Evanston Art Center - Evanston, IL - June 2015
Building off the notion of walls, and how they serve to protect and safeguard, I conceived this installation as a way to represent the fused reality of my hybrid existence. The piece is meant to link together the equally rich, but often diametrically opposed cultures of the Eastern and Western worlds.
I chose glass blocks for the exterior of this piece, as they are commonplace here in Chicago – my new home since moving here from Dubai in 2012. They speak to the architectural significance and wonder of this great city. And they present a nice, polished façade – much like many of us try to do in daily life. Yet their transparency allows the viewer to get a suggestive glimpse at what lies beneath.
While the overall color palette speaks to American patriotism, and my new home - what’s imbedded between the exterior panels is what speaks to my core. As a child, my parents would read to me the poetry of Rumi, which to this day remains a large part of my soul. I like to think his words whisper through these foreign walls to the viewer – conveying a universal and timeless message.