Ameer Basalamah is a self-taught contemporary artist born on 27 Jan 1978. Ameer is of Yemeni Arabic descent, although he was born and raised in Singapore. His art is known to promote conversations on social behavior and conformity. Through his works, Ameer explores the intricacies of relationships, religion and other sensitive societal topics that many dare not broach.
While he enjoys using painting as a medium to communicate his worldviews, Ameer does not believe in restricting his audiences to a singular takeaway from his art. Instead, he encourages open discourse and intellectual reflection on the meaning behind his artistic expressions.
Ameer’s journey in the arts began more than a decade ago in 2009. Faced with heartbreak and suffering from depression, Ameer poured his thoughts into writing. Although Ameer had enjoyed drawing since his childhood, it was not until 2018 that he began painting seriously. This transition from writing to painting occurred as Ameer discovered the fluidity that painting afforded. Painting allowed him to creatively express complex ideas that were difficult to articulate fully through words. Art also offered a freedom of interpretation that he found refreshing. Ameer utilizes a broad spectrum of techniques to articulate his musings in each series.
In 2018, the year he started painting, Ameer had his first solo exhibition. This was a public art exhibition at Sengkang West Public Library in Singapore. His next exhibition, titled “Ayat Ayat Cinta” (Sentences of Love), took place at The Substation on Armenian Street. As the lead artist of the exhibition, Ameer featured one of his earliest works, “The Observer”, which was inspired by heartbreak from romantic loss.
Seeking to understand the meaning behind love and why relationships unfolded the way they did, Ameer had pored through numerous psychology books, interviewed others around him informally and made careful observations on the way people interacted with one another. His insights fueled the conversational piece “The Observer”, which posits that all romantic love is transactional and conditional due to our human condition.
While this was a more personal piece, many of Ameer’s works are wider social commentaries on civilization at large. Ameer had spent his younger years with an intellectual interest in the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He spent hours studying the religious books of each faith and concluded that the societies of the times had a strong influence on the evolution of these religions. Ameer also observed that many religious practitioners did not fully understand the religious teachings of their belief system, which he found unsettling. If there is something Ameer stands for, it is the importance of critical questioning and not imbibing others’ teachings without deep personal understanding. This inspired his artworks on the topic of religion.
Ameer is taking the quiet period of the pandemic to research his topics of interest in greater depth and create more contemporary artworks.
In the coming years, Ameer aspires to travel and share his works with art communities from all over the world, including in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Germany and England.