Embracing the Serenity of Island Life with Iphpha

MV+ News DeskJune 4, 2024

Local artist Hussain Ihfal Ahmed, also known as Iphpha, launched his highly anticipated solo exhibition, "Serenity of the Island Life," at the National Art Gallery last night. The exhibition, open from June 4th to 16th, marks Iphpha's return to using oil as a medium and showcases works reflecting his deep connection with the Maldivian landscape and nature.


A Journey Through Time and Mediums

In his opening speech, Iphpha reflected on his early artistic journey during high school. "I started using oils in high school, but the availability of materials like linseed oil was limited," he explained. This scarcity led him to innovate, using a mix of local materials such as crude oil. The exhibition includes two of his oil paintings from that time, titled 'Horses' and 'Tigers'. Created in 2000 and 2001, the paintings provide an insight into the early days of his artistic career.

Following this period, his use of oil mediums was sporadic until the COVID-19 pandemic reignited his passion. "The pandemic was a time of reflection and creation for me," he shared. The paintings created during this period form the core of the current exhibition, embodying the tranquil and resilient spirit of island life.

Honouring an Artistic Legacy

Speaking as the chief guest, prolific artist Naushad Waheed (Naube) highlighted Iphpha's significant contributions to Maldivian art and tourism.

He highlighted the series of underwater paintings featured in Iphpha's 2018 exhibition, which made him the first artist in Asia to host an exhibition underwater.

Naube drew parallels between Iphpha and Sarudhaaru Dhon Manik - a pioneer among Maldivian artists- emphasising Iphpa's innovative spirit. "And I hope he receives the same recognition," Naube remarked.

Iphpha's previous ventures have set high expectations. Known for his diverse forms of artistic expression, from commercial work to coffee art, he has always sought to convey a message through his creations.

Exhibition Details

"Serenity of the Island Life" is open to the public from June 4th to 16th, 2024, with viewing hours from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM from Saturday through Thursday and 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Fridays at the National Art Gallery.

This exhibition, supported by the Maldivian Artist Community (MAC), offers a serene escape into the heart of Maldivian culture through Iphpa's evocative oil paintings.

Hussain Ihfal Ahmed Iphpa's remarkable journey and ongoing fifth solo exhibition invite viewers to experience the serene and resilient spirit of island life, a testament to his enduring legacy in the Maldivian art scene.