Sculptor Hadi Hamza works in his studio in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 10, 2023. TO GO WITH "Feature: Iraqi sculptor uses artworks to encourage people to rebuild life" (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
BAGHDAD, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- An Iraqi sculptor seeks to inspire his countrymen to rebuild their lives through his creative and emotional artworks.
Working in his studio in a calm rural area at the northern edge of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Hadi Hamza, 68, a retired professor of sculpture, was busy finishing one of his artworks with two apprentices.
This photo taken on Jan. 12, 2023 shows one of Hadi Hamza's statues representing Gilgamesh, a hero in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, at the Ashur University in Baghdad, Iraq. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
Some of Hamza's artworks deal with themes of ancient Mesopotamia and carry the pearls of wisdom that reached us through time.
"When I work on historical artwork such as the Winged Bull, an Assyrian protective deity, and Gilgamesh, a hero in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, I stand dazzled and proud because I belong to this history," Hamza said.
"Now in 2023, we are still talking about Gilgamesh and his epic, in which he started reconstructing his city and doing good deeds after returning to Uruk," he said.
The message carried in the epic could encourage the Iraqis to rebuild lives after the destruction of their homeland due to the U.S. invasion in 2003, Hamza said.
"The artist is the eye of society who captures the events and employs them in his work," Hamza said.
This photo taken on Jan. 10, 2023 in the Iraqi capital Baghdad shows a miniature statue, made by Hadi Hamza, representing an Iraqi woman carrying a rifle, who was killed while fighting with the extremist Islamic State militants. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
Another Hamza's artwork is an Iraqi woman carrying a rifle, who was killed while fighting with the extremist Islamic State militants.
The statue tells us that rebuilding the country and making it a better place requires rejecting and confronting extremist ideologies that threaten the unity of Iraqis, said Hamza.
Sculptor Hadi Hamza and his apprentices make some sculptural works in Hamza's studio in Baghdad, Iraq, on Jan. 10, 2023. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
One of Hamza's two aides, Mustafa Ali, 25, told Xinhua that his future artworks would focus on creating optimism and enthusiasm to inspire the people.
"Optimism and enthusiasm are important components for any success. They can inspire people to seriously and diligently engage in rebuilding our country for a better life," Mustafa said. ■