Egyptian and Syrian artists grace Artbooth Gallery Abu Dhabi shows - GulfToday

Egyptian and Syrian artists grace Artbooth Gallery Abu Dhabi shows

Artbooth 1

Jamal Bassiouni’s composition in acrylic on canvas.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Artbooth Gallery is presenting the solo exhibition of acclaimed Egyptian artist Jamal Bassiouni. Titled The World of Mirrors, the show takes place on the ground floor of Centro Capital Centre by Rotana in the ADNEC area (Feb. 28 – Apr. 15).

Bassiouni’s vivid and poignant paintings enable art aficionados to travel back in time and explore ancient Egyptian beliefs regarding enlightenment and the afterlife. He has created a series that addresses the soul’s never-ending search for light and purpose, drawing heavily from the ancient Egyptian conception of afterlife and the solar boat journeys connected with it.

“The ancient Egyptians’ solar boats, guiding souls through darkness to the light, sparked my imagination,” Bassiouni reflects. “This concept, rooted in my childhood memories of Alexandria’s sea, has led me on a personal and ongoing voyage of discovery.” His work is a testament to the enduring allure of cultural heritage, blending the boldness of Art Deco with the mystique of ancient symbols.

The paintings are a kaleidoscope of geometric patterns, vibrant hues and intricate motifs, each inviting the viewer into a personal space of reflection and emotion. “Through my art, I endeavour to bridge the realms of the visible and the invisible, using colour, shapes and symbols, to navigate the complex interplay of life’s dualities,” Bassiouni says.


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The exhibition attempts to unravel the interplay between ancient wisdom and modern artistic expression. Bassiouni’s works serve as a reminder of the journey each of us undertakes, echoing an ancient belief in a voyage that exists beyond the physical world.

“Artbooth Gallery takes pride in presenting this insightful exploration of light, colour and spirituality,” says the gallery. “Viewers are encouraged to immerse themselves in the profound vision of Bassiouni, which assures a journey to the realms of beauty and enlightenment.” Bassiouni was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1993. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria, with the highest honours and holds a BFA and an MFA from the same institute. He studied colour relations and their impact on modern art during his graduation period and his thesis revolved around beliefs represented in ancient Egyptian paintings.

Artbooth 2  Untitled work from Akil Ahmad in mixed media on canvas.

He participated in several youth salons and general salons through the Ministry of Culture in Egypt. In 2014, he took part in a videography workshop at the Ecole Superieure d’Art - Aix en Provence and in 2015, exhibited at the Biennale des Jeunes Createurs de l’Europe et de la Mediterranee. He currently works and lives in Alexandria, where he leads workshop training programmes at the Arts School of Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

He finds inspiration in anything and everything. “I can find inspiration in the smallest details in nature as well as in situations that I experience,” he says. “But most of the time there is a background story behind any piece of my art; my personality and life events are reflected in my work.” Artbooth Gallery and Fairmont Bab Al Bahr are also presenting Khatt - a calligraphy exhibition by Syrian artist Akil Ahmad during the Holy Month of Ramadan. The show (Mar. 8 – Apr. 15) will display a blend of contemporary artistic expression and traditional Arabic calligraphy.

Art enthusiasts can find Khatt in the ground lobby of Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi. The inaugural will be graced by the presence of the artist. Khatt strives to go beyond beautiful writing; it is aimed as a celebration of calligraphy as a fine art with futuristic possibilities. Ahmad’s modern calligraphic expressions explore the rich heritage and culture of Arabia and cherishes the original soul of the art form, while introducing creativity and novelty in it. Hailing from Syria and residing in the UAE, he is well-known, with a background in calligraphy.

A graduate of the Faculty of Fine Art in Aleppo, his work has won global recognition, including the Al Burda Award in 2016 and 2018 which honours practitioners in three traditional Islamic arts - calligraphy, ornamentation and poetry. Some of his works are in the collection of Museum of Islamic Art Malaysia and his pieces have been auctioned in international auction houses including Christie’s (2019), Sotheby’s (2021) and by Al Bahi auction in Qatar.

Inspired by Arabic poetry, calligraphy and maqams (melodies), Ahmad transforms audio patterns into optical patterns, creating abstract simplifications of Arabic letters. Through shape, colour and art production, he conveys specific states such as love, hardship and struggle, turning them into visual language. Khatt aims to underscore the importance of calligraphy as both an expressive and aesthetic tool, reflecting its multi-content core. The artist’s modern calligraphy breathes new life into a historic art form, offering viewers a different perspective on life, proportion, space, depth and light. It is an artistic journey that merges tradition with innovation and celebrates the union of art and culture.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is located in the centre of Abu Dhabi, providing views of Abu Dhabi Creek and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Artbooth Gallery was founded by Roger El-Khoury in 2019, after 11 years of experience in the art field between Beirut and the United Arab Emirates. It aims to create a cross-cultural bridge between artists, audiences, and collectors from across the world. Dedicated to promoting a wide selection of artworks and exploring new connections and partnerships, from emerging to established artists both at the regional and international level, it aspires to provide artworks best suited for a collector’s satisfaction. Services include fine art sales consultancy, second market art sales, archiving collections and curating exhibitions.

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