Lebanese people are remarkable. They work hard and shine wherever they go. They excel in whatever they do. Hundreds of Lebanese men and women are experts and highly acknowledged in their fields. Art is one of those fields.
However, artists in Lebanon are still largely under-appreciated. Most of them neglect this passion and go on to become doctors or engineers; professions that are deemed the most profitable. Artists on the other hand “starve.”
Chaouki Choukini is a 73 years old Lebanese-French artist, born in Choukine, Lebanon. He was preparing to study medicine in Egypt when he won a scholarship from the Lebanese government to study in Europe because of his sculpting hobby.
Like many artists, Houkini moved to Paris where he received his education at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris in 1972.
He has participated in various solo and group exhibitions, including Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah, UAE in 2017, Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, France in 2018, and solo in Green Art Gallery in Dubai, UAE in 2019, among many others.
Choukini has developed an astoundingly consistent aesthetic worldview. His work includes mainly sculptures from wood, marble, or stone.
His work appears primitives at first glance. However, on closer examination, one can see the sophistication of his interwoven organic and mechanical worlds.
Choukini married Japanese artist Ayako whom he met during his education in Paris. This union furthered his career as he learned the Japanese sculpting techniques from her uncle, the famous sculptor Fumio Otani.
He was introduced to materials such as Japanese scissors, small adzes, and saws, and his art embeds a spiritual technique.
According to Choukini, “It was a question of what does it mean to touch the material, and to make something with it.” He added, “I created my own vision of art and sculpture.”
Chaoukini’s art abstract as it is represents a darker nature of brooding, empty spaces. A million narratives within a piece of wood that tells its story differently to each person gazing upon its beauty.