Hassan Nor’s drawings depict a utopian vision showing peace and abundance from his memories of home, and also occasionally the tragedies and struggles that he remembers as well. He draws on life events including his journey to America, and his new life here. His romantic vision shows men and women in relationships and families; often he has a story to tell along with the drawing.
I met Adeer (Uncle) Nor in 2013 through his daughter, Farhiyo. The meeting was arranged by her neighbor, who realized my long-standing engagement with the Somali community in Minneapolis through her work in public health and the arts. Nor and I had many meetings to discuss art and work toward his first public exhibitions of his drawings -- with the assistance of interpreters, including his daughter and mutual bi-lingual friends from the community.
I introduced the art of Hassan Nor to Wing Young Huie, who then offered some space in his gallery for an evening to show his work to the public. This evening was in June, 2016; a family affair where Farhiyo prepared beautiful and abundant Somali food, and his granddaughter, Aisha, read her poetry.
Also at this event, Somali-Swedish writer, Awes Osman, read in English and Somali from his latest novel.
Thanks to Farhiyo, Awes Osman, Halwa Hussein, and Ahmed Ismail Yusuf for their assistance interpreting to help create the event.