“As a woman and a mutable personality, I perceive what surrounds me very much through feelings and emotions,” says multi-disciplinary artist Marijah Bac Cam.
Marijah Bac Cam is a French multidisciplinary artist with Tai Dam roots. She got her Honors degrees of Arts (MA Visual Arts or Maîtrise d’arts-plastiques) from the University of Paris in 1998 and has been practicing her art ever since. Today, Marijah’s artworks are preserved and exhibited all around the world: Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Over the past 20 years or so, Marijah’s work has been focusing on the exploration of the surface and depth to her relationship to the world in different factors of ‘acculturation’ by gesture and line. She’s interested in various mediums and techniques from painting to drawing, from abstract to figurative, and from conventional techniques to modern digital techniques
When A Multidisciplinary Artist Combines the Abstract and the Figurative
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Exploring abstraction and gesture with a sense of wonder
As far I can remember I’ve always been a curious and creative little girl.
– Marijah Bac Cam
Since she was a kid, Marijah has been interested in understanding what is hidden behind existential concepts. She kept a sense of wonder about why things are made as they are. Her imagination in front of such interrogations created in her an intense perception made of sensations and interpretation. “I had no other choice but to follow my path of life,” she says. “I was good at drawing and bad at mathematics.”
Marijah has been through many inventive games and a strict and meticulous education growing up. She gradually developed perseverance in trying to get her art dream to come true. After her plastic arts studies in university, she felt closer to a new conception of life. To not create mercantile objects but just the pleasure to put in shape concepts.
Taï Dam: A fascinating cultural heritage
“Women of my ethnic tribe, the Taï Dam,” Marijah recounts, “fascinated my childhood with their manual dexterity. My parents pushed me to be meticulous in my acts and to put some beauty in my daily life. I was fascinated by my parents’ handwriting and the Tai Dam alphabet; my grandparents’ notebooks filled with indecipherable scriptures. My artistic expression definitely comes from the drawings in their gestures that I couldn’t always read and understand. I saw in this a rich plastic vocabulary that I have transcribed later in my art by ‘Métis Writings’ to name the memory of the blend of lines and ‘codes’ I kept in my subconscious.”
Expressing depth on the surface
As a multidisciplinary artist, Marijah’s long-term project in painting explores her vision on how to express on the surface what is in-depth. Consequently, she created a plastic vocabulary of shapes, mark making, doodles, and patterns to translate her inner world. Through her sensations, her relationship to the world, and her femininity, Marijah’s work is constantly a mix of gestures and organic lines. “Because I see in them the variations of my mood punctuated sometimes by bright colors or sometimes by natural tones.”
Marijah has something to say to you
“It is very important to share our creations but with less frenzy than our debut. I mean we come at a moment where we need to explore other experiences to nourish our art. And that it is less important now to not be always seen as a figure of an artist, but that we are more than that. I mean the value we put on our art must be the same as each daily activity such as cooking, building a house, friendship, solidarity … We need to come back to basics. Life shows us how important it is to take our time to get inspiration all around us being less career-minded, but with more sharing. During the lockdown, I more than ever saw solidarity between artists and for the artists to help them keep their heads above water. Art and culture are important because they feed life and they’re feeding themselves from life.”
To see Marijah’s latest artworks, visit Saatchi Art >
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