Ossama Emam

Artist Statement

Architectural character and the basic components of the building shape - the square, cube, circle, sphere, and cylinder are key features of the majority of my art ceramic works, which represent a dialogue between geometric construction and spontaneous expression. A hand touch in construction is spontaneous or an innate quality of the material. These gestures complement the chosen geometry, stress the value of the forms, and contrast geometric thinking.

I am concerned with form and space, searching for a new vision of the ceramic mass and its relation with external emptiness. The geometric relationship between building units and their internal spaces bleeds into the object’s surrounding space, sometimes unifying and sometimes opposing.

The building unit represents continuity, and repetitions constituting a form create varying tempos. The variation reduces the monotony of repetition and breaks the sharp monumental mass within its own space, revealing a reflexive vision of the relationship between mass and void.

-- Ossama Emam


Born in Cairo, Egypt on June 23, 1974 , Ossama Emam started a course in the ceramic department in the Faculty of Applied Arts of Helawn University, Cairo in 1993. He graduated in 1998 and now works in his own studio in Elfostat, which is an area famous in Egypt for ceramic art and crafts. To date, Emam has participated in more than 70 international ceramic events in Egypt, Italy, Greece, America, South Korea, China, Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Denmark, and Turkey. The Egyptian Academy of Arts in Rome, Italy awarded Emam The Egyptian State Prize in Art Creativity in 2004 and he has earned numerous local and international prizes throughout his career including: Jury prize at the 4th Cairo International Biennale of Ceramics; 1st Prize in Ceramics at the 14th and 18th Salon of Youth in Cairo; 2nd prize in ceramics at Ente Ceramica in Faenza, Italy; and, honorable mention at the 4th World Ceramics Biennale (CEBIKO) in Icheon, South Korea. His work is held in numerous formal collections including: The Egyptian Museum of Modern Art, Cairo; the Museum of Ceramics in Perdasdifogo, Sardinia, Italy; the Museum of Ceramics in Saint Diego, Dominican Republic; and, the Zibo Museum of Ceramics in Zibo, China. Engaged in numerous artstist activities, Emam curated the 14th international ceramic symposium in Dahab Egypt, in 2014 and was artist in residence in the ceramic department at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.