SYRIA.ART – Association pour la Promotion de l’Art Contemporain Syrien
The members and collectors of SYRIA.ART commit to supporting the Syrian art scene
Led by Khaled Youssef and Humam Alsalim, SYRIA.ART – Association pour la Promotion de l’Art Contemporain Syrien brings together many collectors and lovers of contemporary art, who are dedicated to creative ventures. Inspired by its members or private collectors, backed by sponsor companies, and working in close partnership with public institutions, SYRIA.ART’s mission is to help boost the international influence of the Syrian art scene, and to encourage collecting.
THE STORY OF SYRIA.ART
“Opportunities don’t happen, we create them”.
A project always starts with a bright vision, an univocal motivation and a passion. Bold results always require a unified vision: our creative projects are collaborative from the beginning! It was thanks to the passionate collaboration between Danii Kessjan, Humam Alsalim and later Khaled Youssef that they were successfully realized. It is a passion for the arts and especially for the Syrian Art that has led our team to engage in the adventure of SYRIA.ART association.
Our subsidiary projects:
The Syria.Art Facebook page has become nowadays the most popular and significant online archival records on Syrian Art and Syrian Artists. Its popularity has increased steadily since it has been launched in 2012 by Danii Kessjan and Human Alsalim, and with each passing day, it gains increasing public support.
CYRRUS GALLERY is a unique platform for the promotion of Syrian Contemporary Art founded by Danii Kessjan and Humam Alsalim in 2012. Some of the artists represented by CYRRUS are unknown outside of Syria, not only from the international audience but also from the international commercial art world. To this end CYRRUS also acts as a springboard for young Syrian artists to launch their careers internationally.
CREATIVE HAVENS: SYRIAN ARTISTS AND THEIR STUDIOS is a project that was initiated in 2015 by Danii Kessjan and Khaled Youssef. This project aims to raise awareness about the Syrian Art to the public, presenting portraits of Syrian artists in their studios and in their work environments. Through elaborate photographs and videos, as well as exclusive interviews, the Syrian artists open the doors of their studios and offer a glimpse inside their “sanctuaries of creativity”. In expressing in depth their opinions on different aspects of contemporary Syrian art, they bear witness to what it means to be a Syrian artist in the today’s world.
The activities of SYRIA.ART – Association pour la Promotion de l’Art Contemporain Syrien revolve around three main areas:
SYRIA.ART aims to promote Contemporary Syrian Art, as well as Syrian culture, literature and music, to Western audiences; and to promote and create a network for artistic, cultural, literary and musical exchange about Contemporary Syrian Art in France and on the international stage.
Exhibitions on the Syrian art scene – In France and internationally
In order to showcase the latest Syrian creations, SYRIA.ART organises exhibitions providing a diverse, open overview of the Syrian art scene and talented contemporary Syrian artists. Exhibitions are held in France (art galleries, regional museums, cultural centres, etc.) and various other countries: Europe (German, Luxembourg, Netherlands), Canada (British Columbia), and the USA (Vermont). These exhibitions shed valuable light on the current dynamism in Contemporary Syrian Art in Syria, Europe and the rest of the world, and on the role played by private collectors.
SYRIA.ART also considers itself a place for lovers of contemporary art, and specifically Contemporary Syrian Art, to flourish, offering its members several opportunities to hone their « eye » for collecting: meetings with artists, visits to exhibitions, museums and fairs, introductory workshops and artistic discovering workshops on Contemporary Syrian Art, etc.
The 21st century is one of globalisation and conflicts, but also exchanges between countries all over the world. The rhythm of these exchanges is distinguished by speed, increased action, a mix of cultures, and an intertwining of languages. Progress has its advantages, as well as its disadvantages, including the disappearance of varied art-promotion initiatives, to the detriment of artists and collectors.
Some of the founding members or other members of SYRIA.ART have experienced exile, while others continue to live it after many years, far away from their home country of Syria. They have been able to develop their skills in art, culture, literature and music. They have fostered close friendships, work relationships, and life partnerships with colleagues from France and many other countries across Europe and the rest of the world.
We find that France and Europe do not have many spaces appropriate and open to Syrian artists living outside their country. They were the inspiration for SYRIA.ART, which seeks to honour representative contemporary Syrian artists working in the plastic and visual arts (painting, sculpture, photography, digital arts, installations, video), as well as in the cultural, literary and musical fields.
SYRIA.ART strives to bring together the most innovative Syrian artists of their respective generations, and encourage all forms of new art which stimulate creativity. Its vocation is to create a meeting place to allow a new generation of Syrian artists to enjoy a setup which recognises them, enables greater visibility for their artwork, and helps them with their international careers.
SYRIA.ART does, however, intend to go beyond this initial idea. While the Association has set itself the aim of promoting Contemporary Syrian Art to Western audiences, it also seeks to incorporate schools of thought, artistic productions and initiatives straight out of Syria, and bring them to live in conjunction, in comparison and in synergy with works by artists from the international Syrian Diaspora.
The Diaspora does indeed have an abundance of talents, artists, creators of all kinds of contemporary art, writers, poets and musicians; they have just never had the time or opportunity to focus on their exhibitions and promote their artistic, literary or musical work. SYRIA.ART aims to uncover these talents, and relieve them of their promotional duties.
Within the association, SYRIA.ART strives to work on new forms of discussion. SYRIA.ART is also a place of meetings, creation, mediation and publication. A place where creation and innovation play a fundamental role, based on the ethical view of respecting others’ expressions, rejecting any system of segregation or exclusion, and rejecting political rhetoric of any kind.
SYRIA.ART is thus a key player when it comes to interartistic and intercultural issues. Its aim is not only to highlight the great complexity and pluralism of Contemporary Syrian Art and the talent of Syrian artists, but also to raise the general public’s awareness of the extraordinary richness of Syrian culture – from a deeply humanist, apolitical perspective.
MEMBERS OF THE SYRIA.ART BOARD
Khaled Youssef, President
Humam Alsalim, Vice President
Eric Cara, Secretary General
Frédéric Castellino, Treasurer
© Copyright 2016-2019 SYRIA.ART – Association pour la Promotion de l’Art Contemporain Syrien (Association governed by law 1901, established on July 6, 2016. Published in the French Official Journal on July 16, 2016, under announcement number : 55, and publication number: 20160029)