Art Verge | Soimadou Ali Ibrahim: Chaï Time

Yannis Kostarias, Art Verge, 13 Aug 2020

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Bold, free and personal.


Would you use another three different words to describe the Chai Time painting?

Tea, thoughts, brother.


How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind this painting?

This is some sort of methaphor about how having a cup of Chaï (tea) can give time for reflection and help to heal. Like British people say “A cup of tea can solve everything”.


A brother sits here thinking of his lost older sibling who he was unable to say goodbye to, holding their bond within his heart. The look in his eyes and the way he poses signal his pause for grieving. It’s a reminder for us to take time to remember the moments you shared with those who are no longer with us; to not forget their face, their voice and the bond you shared. That’s the story behind this artwork. But that’s only my story. For other people it can just be a man having a cup of tea, simple as that.


What colour is used the most in this painting?



What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

For me, it’s all about the artworks. Therefore the area they are in needs to be as simple as possible, with enough space between each so that they can express themselves and tell their stories. 


Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Henry Taylor, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Wangari Mathenge, Guy GreySmith, Alexis Ralaivao, Marcus Brutus, Horace Pippin, Lubaina Himid, Zaïko Langa Langa, Ali Farka Touré.


How do you know when this painting was finished?

When there was no paint left on the palette.

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