Nadine Kanso, the Lebanese Dubai-based artist and designer has opened an exhibition at La Cantine du Faubourg— the city’s Parisian-inspired restaurant-bar,to co-incide with Dubai’s annual Art Season, throughout March.
Nadine Kanso is a multimedia artist; from her jewellery brand Bil Arabi, to her photography, typography, collages and graphic designs, a single voice rises, one that questions the diversities of the Arab world through a single positive expression of hope.
The designer and artists has experienced Dubai’s creative awakening and enthusiastic expansion over the past 17 years. From her roots to her new home of adoption, her work explores new ways to express what it means to be an Arab in today’s world. Crying out Beirut’s dualism of both suffering and joy, underlining Dubai’s ambivalent shapes, both extravagantly materialistic and humanly authentic.
Her message is a message of optimism, written out in the ancient art of calligraphy, throughout her photography, collages and now, the walls of La Cantine du Faubourg. This creative dialogue masterfully confronts issues of cultural identity, offering very personal insight yet allowing room for the individual to ponder.
At La Cantine du Faubourg, Nadine Kanso’s unique approach will be shown through different series:
Makan Fi Al Zakerah (Memory of Place) takes the artist back to her old neighbourhood in Beirut, where Nadine Kanso employs black and white photography to capture nostalgic images of the “dukkan” (neighbourhood corner store).
Khaled (Immortal) draws the portrait of her late uncle, presenting the essence of the man through his vast collection of vinyl records, a musical theme ideally suited to La Cantine du Faubourg’s strong identity in terms of music.
Beirut… On Fire shows compositions are starkly divided – an upper band of black and white and a lower band in color, representing the duality of the city.
What If uses contemporary images of a period architecture in the older sections of Beirut to suggest an alternate reality. The artist questions what the city would have looked like were it to have been spared the ravages of war and the sleek impact of modernity.
Fi Al Qalb (In the Heart) takes its inspiration from a poem by Nizar Qabbani. In the poem ‘Ya St Al Dunya ya Beirut’, the poet address Beirut as a defiled and disfigured woman who longs for her former beauty and spirit. Nadine Kanso’s expresses this longing along a linear storyboard, juxtaposing images of Beirut with abstract images of the feminine form.
La Cantine du Faubourg, which melds music, art and food, will donate 50% of the exhibition’s proceeds to the Hamdan International Photography Award.
La Cantine du Faubourg Paris opened its doors more than a decade ago on Paris’ top fashion avenue, at N°105 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. In April 2015, the concept launched in Dubai, Emirates Towers. In Spring 2016, tLa Cantine du Faubourg will inaugurate its summer quarters in Ibiza.