Ali Hanoon

Ali Hanoon

Artist selected by Sánchez Balmisa, Alberto at 2010
More artist content updated at 2016

I try to define collective activities to be carried out within a given context to describe a certain reality. I explore existing relationships between individuality and collectivity that form part of our everyday surroundings and belong to social history.


The photography projects are based essentially on people. I try to show specific aspects of these people to reveal a given culture. These features are compared with and contrasted to different ones to create a universal discourse.


The ideas shown in the photographs question generic ideas on collective identity and aim to document the specific contents of a group of people.


Ali Hanoon
Madrid, 1982
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Madrid.

Formación Académica/Education

ICP Winter Program. International School of Photography. Nueva York, USA.

Licenciado en Bellas Artes/Bachelor of fine Arts, especialidad Artes Visuales, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

École Supérieure des Arts Saint Luc, Liège, Belgique.

Exposiciones Individuales/Solo Exhibition

Itoshima to Nokonoshima. Studio Kura, Fukuoka, Japón.

Fracasso, Sala de Exposiciones del Centro de Arte Joven, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid.

Exposiciones Colectivas/Group Exhibitions

Contexto Crítico: Fotografía Española Siglo XIX. Tabacalera. Espacio Promoción del Arte, Madrid.*

Arte Santander. Galería María Llanos. XX Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo. Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos. Santander.
ForoSur. Galería María Llanos. Feria Iberoamericana de Arte Contemporáneo. Cáceres.
JustMadrid2. Galería María Llanos. Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo. Madrid.

Arte Lisboa. Galería María Llanos. Feria de Arte Contemporáneo. Centro de Congresos de Lisboa. Portugal.
GRID2010. 4º Bienal Internacional de Fotografía. P60 Center. Amsterdam, Holanda.
Open Studios, GlogauAIR. Berlin, Alemania.*
ArteSantander. Galería María Llanos. IX Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo. Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos. Santander.
La Diversidad Empieza en uno Mismo. Centro Cultural de España. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana.
Madrid Foto, Galería María Llanos (Cáceres), Madrid.
Foro Sur, Feria Iberoamericana de Arte Contemporáneo, Galería María Llanos (Cáceres), Cáceres.
Just Madrid, Galería María Llanos (Cáceres), Madrid.

Muestra Artes Visuales Injuve 2009, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.

ARCO 08, stand Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Madrid.
Works on Paper, Cuchifritos Art Gallery, New York.
Premios Injuve para la Creación Joven 2007, Perú; Uruguay; Argentina.

Descubrimientos Festival PHotoEspaña, Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporáneo, Madrid.
Muestra de Artes Visuales Injuve 2007, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.

En primera persona: La autobiografía, Sala de Exposiciones Canal de Isabel II, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid.
Certamen de fotografía Creación Injuve 2006, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.


Muestra OFE en la Calle, Badajoz.

Descubrimientos, Festival PHotoEspaña, proyección, Plaza de Santa Ana. Madrid.

Paisaje Vivo 40º1´N / 3º36´O, Plaza de Parejas, Aranjuez.

Disparo Magazine,
Archivo de Creadores Matadero. Comunidad de Madrid.
Metrópolis, La 2 TVE.
Guía de Madrid Le Cool.
La Noche en Blanco. Comunidad de Madrid.
Las Noches Bárbaras. Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.
Las Miradas, catálogo de las XIII Jornadas de Estudio de la Comunidad de Madrid.
Teatro La Moderne. Liège, Bélgica.

Becas y Premios/ Awards and Grants
International Photographic Porfolio Review. PhotoIreland Festival. Dublín, Irlanda.(Finalista/Finalist)

Taller con Paul Graham. Fundación Botín. Santander.

Subvención a la producción en Artes Plásticas. Becas de la Comunidad de Madrid.
Artistas en Residencia. GlogauAIR. Berlin, Alemania. Becas de la Comunidad de Madrid.(Grant)

Muestra de Artes Visuales Creación Injuve 2009, InJuve, Madrid. (Premio a proyectos/Projects Grants).

Beca Festival OFE, Sala Europa, Consejería de Cultura y Turismo de la Junta de Extremadura. (Finalista/Finalist)

Descubrimientos Festival PHotoEspaña, Madrid. (Finalista)
Certamen Jóvenes Creadores, categoría fotografía, Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Madrid. (3er Premio/3th Award)
Muestra de Artes Visuales Injuve 2007, InJuve, Madrid. (Selección/Selected)

Creación Injuve fotografía 2006, InJuve, Madrid. (Accésit)
Campus PhotoEspaña 06. Asistente del fotógrafo Axel Hütte y Alex Majoli. Aranjuez, Madrid.
Estancias Injuve para la creación Joven. Dirigido por Marta de Gonzalo y Publio Pérez Prieto Mollina, Málaga.

Erasmus. École Supérieure des Arts Saint Luc de Liege, Bélgica. (Grant)
Campus PhotoEspaña 05. Asistente del fotógrafo Massimo Vitali. Aranjuez, Madrid.
Cursos de Verano Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Taller de fotografía impartido por Ouka Leele. Aranjuez, Madrid.


Madrid Foto, Madrid, Edición Artfairs, 2010, Cat. Exp.
Fracasso, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid, 2010, Cat. Exp.
Muestra de Artes Visuales Creación Injuve, Madrid, InJuve, 2009, Cat. Exp.
Muestra de Artes Visuales Creación Injuve, Madrid, InJuve, 2007, Cat. Exp.
Certamen Jóvenes Creadores Madrid, Madrid, Edición Dirección General de Educación y Juventud, 2007, Cat. Exp.
Creación Injuve fotografía, Madrid, InJuve, 2006, Cat. Exp.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
It’s in the family, so I was always clear I’d work in something linked to art. What I didn’t know is that I’d end up in photography.


2. How would you define your work?
I always produce series of photographs; sometimes they’re linked in pairs, even though each one has to work individually. In turn, all the images share a common denominator that gives an overall meaning to the work as a whole. My work is based fundamentally on the language of documentary photography.


3. What subjects are you interested in?
I look for aspects related to people and their environment: examples of cultural signs or some kind of easily recognisable, yet not too overpowering distinguishing feature - it comes close to everyday details. As a whole, I read global trends and specific interpretations of each culture.


4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
Firstly I have to know which photographic technique is best suited for the subject in question. To a certain extent the technique determines the formal composition of the images. I try to compose images that aren’t overloaded with information and keep the images coherent as a whole. The foundations for my work lie in the language of documentary photography to interpret the subjects, but I also seek out other references in other visual media.


5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
My work is based completely on reality, hence my rapport with documentary photography. My work always needs to maintain a clear, easily recognisable message of this reality.
My raw materials are people, both individually and collectively. I notice aspects of people from which I can extract a particular feature to give an overall definition. In turn I look for global aspects that anyone can identify with. This is what I need to get a project under way.


6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
Art can have many different purposes. The key thing is that it is a means of expression and can therefore express any kind of idea with the advantage of doing so beyond verbal language.


7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
My aim is to get to know the world we live in better. I express this in my ideas and share them with people who go to see my work. It’s about sharing these realities that I’ve experienced with the public.
I’m aiming at any and all audiences; I try to make my work understandable at first sight, so the public doesn’t need to know much about art.


8. What qualifications have you got?
What do you value most from your time in education?
I graduated in fine art. What I value most from my time in education is gaining a global knowledge of all areas of art. Thanks to this, my vision isn't limited to the field of photography and I can apply other knowledge when I’m carrying out a project.


9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
My professional situation isn’t very stable at the moment, but that’s not an entirely bad thing. The only thing is that sometimes there are factors that stop me doing my work at the time I want to do it. In the future I hope to have the opportunity to do work the moment I think of it, rather than having to wait to be able to. That’s why the production process is so slow.


10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
For me economic considerations are the key factor hampering production of my work. Money is the greatest impediment in my work, because of my approach. My projects are always designed to be done far away from home - which means spending a lot of money. I should also say that photography in itself is not cheap.


11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
I hope they act as a link between artists and institutions. I think they can help offer creators more opportunities to show our work. The advantages are that they do a job within the field of art that artists don’t know much about, ie everything to do with setting up an exhibition. So far I haven’t had any difficulties and they have always been flexible with my decisions, so I hope things carry on like this.


12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
Madrid has a very good arts scene compared with other Spanish cities. There’s always a wide variety of high-quality exhibitions on, which helps keep you up to date with what’s happening in the current art world. Compared with cities abroad, though, the scene is pretty poor and doesn’t like taking risks.


On the plus side, little by little there’s more interest in emerging art. On the down side, I’d say there’s a need for greater support from institutions. In addition, more attention should be paid to artistic creation in our city.