Walid Siti was born in 1954, in the city of Duhok, in Iraqi-Kurdistan. After graduating in 1976 from the Institute of Fine arts in Baghdad, Siti left Iraq to continue his arts education in Ljubljana, Slovenia before seeking political asylum in 1984 in the United Kingdom where he lives and works.
Formerly trained in printmaking, Siti works extensively in a variety of mediums including video, installation, 3D works, work on paper and painting. His works traverse a complex terrain of memory and loss, while at the same time offering an acute insight into a world, which for him has been a place of constant change. The narrative of Siti’s experience, of a life lived far from but still deeply emotionally connected to the place of one’s birth, is one he shares with many exiles; he takes inspiration from the cultural heritage of his native land that is crisscrossed with militarized borders and waves of migration. The artist’s work considers the tensions between collective identity, interdependence and the constraints placed on the individual by themes of heritage, tradition, homes, borders, mobility and migration.
Siti’s work has been exhibited internationally, at Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, at the Imperial war Museum, London, at Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris, at the Sharjah Biennial with prize award, and at the Venice Biennale, 2009, 2011,2015. Yinchuan Contemporary Art Museum, China(MOCA), “Systems and Patterns”, International Centre of Graphics, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Bruges Triennial, Belgium.
His work is in notable international collections such as The Metropolitan Museum, New York; The British Museum, London; The Imperial War Museum, London; The Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE; The National Gallery of Amman, Jordan; The World Bank, Washington, D.C.; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The Iraq Memory Foundation, Art for American Embassy program, USA; Museum of contemporary Art, Krakow and the Barjeel Art Foundation, UAE.