Featured Artist: Yasin Osman

Oak Room Collection:
Dreaming in Colour

The exhibition, titled “Dreaming in Colour,” is a poignant exploration of youth and aspiration, featuring a collection of large black and white portraits of young Black Somali children, aged 11 to 16.

Accompanying these striking visuals are narratives detailing their dreams and aspirations. This collection aims to honor the resilience, hope, and untapped potential inherent in these young lives.

In this showcase, the starkness of the black and white imagery is juxtaposed with the vivid, colorful descriptions of the children’s dreams, forming the exhibition’s central motif. This contrast is a deliberate choice, highlighting the rich vibrancy and depth of their ambitions.

Mirroring Yasin Osman’s style of capturing the essence of Somali life through intimate portraiture, this exhibition takes the viewer on a journey through the eyes and hearts of these children. It reflects Osman’s own journey, as a child of Somali parents, in reconnecting with his roots. “Dreaming in Colour” aims to challenge misconceptions and shine a light on the resilience of our youth. Through engaging with his young subjects and capturing their narratives, Osman seeks to present a portrait of strength and perseverance, inviting viewers to engage with and understand the depths of these young black children’s experiences and hopes.

Yasin Osman—

About the Artist

Yasin Osman is a Canadian photographer who has impacted the Canadian arts scene through his innovative programs and diverse artistic talents. In 2015, leveraging his background in early childhood education, Yasin founded a photo mentorship program called “Shoot For Peace,” aimed at empowering Toronto’s youth affected by violence. In addition to his work in photography, Osman has also made a mark as a cartoonist, achieving the distinctive honor of being the first black Canadian cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine. This accomplishment highlights his versatility and commitment to diversity in the arts. His dual roles in photography and cartooning demonstrate his multifaceted approach to the arts, using both visual storytelling and illustration to convey powerful messages and foster understanding.