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BELONGING

Art

Du 14/12/2023 à 18:00 jusqu'au 14/01/2024 à 18:00

In the heart of Gemmayze’s cultural districtre vival, artist Tom Young presents a wide range of art work inspired by his last 15 years living in Lebanon. In richly layered oil paintings of the city and nature, he investigates what it feels like to ‘belong’, and how a sense of identity can be derived from memory and the present. This transcends national boundaries: Young is originally from Britain ,and despite all the traumas of recent years, he calls Lebanon ‘home’

 

On a deeper level, Young explores the paradox of the human condition: how we are longing for peace, stability and justice; as we long fora sense of connection to our past, apperceived identity, to each other; yet if we can truly be, then we are not longing for anything, because we are already complete

 

Some paintings evoke a sense of nostalgia for the past, perhaps a past that didn’t happen as we imagine; some paintings of beautiful Lebanese landscapes and trees evoke a yearning for escape and peace, something which often feels just out of reach; some more confrontational work deals with the heat of the present political moment: how it feels to be here now’.

 

Young is well known for architectural installations and transformations of abandoned buildings: Villa Paradiso (2013-17), The Rose House (2014-15) ,Tyre Roman Hippodrome (2015), Al Zaher/ Dar Al Aytam (2016-17), Beit Boustani (2017-18), the Grand Hotel Sofar (2018-19), Rayak Train Factory(2019), Beit Beirut (2022), and the current on going exhibition Revival ’at Hammam Al Jadeed in Saida (2020-23). Some paintings from these projects ,and the stories behind them are part of the collection on display.

 

This project represents are turn to his beloved home neighborhood of Gemmayze : a conscious act of cultural resistance after the area was devastated in the 2020 port explosion: indeed, the building in which his studio and gallery is sited was badly damaged and only renovated earlier this year.

 

The gallery space is also Young’s working studio, so visitors will be able to see inside the place where the work is made, and able to attend art workshops and film screenings and concerts which will happen in the space. It has already been initiated as a center of creative performance: music stars sung from the balcony to large crowds in the street during a festival in May earlier this year. Young intends to give the public free access to his work, holding art workshops for children, and opening the space to the creativity of others.

 

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