Conflicts & War

Images in negative show duality of life in Syrian war

By Rania Zanoun

Damascus, Jul 28 (efe-epa).- A young Syrian artist who has grown up amidst the country’s ongoing nine-year war has used images in negative to highlight the duality of human beings.

Damascus’ Zawya art gallery hosts Mohamed Ramadan’s exhibit named Equivalent, the first in Syria that employs this technique which requires visitors to apply light to the paintings to see their real aspect and colours.

The 26-year-old artist tells Efe that he sought to represent the duality concept in a parallel world, mirroring “fears and weaknesses” of human beings.

His works include figures locked in cells or cubes within the paintings who express their “emotions that seem to have no end” as they shrink and bend over themselves, he adds.

The technique was not the only innovation the exhibit features, as Ramadan decided to put his painting on the floor instead of hanging them to stress the duality and “what separate us” as people.

“The exhibition is the opposite of (the point) where we are, so I have put the paintings on the floor and not on the wall,” he said.

With this move, he seeks to create an interaction between the paintings and the visitors, who have to use their mobiles to be able to see the original colours of the painting as well as the hidden emotions.

The paintings showcase old wome, men and animals “locked in the box of life,” he added.

After nine years of war, which is still ongoing in some areas, Zawya founder Rola Sulaiman says the gallery has been born amidst the war and the creativity that follows.

“Zawya’s goal is to embrace daring young talents (…) and unite these emerging talents with the most veteran and recognized,” she tells Efe.

Located in a 92-year-old historical building, which has not been destroyed during the war, the gallery welcomes all kinds of initiatives: music, theater, cinema or workshops in Damascus where the art begins to resurface from the ashes of war. EFE-EPA


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