Rabi Koria, Dutch-Syrian artist

Born in Kamishli, Syria in 1988
Lives and works in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Rabi Koria graduated from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht (Fine Art Alumni). His family emigrated to The Netherlands when he was an infant. Rabi Koria is one of the 4 winners of the Royal Award for Modern Painting 2015. During the award-ceremony, the artist has been congratulated on receiving the Royal Award by King Willem-Alexander himself, who continues the long-lasting tradition by presenting the Award in the Royal Palace Amsterdam.

The contest for the Royal Award is open to independent Dutch artist under the age of 35 and carries four prizes. The artists are nominated by a jury. The award-ceremony, exhibition and presentation of the Royal Award are annually held in the Royal Palace Amsterdam. For the general public, the exhibition is often a first introduction to the work of young artists. For gallery owners, collectors and curators it’s a great way to discover new talent.

Cultures come together in Koria’s work, in both image and technique. The current conflicts in the Middle East are important factors in his work. Form and content enter into a dialogue, as in the fragmentation of the image. Koria’s tile panel entitled Homs reads from right to left, from an entire building to a detail, from dark to light, to the point where content and material become one. Calligraphy, in Arab countries often a high point in art, is still seen mainly as local colour in Western Europe. Rabi Koria seems to influence the Western viewer by taking him in ambivalent countries. He uses the Roman alphabet and also appears to refer to Internet Captcha encryption.

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