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Safarkhan is pleased toannounce the fourth exhibition for one of our most valued resident artists,Ibrahim Khatab, from January 28th to February 18th.Well-respected for his exemplary community work in social and educationalspheres as a co-instructor at Cairo University, Khatab enjoys a crucial dual-roleas an artist and art teacher. Khatab’s recent collection is a natural sequel toand a resounding crystallization of, his previous efforts in "Kemit",which was his initial attempt to revive and reinstate one’s heritage and Pharaonicculture and emphasize its timeless relevance and continuity in modernity. Thistime he delves into the quintessential theme of enlightenment and the higherself, using the mystical memories of the ancients as his muse. The state inwhich one reaches a higher plain of illumination is not a physical space, ratherit is a certain status whereby those who are on the road to rediscovery andspiritual enlightenment experience the heavenly light from the supreme power.This light empowers us to a higher knowledge of the physical and spiritualrealms. Khatab contends that these powers are innate to humans, however wecannot hope to stimulate them when we are so consumed in the material world.

The ancient Egyptianswere infatuated with their extensive pantheon of gods, which represented thepowers of everything from agriculture to death to wisdom and beyond. It wasthrough their unparalleled knowledge of the stars and astro-theology that theywere able to become so learned in the concepts of spiritual nirvana andenlightenment, and consequently do most of their wonders through this inseparableconnection to the divine sovereign power. It is this state of being where oneis purged, rehabilitated and reinvigorated by shedding all of the mundane andtrifling temporal constraints of the physical life in exchange for a higher purposeand mental state. The boundless potential of these innate yet untapped powersis what Khatab has dedicated this collection’s central message to; that we mustalways strive to appreciate the bigger picture, and that the mind, body andsoul are not separate, but one entity to be nourished in unison.

The state of being Khatabis exploring is not confined to the Pharaonic civilization, rather it is auniversal human trait and concept for all to revel in. He merely uses the wondrouslegacy of the ancient Egyptians as the vehicle by which to elaborate on theseintrinsic truths, which they, along with near all of the world’s cultures ofantiquity, were invariably more adept and initiated in than ourselves today. Thereis noticeably more depth in these latest pieces, offering them an added feel ofmultidimensional realism. He complements this with a more detailed precision ofexecution in the figures and motifs present throughout, like the symbolic fish,which traditionally signifies a deeper awareness of the unconsciousness orhigher self through its association with a timeless element. Also, a lessintrusive chemically-treated layering effect gives these recent works a more discernableand organic quality, whilst still retaining the characteristic impression hispieces are known for giving of appearing like a distant mirage or a rippledreflection on water or a lost manuscript waiting to be deciphered by thoseworthy.

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