Khaldoun Chichakli: Damascenes
Amidst the destruction wrought by the current political situation, Chichakli’s drawings and woodcuts offer a poignant look into the Damascus of years gone by. A professor at the city’s Fine Arts University, Chichakli first began drawing the city centre from memory as a way to while away the tedium of proctoring examinations. He employs the ‘tahsheer’ method of first drawing fine lines then going over them to darken an area, almost as if to bring back the past through a repeated gesture of reinscription. These black and white images are subsequently scanned, printed, and then brilliantly recoloured to show the same scene at different times of day or night. Even as clouds give way to sunsets or stars, the people and buildings remain immobilised as if in a tableau vivant, frozen in time and frozen in memory.
Khaldoun Chichakli, Color subtractions al Sananeah mosque and al Sabagin bazaar (Farwateah) in past days, 2008, watercolors, 36 x
In several drawings we see the ghost of the Victoria Hotel, which was built in downtown Damascus in the late 19th century, so named in honour of Queen Victoria’s impending visit. Connecting the hotel to the nearby Al-Hijaz railway station was an iron bridge over the Barada river, which took on the same name. Victoria Bridge was later renovated during the French Mandate in the 1920s and reinforced with stone to support the transport of heavy military equipment. The hotel and bridge were later removed—Queen Victoria never did visit the city—but the area, Jisr Victoria, still bears its name and traces of a Damascene past.
Another image shows a building of Jamal Basha, the Ottoman ruler known as ‘Al Saffah’ or ‘The Slasher’ for his role in the Assyrian—as well as Armenian and Greek—genocide that saw the mass execution of over a quarter million Syrians. A beautiful four-storey structure, it was one of the few cement buildings built at the time; today, it too has been demolished. There is nostalgia here in spades, and also longing, for the city he sees as destroyed not only by war but equally by the callous drive to improve and renovate in the name of modernity and progress. In depicting these kinds of structures, Chichakli’s works bear gentle witness to the violence of colonialism and a reminder that there is beauty to be found in even the ugliest of urban scarifications.
Chichakli’s woodcuts are especially astonishing in their intricacy of detail. The almost impossibly fine lines are produced using the delicately precise techniques and tools of the diamond trade in Belgium, where he studied and then lived in the 1980s. Here, the artist moves into depictions of lived experience, from rural life, souk vendors, schools and cafés to more abstracted themes such as love, fear, exile, life as a game of chess. Many of these compositions are presented with layered variations that suggest the multifaceted peaks and lows of each of these emotions and concepts.
Born in Damascus in 1944, Khaldoun Chichakli has exhibited extensively in Syria and Belgium, as well as in Lebanon, Egypt, USA, UAE, and Sweden. Chichalki’s work is held in several regional and international collections including the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah. He lives and works in Damascus.
AL QUOZ 1, STREET 8, ALSERKAL AVENUE, UNIT 28
P.O. BOX 25711 DUBAI, UAE
T: +971 4 346 9305
F: +971 4 346 9306
SAT - THURS, 10AM - 7PM
This release was published on openPR.
Permanent link to this press release:
Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.
You can edit or delete your press release Khaldoun Chichakli: Damascenes here
News-ID: 309643 • Views: 11597
More Releases from Green Art Gallery
Antechamber Solo show Ana Mazzei
Ana Mazzei Antechamber 12 November 2018– 5 January 2019 In her first solo exhibition at Green Art Gallery, Ana Mazzei fully embraces the notion of theatricality and spectatorship, both very central to her practice, to present a group of new works specifically created for the space. Titled Antechamber, the show is staged as an intermediary space between the real world outside the gallery and an imaginary ‘other space’. Walking along this in-between space, viewers have to negotiate
Green Art Gallery presents Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck: Intrumentalized
Instrumentalized 20 January - 7 March 2018 This text is a tool, but we should never focus on its role as a tool. That would make it too obvious, even for a press release. Here comes the spin phrase, for pride and continuity: Green Art Gallery is proud to announce its second solo show of Venezuelan-Italian-Lebanese-artist Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck in Dubai. You’ll need to know that he is based in Berlin, commandeering a career:
Green Art Gallery presents "Theatre of the Absurd"
"Theatre of the Absurd" 13 September - 28 October 2017 Green Art Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition that reflects on the relationship between art and architecture, exploring the ways they influence and feed off each other. Infusing symbols that have been traditionally used in architecture, the artists in the exhibition question other formal enquiries and the relationship between man, objects and the space they inhibit. They produce fleeting and
Green Art Gallery & Anomie Publishing London are pleased to announce the launch …
Green Art Gallery & Anomie Publishing London are pleased to announce the launch of a new publication on the work of Iranian-born Brooklyn-based artist Kamrooz Aram entitled Palimpsest: Unstable Paintings for Anxious Interiors. Published on the occasion of Aram’s solo exhibition at Green Art Gallery, opening 17 March, the fully illustrated 80-page, hardcover publication includes contributions from Eva Díaz, Media Farzin and Murtaza Vali. This monograph on Iranian-born, Brooklyn-based painter Kamrooz
More Releases for Chichakli
Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin - Invitation to Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018 …
Around 800 experts from more than 70 countries are expected to participate in the second Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin. High-ranking representatives from politics, science, civil society and the business sector will meet from 19 - 20 April to discuss the latest bioeconomy developments. In focus: opportunities and challenges for an increasingly biobased and sustainable economy. For the second time, the German Bioeconomy Council, with the financial support of the Federal