A multi-disciplinary artist, Akram Al Halabi works with themes of humanity, unity and identity. Through processing his own experiences and interactions with others, his work contains different levels of engagement with his audiences, collaborations with other artists or responses to mainstream media and current issues.
Born in Majdal Shams, occupied Golan Heights, Akram Al Halabi (1981) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University. Later, he received a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, as well as The Film Academy Vienna. He was one of the co-founders of the Fateh Moudarres Art Centre in Golan.
In his well-known work , Cheeks he processes his reactions to the violent photographs of the Syrian war while away in Europe. Writing words over images using English typography and broken Arabic calligraphy, he labels the body parts of the victims to bring another level of awareness to international audiences. He explains: “You look at these images of the massacre and they are so gory and bloody, but in a way, if you’re not actually living through it – you don’t really see it. I mean, you see it, but how much do you really take on board – do you really engage? If I write onto the picture itself, it makes it visceral – your brain is forced to confront the truth of the image in a different way.”
Al Halabi has shown his work in venues such as Al Mamal Foundation, Jerusalem; Museum di Palazzo, Bologna; DEPO, Istanbul; Institut Des Cultures d'Islam, Paris; Museum Hundertwasser, Vienna; Museum of Fine Arts Gifu, Japan; and Contemporain de Malakoff, Paris. His work is in public collections such as The British Museum, London, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Qattan Foundation, Ramallah; The Khalid Shoman Foundation Darat Al Funun, Amman and the Museum of Prints and Drawings, Vienna.