A Syrian architect has put together artworks reflecting the ongoing tragedy of the war in his home country which is set to go on display in a Canadian gallery.
Humam Alsalim, urban designer and co-founder of the Cyrrus Gallery, an online art gallery for young, contemporary Syrian artists is co-curating the latest exhibition at the Penticton Art Gallery in British Columbia.
The exhibition, hosting 18 artists with just over 90 works across multiple formats including video, photography, painting and sculptures opens July 8.
The art is an inside look into the minds of those affected by the devastating war, including Alsalim.
“Like everybody else, the war has made everything much harder. We lost our friends, people from our families, our families got shattered,” said Alsalim, currently living in the Syrian capital of Damascus.
“My parents now live in another city, my brother in Austria and me in Damascus, we barely see each other.”
Studying, working, everything became much more difficult as the country descended into war, however he still defers to those suffering further.
“Here in Damascus we are separated from the war, we see a few things from time to time.”
Over the past year Penticton Art Gallery curator Paul Crawford and Alsalim have been working together online and over the phoneto set up the display.
Crawford said: “I can’t imagine what it [living in Syria] would be like. Even just going to the store to get packing and shipping stuff, he would get stopped and people say ‘what the hell are you doing?’
“It’s been a real test of faith because he had to trust me, entrusted with all these people’s art work, and I had to trust him sending him $5,000 for shipping.”
Crawford was connected to Alsalim by Kabul Art Project founder Christina Hallmann who l bought art from Afghanistan to the gallery last year.