Brush Strokes: Art Galore For Lebanese Artists

Published October 14th, 2018 - 09:44 GMT
An untitled work from painting category winner Serge Manougian's winning series. (Boghossian Foundation.)
An untitled work from painting category winner Serge Manougian's winning series. (Boghossian Foundation.)

The Boghossian Foundation handed out its annual Young Lebanese Artists Awards Thursday at a ceremony at Villa Audi. Founded in 1992, the Boghossian Foundation supports cultural projects around the world. It also hosts artists and scholars-in-residence in the restored Villa Empain, Brussels, the foundation’s home since 2010.

The Beirut branch offered three awards in the fields of painting, design and dance, alongside two new awards in cinema and children’s literature for Lebanese artists and creators under the age of 40.

This year’s winners are Lebanese University fine arts student Serge Manougian in painting, graphic designer Tala Safie in design, and Amsterdam-based contemporary dancer Charlie Prince, who was absent from the ceremony.

Painter Saad Mhamad was also offered a residency as a special mention by the jury.

The winners will each receive $10,000 and the opportunity to stay at Villa Empain for a one-month residency to work on a new project.

Manougian, whose untitled 12-painting series was produced over the last year, focused on physiological issues and using art as a personal therapy.

“It’s kind of a psychotherapy and I draw to analyses what’s going on with me,” Manougian told The Daily Star. “There’s humor is some parts, too.

“I love 2D animations, hand-drawn frame by frame, and Belgium is known for its surrealist animation,” he said, pondering ideas for the residency, “so maybe I could do a 10-minute animation.”

The “Cinema: Coup de Coeur” honor was awarded to two directors, Oualid Mouaness and Ghassan Halwani, for their respective films in partnership with the Foundation Liban Cinema.

“[My film] ‘1982’ is a love story about an 11-year-old boy who gives [anonymous] love notes to a girl,” Mouaness told The Daily Star.

“It’s exams day and he decided to tell her it’s now or never but all hell breaks loose here in the country and the kids are sent home, but all he can think of is how to get to her.

“It’s shot here in the mountains and [is] autobiographical a bit, based on my experience of passing notes and getting into trouble for doing so,” he said, “and of having to leave school when the situation in Lebanon became untenable.”

Mouaness’ future plans involve finishing the movie to launch next year the award will help with its distribution while working on new films that he says aim to break the Western world’s stereotypes of Lebanon. “I tend to represent what I know in Lebanon and the way we are, and in doing that it will create a strong level of empathy for Western audiences,” he claimed.

“I want them to understand that, yes we’re from the Middle East ... but we all [feel emotions] the same,” he added.

The “Litterature Jeunesse” prize, run in collaboration with NGO Assabil Friends of Public Libraries Association, was awarded to two books: Mohamad Ismail’s “REBELLE” and Nassim Alwan’s “#Hashtag Namroud.”

Directed at 12-14-year-olds, the book must be written and illustrated in Lebanon, in Arabic.

The winning authors will receive $6,000 and be able to meet with school students at Beirut’s municipal libraries. The foundation will also buy copies to distribute to students.

“The story is about how the name Namroud [meaning rebellious] caught the attention of a girl who doesn’t like to study and started researching what it means,” Alwan told The Daily Star. “She discovered that Namroud ... failed his projects because of his stubbornness.

“The book addresses a lot of issues about language, study, family and ... highlights a lot of things children are experiencing today in a light way,” she added.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright © 2022, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.

You may also like