During the Syrian uprising Al Akkad stopped painting: “I cared about what was happening around me, so I went to be with the people…I had doubts over whether I was still able to paint … My painting before the revolution was very individual and I only cared about personal things. Now, I care about what is happening in the country and my experience in the revolution. If I hadn’t lived this experience with people on the street, I wouldn’t be able to paint.”

Born in Damascus, Hiba Al Akkad (1981) studied at the Adham Ismail Center for Fine Arts for three years and went on to obtain her diploma from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Damascus University in 2009. She emigrated to Sweden, where she continues to work and to teach art.

Working in various media, including as photography, sculpture, mixed media and painting, Al Akkad uses bright colours and abstraction in her mostly figural work. Influenced by her formative decade, the 1990s, [AW1] [za2] she is known for dream-like images that depict moments of intimacy, turmoil and hope.  

Al Akkad has won accolades such as the Young Artists Awards (2010) first prize, a joint initiative between Petro Canada and the Ministry of Culture. She has shown her work at exhibitions in Sweden, France, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Italy, the US, UK, UAE, Japan and Germany and at events such as the Istanbul Art Fair, Armenian Art Fair and Venice Biennale (as part of the Syrian pavilion in 2015).