Maya Artspace and SUNDARA Spotlighted Lebanese Artists in Abu Dhabi’s “Finding Place” Exhibition

Maya Artspace, in collaboration with Sundara Art and Cultural Exchange, presented “Finding Place: Tales of Longing and Estrangement” from May 16 to May 31 at Avenue Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. This event featured the compelling works of six Lebanese talents: Hassan Jouni, Bassam Kyrillos, Magda Malkoun, Ouissam Melhem, Zeina Nader, and Fadwa Zbib. Additionally, the collection, “In Search of the Human Scale,” by architectural photographer Karim Nasser, was showcased, resonating with the diverse range of paintings on display.

The exhibited artworks spanned various mediums and styles, shedding light on the complexities of displacement and the physical and emotional tolls of migration. Themes touched upon Jouni and Zbib’s vibrantly depicted overcrowded Lebanese homes, Nader’s abstract interpretations of the concept of ‘home’, Malkoun’s poignant mixed-media depictions of the Lebanese diaspora, and Melhem’s dynamic drawings that transitioned from personal anecdotes to communal tales.

Bassam Kyrillos, one of the participating artists, had remarked, “The place is what had taken place. It’s about being rooted in the collective unconscious to present a forward-looking vision through symbols and memory.” Kyrillos, joined by Melhem, Malkoun, Nader, and Nasser, was present during the exhibition’s run.

“Finding Place” stood as an introspective journey into the Lebanese community’s challenges surrounding belonging and identity. It emphasized the influential role of art in recounting complex personal and political histories, inviting attendees to introspect on their notions of home and displacement.

The exhibition was inaugurated with a reception on May 17, under the auspices of the Lebanese Embassy in the UAE.