Bodu Haruge Villa Murals: Folk Tales and Myths of Maldives

Imagine stepping into a luxurious beach villa where the walls whisper ancient stories. Welcome to Bodu Haruge Beach Villas at Oaga Art Resort, where angled walls and high ceilings reminiscent of traditional boatyards create a romantic ambiance.

These villas are ideal for honeymooners, anniversary celebrations, or families seeking a tranquil escape. Each villa boasts a private pool and stunning sunrise views, and the true treasure lies within the hand-drawn murals adorning the slanted walls.

The mastermind behind these captivating murals is Moosa Mamdhooh Ahmed, also known as Mamdhu. A local artist deeply inspired by Maldivian culture, Mamdhu translates ancient fables and folktales into his signature black and white line art style.

The Artistic Vision

Mamdhu draws inspiration from a multitude of sources, including music from art-based bands like Tool, illustrated books, and comics from Marvel and DC. He cites artistic giants like Harry Clarke, Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, Alex Grey, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dalí as influences that led him to create his own unique characters and universes.

Mamdhu believes that art is a bridge for exploration – a medium to delve into the world, himself, and his place within it. His recent focus centers on the essence of “contemporary Maldivian art” and the very core of Maldivian culture. He aspires to bridge the gaps in history and delve into the island’s deeper cultural roots, often shrouded in mystery.


Artist Statement Regarding the Murals

“Paul Klee once said that a line is a dot that went for a walk, this became my primary inspiration which decided how I approached the series of murals,” says Mamdhu. “The starting point or dot, in this case, was the scattered fables and their cultural interpretations, and the line was one that I had to follow across centuries and cultures. Because this was ultimately humanity’s collective story, and the telling and re-telling of these stories have always been an integral part of what essentially makes us human.

The line was also the process of contemplating upon the deeper meaning of the symbols, speculating on alternate meanings and trying to synthesize that into a scene or vision. The process was partly guided by intuition but kept in line by referring back to the source material to avoid too much distortions. And so I meditated upon what each story meant to me as a Maldivian and tried to illustrate that line by line in the hopes that I can breathe new life into them and in turn they may help me reconnect better to our vague past.”

A Glimpse into the Murals

Each Bodu Haruge Beach Villa features a unique mural paired with a thematic continuation depicted in the pool area. Here’s a peek into some of the captivating stories adorning the villas:

  • Villa 316: The Obstinate Heron – This fable teaches a valuable lesson about overcoming greed and appreciating what you have.

  • Villa 317: Man on the Whale – This story portrays a symbiotic relationship between a man and a whale, highlighting the deep connection Maldivians once shared with nature.

  • Villa 318: The Common Sandpiper and The Cat – This mural depicts the cunning sandpiper outsmarting a foolish cat, reminding us that knowledge is a powerful tool.

The Bodu Haruge murals extend beyond individual stories. Villas 301 to 309 depict the epic legend of Koimala, believed to be the first king to rule over all of Maldives. Witness his extraordinary journey from an abandoned child raised by cows to a righteous king who established Malé as the center of his kingdom.

By choosing Bodu Haruge Beach Villas, you’re not just selecting a luxurious accommodation; each mural whisper forgotten tales, igniting your imagination and enriching your understanding of this unique island nation.

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