Blend­ing the east and the west: emerg­ing artists make a state­ment

Emirates Woman - - Contents - Fol­low: @the_­post_­mod­ern_apollo

Ad­nan Sam­man’s work in­volves beau­ti­ful con­trasts, be­tween the old and the new, con­tem­po­rary and the clas­si­cal, the east and the west. Born in Syria and hav­ing resided in Saudi and Jor­dan for a large por­tion of his life, Ad­nan’s Mid­dle East­ern her­itage has a pow­er­ful im­pact on his work. Ad­nan says: “There's so much con­trast in this part of the world and that's where I tend to search for beauty. Con­trasts in po­lit­i­cal and so­cial be­hav­iours in­spire me.”

Through Ad­nan’s artis­tic eye we can gain a clear view of how he sees his her­itage and his cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences. From a mo­saic so­ci­ety, he is able to look at the world col­lec­tively and this is the ap­proach he has taken to his artis­tic prac­tice. With this, Ad­nan’s work res­onates nos­tal­gia. In his work, ti­tled the same, Nos­tal­gia, Ad­nan cel­e­brates the fact that de­spite the seven-year long war Syria has un­der­gone, Syr­i­ans re­mem­ber how their coun­try was be­fore the dev­as­ta­tion of con­flict. The pen­e­trated holes in the work give the viewer a peak into the land­scape of the early noughties, rep­re­sent­ing both the nos­tal­gia and strength of the re­gion.

His con­tem­po­rary pho­tog­ra­phy lay­ered with dig­i­tal mixed me­dia, of iconic clas­si­cal fig­ures from re­nais­sance art, makes for an in­ter­est­ing com­bi­na­tion that has at­tracted a lot of in­ter­est from art en­thu­si­asts. Ad­nan wants view­ers to have an hon­est view of the re­la­tion­ships be­tween peo­ple and place, and the con­trasts of peo­ple fit­ting in to dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments and vice versa.

While his art has at­tracted at­ten­tion from across the globe, when asked for pat­terns in those who fol­low him, Ad­nan says he's no­ticed that his view­ers who con­nect most strongly with his artis­tic ex­pres­sion are those are liv­ing in coun­tries out­side of where they were born.

“I have a lot of Arab fans liv­ing in Europe, many Ira­ni­ans liv­ing in the United States and all sorts of na­tion­al­i­ties liv­ing in the Gulf re­gion. I guess it could be that they re­late to me (be­ing a mi­grant my­self) or they find some­thing fa­mil­iar in my work. I could think of a mil­lion rea­sons why this group of peo­ple, in par­tic­u­lar, can res­onate with my work, and I find it the most hum­bling and re­ward­ing to know this.”

“My art is best ex­pe­ri­enced free of ex­pec­ta­tions. You can take any mes­sage you want out of what you see, or you can just en­joy the colours. I love that one piece could mean dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple.” Ad­nan has been a part of ex­hi­bi­tions at Cen­tral Saint Martins and the Bar­bican Cen­tre in Lon­don and was most re­cently ex­hib­ited in The Villa Vigoni, Italy. Villa Vigoni is a re­nais­sance house that's con­sid­ered a main cul­tural hub in Europe where of­fi­cials meet and dis­cuss cul­tur­ere­lated top­ics. The ex­hi­bi­tion, ti­tled Homes, was part of a con­fer­ence re­gard­ing art, cul­ture and im­mi­gra­tion, cu­rated by Ag­nese Gallo and Sil­via Amoruso.

Op­po­sitepage: Mon­ster This­page­clock­wise:The Lad­der;Nos­tal­gia; OnEarthAsItIsInHeaven

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