The Power of Mohammad Bin Lamin’s Art and The Libyan Revolution

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Hego Goevert

The Power of Mohammad Bin Lamin’s Art and The Libyan


By Hego Goevert

(Young Chronicle- Issue: 12, Volume: 01,

April 2012)


“Anyone who says you can’t see a thought simply doesn’t know art”

(Wynetka Ann Reynolds)

Can art be subversive? Oh, yes, it can! And there is no better

evidence for this statement than the art of Mohammad Bin Lamin.

Let me come right to the point:

Mohammad Bin Lamin’s art is unique. It cannot be categorized.

And, of course, it eludes the control of any authority. His art

clearly contributed to the outbreak of the Libyan revolution. He is

one of those artists, writers, intellectuals who prepared the ground.

If you are able to ‘read’ paintings, you simply have to have a look at

his 2007 series ‘Figures’ which depicts the pre-revolutionary

atmosphere in Libya. Figures – painted on a unique blue

background – in yellow, red, white, brown, wildly moving, dancing,

and whirling around like some sort of mystical dervishes. The

series expresses the irrepressible passion, the individual desire for

freedom. Later, in his New Media series, Bin Lamin takes a closer

look at the people’s faces and you can see grim, wrath. He also

started to paint groups of people as if there would be a secret

gathering going on…


Figurative Art


When I got the news of his detention I immediately implemented

various actions – together with my fellow artists of the

internationally acclaimed MIRCA ART GROUP. We implemented

actions as we had done before in aid of the release of Burma’s

(Myanmar’s) Aung San Suu Kyi and China’s Ai Weiwei. Now one of

our fellow members, Mohammad Bin Lamin, had been arrested

and for unbearable 6 months we did not know if he was still alive.

We felt more than a great relief and joy when we got the news that

our friend had been freed from the detention in the infamous Abu-

Salim-prison. This was a kind of victory for all of us!

Of course, Mohammad Bin Lamin’s art has changed since the end

of the revolution. I think, it’s quite typical for him, that he started

doing a captivating series called ‘Sculptures of War’, showing

impressive sculptures made of bullet casings, in which he comforts

and encourages the amputees of the revolution (“Life can be joyful

and rewarding again!”). Only after doing this series he started to

overcome his own trauma by doing the amazing ‘Torture of

Tintalos’ series.


Torture of Tintalos


I do not think that anyone of us can imagine what Mohammad Bin

Lamin has gone through during his detention – knowing that his

wife was pregnant. I was so touched when she finally gave birth to

two lovely girls, his daughters Takbeer & Tahleel. May they reap in

their lives what their father and the other heroes of the revolution


I am so proud of being called Mohammad’s FRIEND. It is an

honour to be friend with someone who stood up for the freedom of

the individual, for the freedom of speech and art, for the dignity of

man and for social justice. Though deeply rooted in the great

culture of Libya, Mohammad Bin Lamin is a ‘global citizen’. I

cannot think of any better cultural ambassador for Libya!

Sun of Love


Chinese philosopher Shao Yong once said: “The soul of the sky comes from the sun and the soul of the human being comes from the heart, as the sun is the big universe while the heart is the small universe “.
The Great Sufi Jalal Aldin Rumi said. “Happy is that soul who has found the beauty of the sun and exceeded the nine planets and settled in silent at no place”.

Thus, the sun was and still is a symbol for the truth and the light that shows the beauty of this universe in its final lovely form. The Sun lights the path for us to see clearly through the dark and guides us towards the good deeds.
The heart too is our inner sun that enflame with heat of love and around it centered our everyday dreams.

I came from Libya, the country of The phoenix the bird that symbolizes immortality, resurrection and life after death. And associated with the sun god. Our ancients people worship the sun as the main source for the life and painted it in their caves in the shape of circle with illuminant center.
As Libyan worship the Sun they also worship the Moon, and welcome the new moon every month as a medium that uncovers and reveals the night’s creatures and lights the dark. They even recognize it as source for healing the souls and bodies.
This work “Sun of Love” is inspired by the story of creations as it told by the baluang people of China;
According to the tradition of the Bland-people of southwestern China, the earth was created from chaos by the divine giant (GUMIYA – HO Yee). The ten sun and moon brothers and sisters scorned upon this act and threatened to destroy everything with their blazing light. Upon this, the giant killed them all with the exception of one sun and one moon that had hid in a cave. With the help of the animals Sun and Moon could be won over to protect life on earth.

Mohammad Bin Lamin
Misurata. Libya 2006

Date of origin: August 2006
Place of origin: The 8th Changchun China International Sculpture Symposium
Size of the artwork: 300.0 x 150.0 x 250.0 cm
Category: sculpture
Materials: bronze & marble.

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