Rababah (2000). Photo: Bader Almansour
In front of Bader Al-Mansour’s – a Kuwaiti conceptual artist – artworks, you can always believe that everything has a meaning and there’s always an extension other than its usual way.
The (Rababa) artwork composed of unknown scrap metal at the beginning of the millennium between (2000-2001). Al-Mansour endeavored to combine his influence by heritage, his spontaneous ideas on recycled art, and his artistic approach.
The Rababa is an Arabic name come from (Rebab) which is an ancient single-stringed musical instrument, made from tree wood and goatskin and has seven shapes where Al-Mansour has worked on a variety of Rababa’s shapes.
The artist has inspired by the musical instruments’ shapes, their fluidity, and grace, and with what he often finds in scrap metal, he is skillfully able to transform these pieces into an artwork that resembles the oud or harp.
“Many people may think that recycling is merely a work of assembling, filling, painting and wrapping, but the actual beauty behind constructing a recycled artwork is the harmonized elements, following a certain pattern, balancing the spaces between the pieces, even the asymmetric parts should unite as a whole work. This is what features the handicraft from a manufactured artwork, just like the difference between human and angels” – Al-Mansour
From Al-Mansour’s vision, these discarded raw materials of scrap and e-waste have a life that invites us to explore and think. This vision is reflected in the artist’s experience for more than 20 years in the field of recycling art; he is a pioneering artist in the Gulf.