Abdelaziz Haounati- in short “Zi Hounti”– was raised in a small village in the southern region of Morocco. After losing his mother to the birth of his sibling, his aptitude and natural skill as a fine artist began to shape and mold him. Despite the lack of support for his artistic endeavors from his family, he continued to strive, leaving his home at the tender age of 15 to pursue his art. His paintings feature vibrant and energetic portraits of Moroccan people in a semi-figurative style. Hounti’s subjects are filled with intense emotion, communicating through indescribable facial expressions, asymmetric body postures, and a lustrous color palette.
Each painting features a rich and provocative scheme of shades and color blends which breathes life into each piece of his artwork. Strokes of Hounti’s brush parade through every piece and the range of vibrancy can be found in unexpected twists.
Zi travels all the time from city to city, pursuing inspiration and studying the lives and moods of people in his country. His art witnesses the change of each city shifting from a traditional classical age to a contemporary modern one, and even though this change may sometimes be perilous for people in North Africa, his work shows that there is a way to preserve the authenticity of this region while adapting to the pace of the world.
In 2016 he moved from the quiet village where he lived to the city of Casablanca, wanting to experience and explore a new Urbanism. His art began to take form, influenced by the modern architecture he found there. Hounti now works on projects for culture brand identity, striving to identify the elements and keys that represent the culture of Morocco and north Africa. This project is more than just a painting- it’s a whole story of subject and object. Many other creators and artists all over the world will participate and contribute in order to inspire people to question their actions and behaviors toward nature and their environment. The aim of this project, says Zi, is to stop producing and consuming and think a bit for a while: why are you creating and what are your intentions in doing so?
Where, When, How and why story
As to whether I’m satisfied with the work or not, I can say that I’m most satisfied by artwork where I didn’t take full control by my rational mind. That’s because for me techniques, styles, and rules should be flowing naturally to my mind without me even thinking about it. The moment I begin to think is the moment that my mind concentrates, and when my mind is in a mood of concentration it only captures one direction and one possibility at once. Then it starts to search for the right ones because it doubts itself at this moment. But as we know, there is no right or wrong in creating art or expressing one’s thoughts and feelings. That is why I’m patient in the Process of creation- it teaches me how to let go of the controls.
Since a piece itself could be seen from many different views, most of my artwork could be listed at first view as a form of cubism or surrealism since this is what it captures in composition, techniques, and style. More depth emerges when we move to study not only the formal or academic aspect of it but also the message behind the forms and colors. To that question I would be honest and say that for me I do not really know the whole of what I create. I start with a small perception and then I go further and say that my paintings are a visual representation of an opposite mirror reflecting a perception or ideas I have about the world I grew up in and continue to live in every day.
Morocco for me is a country which lives in the past and future at the same time. People here want to thrive but at the same time they are carrying a heavy burden on their back- traditional culture and history vs technology, science and a new age. It is somehow these two opposite states that cause a schizophrenia in them, because whenever I go deep into a subject or a social issue with a person here, I discover that their dreams do not really match their beliefs. In some cases, there are people who live two different personalities in one.
For me, there is no good or bad of what Moroccan society is, because it is somehow part of evolution and I have no right to judge it. Rather, I observe it and am inspired by it. In my daily life I usually frequent crowded places where I sit and observe people’s behaviour and moods- it is like a kind of meditation for me. Watching someone else is also like watching myself through them. So, in order to better know myself I have to pass through the process of knowing and interacting with others, but to truly know others I have to suspend my judgement on them. This is where I believe that I could recognize the duality of the states of mind of the people I interact with, and I’m inspired by some of Carl Jung works like The Psychology of the Unconscious in this process.
it is to say that. what i observe outside of me is also what is inside of me. and then there is a subject and the object in between this two worlds / ’’mirrors’’ whenever i found myself in this particular moment which is like been in between those two, i have to remain neutral in order to SEE over my Egoic mind judgment. which is to say, the Ego mind helps to hold a brush and start as fantasy dream, and then the dream goes beyond the the characteristic of Ego “persona” . it s as it says it transcends the realm object and form and aims to higher beauty as abstract symbol, and that s why i don’t paint people’s faces as you would expect!
Then there comes whether I’m satisfied with the work or not, for this I can say that most of artwork I’m satisfied are those that I didn’t take full control by my rational mind. Cause for me techniques, styles, and rules should be flowing naturally to my mind without even thinking about it. Because The moment I begin to think is the moment that my mind concentrates, and when the mind is on mood concentration it’s only captures one direction one possibility at one. Therein its start to seek for the right ones cause it doubt itself at this moment. But the thing as we know there is no right or wrong on creating art or expressing ones thought and feeling. that is why I’m patient on the Process of creation, it teaches me how to let go of the controls.
the piece itself could be seeing from many different views, so most of my artwork could be listed at first view as form of cubism / surrealism school, because this is what it captures in a composition, techniques, and style. then there comes more depth when we move to study not only formal or academic aspect of it but also the message behind the forms and colors. when that kind of question is triggered i would be honest and say that, nor me I do not really know the whole thing of what i create, i only have a small perception and then i go further and say that my paintings represents in its visual form an opposite mirror reflecting a perception or Ideas I have about the wold i grow up and continue to live in every day.
Morocco for me is a country which lives in past and future at the same time, people here want to thrive but at the same time they are carrying a heavy burden on their back, tradition culture history vs technology science and new age. it is somehow these two opposites states that causes a schizophrenia to them, cause whenever i go deep into a subject or a social issue with an X person here, i discover that their dreams does not really match them believes. in some cases, there is people who lives two deferent personalities in one.
for me to some extend there is no good or bad of what Moroccan society is, because it is somehow part of evolution and i have no right to judge it. I rather observe it and be inspire from it. In my daily life i usually frequent crowded places where i use to set and observe people’s behaviour and moods, it is like kind of meditation for me. watching someone else is also like watching myself through them. So, in order to better know myself i have to pass through the process of knowing and interacting with others, but to truly know others i have to suspend my judgement on them. These is where I believe that I could recognize duality state of mind of people I interact with, some of Carl Jung works did inspired me in this process like < the Psychology of the unconscious>.