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Safarkhan is now with the utmost pleasure topresent to you its first ever showing for esteemed Egyptian artist Mohamed Ablain ‘A Glimpse of Heritage’ in what promises to be a resounding and movingdisplay of his most diverse creations. Pieces that indulge in themes of travel,exploration, antiquity and the lost and captivating charm of far-off lands, themesmerizing allure of Oriental scenery of our old heritage as well as modernscenery of our cities, and their curious but enthralling inhabitants.

Abla has enjoyed various forms of internationalrecognition for his evocative and original style. Since graduating from theFaculty of Fine Arts of Alexandria in 1977, he has received praise and acclaimfor his various showings in Europe, in places such as Holland and Germany. Ablahas also taught art as a profession in Europe in Sweden and Austria before heserved in the same capacity in his native Egypt at the AUC. Abla has been aconsistent exhibitive feature within his homeland for over two decades across avariety of platforms.

Abla has painstakingly produced parts of thiscollection through his unique creative process, which involves the dipping ofhis paper sheets into a water solution that he then stains with paint, beforeremoving the saturated sheets and drying them, and afterwards completing each pieceby hand through painting his evocative panoramas and mystical scenes in theradiant and blooming palettes, using collages and calligraphy. His unique andpreferred technique establishes a kaleidoscopic and dreamlike quality of visualeffects, where the backgrounds of his works are imbued with a supernatural andotherworldly dimension, reflecting mirrors and swirling collages of contrastingcolors that mesh in unison, sometimes in harmony and other times in afascinating competition that is appealing. The first part of Abla’s exposé is awandering journey into the characters and tales of oriental antiquity’s kings,princes, sultans, traders, soldiers, poets and mystics, and the precioussecrets of their magical age, conveyed through mysterious faceless figuresenveloped by fantastical and almost psychedelic environments that transport theviewer to these lost ages of mystique and folklore of the ancient orient.

In the second part of this collection areAbla’s works which focus on the metropolis; Cairo’s densely congested butperpetually lively city life. In these entrancing cityscapes Abla uses simplestrokes of lines and dots and the same fluorescent and vibrant colors that aretypically fantastical and supernatural and applies them to very real-lifesettings. Cairo’s massive web of highways and roads which weaves amongst itsthousands of buildings and structures like arteries and blood vessels in ahuman body, are depicted all from a bird’s eye view which captures the grandscale of modern development, and creates a highly alluring image of Cairo’scolorful vibrancy in terms of people and structures. He depicts thesecityscapes at dusk or in the middle of the night which greatly enhances theprovocative and surreal color schemes he employs to give life to these illustrations,and through them he establishes the city as having a magically alluring qualityof its own. In particular, Abla has visualized for us in his artistic style, ascene of the eternal pyramids of Giza from a bird’s eye view in all theirsplendor surrounded by a circle of haphazardly assembled high-rises competingfor space. Conversely, the pyramids are depicted in a space of their own asthough sacred and superior in their glory, and resistant to the consequences ofmodernity that are slowly encroaching on their timeless space. Abla’s depictionhere suggests that even though we are now surrounded by technological advancedsocieties, these comforts will never measure up to the pyramid’s eternal beautyand stature.        


Abla’s diverse artistic expressions in thiscollection are in essence a periodic illustrated journey along the legendarySilk Road that stretched from northwest China to the Middle East and thenfinally the imperial domains of southern Europe and his representation of ourmodern cityscapes completes the journey of our show “A Glimpse of Heritage”,moving from lands of antiquity to the modern setting in a seamless transition,where still the vestiges of antiquity such as the pyramids are presented in arevered manner. Abla’s paintings are also a resurrection of the historicalsignificance of this celebrated age in picture, breathing new life into epicscenes and characters that would have otherwise been lost to the vastness oftime. Abla’s storytelling is an important reminder of the unifying bonds ofhumanity and the heritage of these lands from past to present beginning alongthe Silk Road where multitudes of cultures and traditions with vastly differentqualities, beliefs and characteristics, interacted and intermingled, resultingin the communal benefit of these divergent ancient lands, and culminating inAbla’s depiction of modernity, which is now also a part of our heritage andwhere still remnants of antiquity still remain alive. And overall thisexhibition stresses the significance of us all being part of the same world,sharing more in common in our humanity than in opposition or difference andemphasizing the past and the present are but completing elements that form thecircle of live.                  



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