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Tammam Azzam's solo exhibition of new digital and installation art on show at Ayyam Art Center
Tammam Azzam (1980 -), 'Syrian Pawns', 60 x 60 cm. Archival Print On Cotton Paper. Edition of 5, 2012.
DUBAI.- Displaced Syrians feel a deep connection and sadness with the events unfolding in their country. As each day brings word of another friend or family member perishing, they feel silenced and immobile, unable to take any action, to cause any formidable change or provide assistance. ‘Syria’, Tammam Azzam’s solo exhibition of new digital and installation art on show from 10 November until the 31 December at Ayyam Art Center, is his way of reaching out, of sounding his pain and protest and shedding light on the matter. Exhibited exactly one year from the start of the series and curated by acclaimed Syrian artist Safwan Dahoul, these works extend a political commentary on the upheavals in their homeland that have led to the Syrian Uprising and the subsequent destruction and violence.

Utilizing the entirety of the exhibition space in the vast Ayyam Art Center, this expansive show displays a separate series in each room. In the main hall, Azzam’s digital artworks feature prominently. Highly coveted for their originality and poignancy, each work coincides with a particular event of the Uprising, depicting a variety of fractured and wounded maps of Syria, fallen chess pawns and other symbols reconfigured in clever, yet powerful reflections of the turmoil facing his countrymen.

Digital artworks representing a location the Syrian Uprising has affected are exhibited in the second room. Each bearing ‘In the revolution’ followed by the name of the area that witnessed the revolution, these retro, over-saturated works present an overall sentiment of longing, echoing to a distant past which no longer exists amidst the present turmoil.

Azzam’s ‘Syrian Museum’ series incorporates iconic subjects from the greatest European masters such as da Vinci, Matisse, Goya and Picasso, paralleling the greatest achievements of humanity with the destruction it is also capable of inflicting.

Born in the Syrian capital in 1980, Tammam Azzam graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus with a concentration in Oil Painting and subsequently obtained a Fine Arts Certificate in 2001 from Darat al Funun’s Al Kharif Academy, an esteemed artist workshop series led by Syrian master, Marwan Kassab Bashi. Since joining the Shabab Ayyam Young Artists Programme in 2008, he has been featured in several significant events including the group show, ‘Stories from the Levant’, Scope Art Fair, Basel, in 2009, and Art Miami 2010, and has held solo exhibitions at Ayyam Gallery, Damascus in 2010 and Dubai in 2011.

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