Ali Cha’aban’s First Solo Exhibition: ‘Technicolor’ | La Cantine du Faubourg | 15 January – 15 February 2017
Lebanese artist Ali Cha’aban was born and raised in Kuwait, and is an observer of culture and traditions which are often reflected in his work. With a background in anthropology, some seem to recognize Ali as a pop-culture analyst. His work revolves around the notion of nostalgia which is depicted so intricately in his art, tackling socio-political issues such as the Arabian identity and the state of dystopia.
“The key benefit of our Arabic nationality, is that we are strangers everywhere. Even strangers in our own home. Hiraeth, a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return or a home which maybe never was; the constant nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past, a past that might be a figment of your own imagination,” said Ali Cha’aban.
Technicolor is the name applied to a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating from 1916, and followed by improved versions over several decades. Technicolor is what applied color to early films and cartoons; it’s the rough aesthetics, the highly-saturated color indexing that brought life to the television.
“Somehow these aesthetics resonates with us from the early 90s where we developed a high sense of nostalgia towards it. Growing up watching Arabic-dubbed cartoons such as Grendizer, or watching the news and seeing the Balfour Declaration take its form in Palestine, or the ‘Arabic Dream’ song which many of us grew up loathing; these imageries always seem to remain in these colors in my mind.” said the artist.
“Culture has always been the genesis and demise of people. In the Arab world, culture has transcended beyond language, religion, nationality and ethnicity; we view aesthetics as a prominent part of our culture. Focusing on textiles and patterns that we have adapted, we are often blinded by our own traditions; with predisposed ideas about vice and virtue we tend to reflect poorly on ourselves because we may not fit inside a certain public sphere for our lack of traditional devotion.” said the artist.
Ali’s artworks have been exhibited with galleries such as Ayyam (Jeddah), Mark Hachem (Beirut) and Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt in (Paris). Ali Cha’aban is one of the founders of “Live Demo,” an experimental art collective, which displays creative work that is timeless to a space not restricted by intersectroal boundaries.
La Cantine du Faubourg offers guests a concept going beyond dinning by exposing them to a multi-sensorial artistic experience. Visitors will enjoy discovering Ali Cha’aban’s works which will be available for sale for art-lovers.
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