A former member of the 3hund collective, Mawad has recently shifted his practice from 3D animations and mapping projections to photography. His work marries his studious understanding of light with the rawness of analogue photography resulting in a captivating interplay with light and shape, pushing the light projection photography to the limits. “The fact that I was working in the field of digital media for so long made me appreciate the realness of this approach and made me strive for authenticity within my creativity,” he says.
Be it his striking photographs that evoke the cyberpunk aesthetic of Matrix; his documentation of Hong Kong’s neon nights or Thailand travel journals; Light, shape and subject all work to deliver Mawad’s cryptic narratives that try to decode ‘sweet science of boxing’ or suggest hazy sci-fi fantasies. “I very often have ideas and images popping up in my head without knowing their meaning,” the artist says. “Not defining a concrete idea allows viewers to interpret my photographs without a literal definition of what it’s about,” he adds. “I want the viewers to interpret freely, the same way I create my visual concepts.”
Although Mawad’s photographic work has a signature perennial quality of texture and a scenic atmosphere, there is a certain fluidity to his work. It ranges in genre, from portraits to landscapes to cityscapes. “Working repeatedly on the same thing over and over again does not challenge me as an artist,” he says. Contrary to his elaborately lit studio work, his documentary photographs rely heavily on the candour of the moment; stories are captured as they play out in their intimate settings with Mawad as a fully integrated observer of the life running its course. “I always loved the notion of capturing a moment in one single image,” he says. “As a photographer, you're the only person who knows the story behind the image.”