“Family photos are present in all of our homes… but after travelling and after years [having] passed, we feel nostalgic when we look at them…” explains the Syrian artist Mohannad Orabi about the feeling of displacement and separation from his homeland and loved ones; and how this feeling influences his work.
Born in Damascus, Mohannad Orabi (1977) studied art at the University of Arts in Damascus. Initially inspired by the sense of freedom found in children’s drawings, Orabi reflects on his own experience of exile, which has led him to consider the ways in which social media has become a substitute for the tangible photograph. In response to these influences, Orabi’s stylistic portraits focus on the subject’s large faces, particularly through heavily outlined eyes, nose and mouth. Their bodies are almost forgotten amidst the motifs and patterns of their clothes.
Mohannad Orabi has exhibited at venues such as Ayyam Gallery in Dubai, Beirut, London, Jeddah, and Damascus; Den Gallery, Kuwait; Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice; Zara Gallery, Amman and Ishtar Gallery, Damascus.