Afu (Afzal Shaafiu)
Born in Male’, Maldives (1975), Afu has been a practicing artist since the age of 18. Trained in Graphic Design, he was a pivotal force in the advertising industry in his early career. Concurrently, he has also been making art and contributed immensely for the development of the art community in Maldives. In 2010 he shifted to focus entirely on fine art. Reflecting on social, political and environmental themes, his work has been exhibited in solo and group shows both locally and internationally, including Malaysia, China, India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Japan, Germany, Tanzania and in the UK. A number of his works are in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery of Maldives. He received the Maldives National Award of Recognition for Visual Arts in 2014. Afu completed his Masters in Fine Arts at Bath Spa University (UK) in 2020. He is currently a resident artist at ‘EMERGE’ at Bath Spa University.
“A Maldivian Tale” (2012)
The Maldives is famous for its natural beauty and attracts tourists from all over the world. For the people who visit, it is a paradise where they can forget all the troubles of the world. In contrast, life is very different for the local people. In addition to the environmental challenges such as sea-level rise, our daily lives are affected by political conflict, both within the country and also embroiled between regional powers hungry for domination. Afu’s animation is a returning to the simple, traditional Maldivian way of life; a happy tale of a fisherman’s family revealed by moving images drawn on sand.
The shopping street in front of Tanabe Station was also a ‘post town’ on the way to the World Heritage Sites, Tokei Shrine- which divided the fate of the Genpei war, and Kumano Kodo. Last year's landscape improvement project eliminated electricity poles and transformed the arcades into shades (small roofs). The image of the town has completely changed and at night, the arcade is a feast for the eyes with its indirect lighting.
G-2“A Maldivian Tale” (2012) Afu (Afzal Shaafiu)