Bassam Al-Sabah works across digital animation, painting, sculpture and textiles to convey intricate visions of war, resistance and perseverance. Themes such as displacement, nostalgia and personal mythology are explored through reference to Japanese anime cartoons, which were dubbed into Arabic and broadcast throughout the Middle East from the 1980s to today.
Many of these TV programmes featured imagery of revolution, war and exile, gaining a heightened political meaning within his practice. As successive generations of Arabs have grown up with these anime series, Bassam’s work deals with a feeling of collective nostalgia, an amalgamation of narratives in which fact and fiction, historical trauma and queer possibility intersect.
Bassam Al-Sabah lives and works in Belfast and Dublin. He completed a BA in Visual Art Practice from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in 2016, and was awarded the RHA Graduate Studio Award (2016-2017) and the Temple Bar Gallery + Studios Graduate Residency Award (2018-2019). Recent solo exhibitions include Dissolving Beyond The Worm Moon, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2019); Illusions of Love Dyed by Sunset, The LAB, Dublin (2018); and The dust carried me into the watchful summer, Eight Gallery, Dublin (2017). Recent group exhibitions include A Fiction Close To Reality, Irish Museum Of Modern Art, Dublin, Pallas Periodical Review, Pallas Projects, Dublin; Futures, Series 3, Episode 2, Royal Hibernian Acadamy, Dublin, and Syntonic State, Tulca 18, Galway.