlightening Entertainment, where we’ve been taking an artistic journey with Mr. Salam Jamil, a distinguished artist from Iraq.

Mr. Jamil’s works often use sandy colors, as well as vibrant hues of turquoise. There are also images of doves, the heart, the eye, musical instruments, and cottages. Most of his paintings have symbolism.

I always look for freedom and hope. most of my paintings have a symbol, and this symbol has implications.

But as for the interpretation of his works, he wishes for the people who view them to decide the paintings’ meaning for themselves.

I liked ceramic art; there is a relationship between ceramics and my childhood. We played on streets and as children by nature always drew on the wall. Thus, most of my paintings got affected by my childhood. Paintings include many meanings such as drawing on the wall, window, and using figure. I give an integral story to make a connection between the person, home, and water.

You can say that the painting contains several meanings. I do not like to explain the meaning of a painting, or give it a name. I leave that to the recipients, so what they always see in my painting suggests a number of artistic aspirations and they find many in them.

Mr. Jamil’s creations enthrall the visuals senses with its intricate patterns, and perfect natural balance of clean lines, delicate strokes, pleasing colors, layers of shapes. There are so many things to gaze upon and imagine the symbolism and story within. Each piece is a bold expression of Mr. Jamil’s love and longing of his beautiful homeland.

Since moving to the United States, Mr. Jamil has been giving more successful exhibitions, including in the Modern Art Museum in Michigan, USA, the Anderson Gallery Birmingham in Alabama state, the Arab American Council Exhibit, and the Henry Ford Community College Exhibit, among others. Mr. Jamil is a Member of the Iraqi Artists Union and the Arab Artists Union. He has won multiple Fine Arts Exhibits Award at the Farmington Annual Heritage Festival in Michigan, USA.

I came here for the art I have established a ceramic workshop. After a year I held an exhibition in the city of Birmingham. It was successful and mentioned by the press. I’ve continued holding exhibitions for two or three times a year, either personal or common among artists.

He is remarkably successful wherever he goes. It must be that Salam Jamil’s art is somehow so universal, that it resonates with people across borders and languages. However, his experience is not without challenges. In his own words, being apart from his homeland, Iraq, is like being a tree replanted, adjusting to a new environment. While becoming more and more accustomed to a new climate, a new culture and language, a new community, and a new life, Mr. Jamil perseveres in expressing his hopes and feelings through his paintings.

Experience in America in terms of availability of materials is excellent of course. So I do my best, such as a painting or two a month. I try to continue my work according to the materials.

Life is an ever-evolving work to which one applies effort, care, and talent to create one’s own masterpiece. For Iraqi artists like Salam Jamil, living in a new homeland means summoning whole fresh perspectives, creativity, and skills upon a blank canvas of life. As can be seen in his vibrant artworks, Mr. Jamil’s own spirit is lively and joyful.

For me, I do not like despair, but I love ambition and hope and await the right opportunity. So now I am preparing for a personal exhibition. After a few days we will go to Arizona to show some of my new art works. This is some which you're seeing now by the camera.

Wherever they may live, artists have a special mission to spread messages of hope, harmony, and beauty. They need only to continue and never give up their creative journey.

My message to the Iraqi artists is, despite the difficult circumstances in Iraq, I hope that they continue in their art.

We sincerely thank Mr. Salam Jamil for sharing your ideals of freedom, peace, determination, and faith with our world through your unique art creations. May Allah bless you and your homeland through these masterpieces that people everywhere so appreciate.

Thank you gracious viewers for your company today on Enlightening Entertainment. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, coming up next after Noteworthy News. May your pure-hearted dreams come true.

Early 2010, Mongolia joined the growing ranks of nations and abolished the death penalty. At the forefront was His Excellency President Tsakhia Elbegdorj: “Mongolia is a dignified country… Only when the death penalty is abolished shall we be able to genuinely enhance the value of human life...”

Find out more about this honored recipient of the Shining World Leadership Award from Supreme Master Ching Hai, Saturday, August 7 on Supreme Master Television.

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