To anyone who has spent even a little time in Bahrain recently, they would probably be familiar with, or have been taken to the now pretty famous closed shop in the old Manama souq to stand against it and take some pictures.
The abandoned shop’s door was taken over by Bahraini artist Ahmed Anan as an art installation. In the artist’s mind, he was asking the question “why” the shop was closed? The artist artfully depicts various characters tying to get the open the closed and shuttered shop; from one scaling the door to the air conditioning opening, to another trying to unlock the padlock.
This shop has become a landmark in the souq and many people make a point to try to find it to enjoy its art and take some pictures.
If you haven’t seen it, this is what it looks like:
I fell in love with the work the moment I stumbled across it a few of years ago. I had since taken many of my friends and visitors to that door to enjoy and take some pictures with it as a background.
I only recently discovered that the artist who painted it was Mr Ahmed Anan. However, I never had the pleasure of meeting him.
Lo and behold, he gets introduce to me at my photography exhibition at Mashq Art Space while he was admiring my picture of his door which is placed in the centre of my installation! That was such a nice surprise.
I wanted to know more about his work and asked him a few questions. I soon got immersed in his story and wanted to archive it for posterity. So I quickly whipped out my iPhone to video the interview. And here it is, enjoy: