Huner Emin is a stateless multimedia Kurdish artist. He grew up in south Kurdistan/northern Iraq and is now based in Bloomington, Indiana. He studied Western classical art in Erbil, Iraq, and moved to the United States to earn an MFA in Studio Art, Painting at Marywood University. Huner works on political and social subjects relating to his life, ecosystem, and identity as a Kurd. During the Arab Spring, he performed Geruk, which questioned governmental power and political dogma and led to his arrest twice between 2011-2013. Huner has never returned since leaving Iraq in 2013 due to political and social issues. His work since has continued to comment both on his lived experiences and broader concerns in the Middle East, including honor killing traditions in 2017’s Blood Washing, the Baath regime’s 1987-1989 genocide campaign against Kurdish communities in 2016’s 180,000 Seconds, and crimes against humanities during Iraq war in Manufactured Democracy 2021.
I am a storyteller using calligraphy or visual symbols to express various subject matters such as honor killing, genocide, or suppression. I work on research and multi-disciplinary art to spotlight social and political issues, which I call Investigative Art. I reorganize and reform shapes, materials, and data to create art pieces of multiple media styles, video art, installations, and paintings.
I create an art bridge between different art-making philosophies by reflecting on Middle Eastern and Western cultures. I studied Western classical art in Iraq, where I learned to create art that resembles Western culture's horizontal perspective and visual aesthetics. Meanwhile, my art practices developed during my MFA study in the United States, where I worked on subject matters that reflect my country of origin's political and social issues. In the West, I sought authenticity in my work and established a system descended from Middle Eastern culture's verticality and poetic nature.