Meet The Lebanese Multidisciplinary Artist Zena Assi Using Culture And Conflict In Her Art

Gilbert Hage

Born in 1974 in Lebanon, the Lebanese multidisciplinary artist Zena Assi lives and works between Beirut and London, where she explores her talent via cultural ideologies.

Zena Assi’s artistic career began after she graduated with honors from l’Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA). After that, she had the opportunity to work in advertising and got the chance to teach at several universities.

Inspired by contemporary art, her works reflect on the relations and conflicts between the individual and his/her environment and society.

She uses numerous mediums to explore the cultural and social changes and interpret the impact of ideologies and political tendencies through her art.

Her work is showcased through installations, drawing, experimental animation, sculpture, and painting, and focuses on current issues, ranging from migration to the relation between memories and people.

Many of her art pieces were showcased in different auction houses, including Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Bonhams, and Phillips, and took part in public and private collections at ALBA, Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah, UAE, and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, France.

Throughout her career, Zena was recognized for her stunning works. She won several prizes, namely the Rosemary & Co Award at the SWA show in 2018, and the Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist at the 2020 Summer Exhibition.

She also won the Special Jury Prize of the XXIX of the Autumn Salon of the Sursock Museum in Beirut.

Assi has participated in solo and collective exhibitions in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, including in Alwane gallery (Lebanon), and the Subtitled Appeal Royal College of Art (UK).

She also showcased her art at the Artsawa gallery (UAE), Zoom Art Fair (USA), Espace Claude Lemand (Paris, France), Cairo Biennale (Cairo, Egypt), and the 57th Venice Art Biennale (Venice Italy).

Related: 19 Contemporary Art Galleries You Can Visit Around Beirut

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