Ordinary Lives: Women of the Middle East
An exhibition by Rania Matar, 5 December 2012 to 27 January 2013
At Sana Gallery, 12 Blair Road, Singapore 089912
The focus of this distinguished body of work is on women and children in the Middle East, contrasting the image of the region in the media (bombings, terrorism, kidnappings) with the fact that the large majority of the inhabitants are ordinary people going on with their everyday lives.
The artist, Lebanese-American Rania Matar, explores the universality and diversity of being human, of being a mother, a child or a young woman without regard to social back ground, religion, or nationality, in region torn by strife. She portrays her subjects as the individuals they are - infused with a beautiful spirit, focused on the everyday and determined to live their ordinary lives in a region which is anything but ordinary.
"I was in the unique position of being simultaneously an insider and an outsider to the Middle East: an insider who spoke the language and understood the culture and the people, but also an outsider who has been living in the West for many years and who can see it all with fresh unbiased eyes. What I saw was very different from what was being shown and broadcast. I saw beauty, hospitality, warmth, resilience, dignity, and a strong desire to keep going despite everything.
I was humbled by the women who brought safety and stability to their homes and their children, and who just kept going everyday with the simple tasks of their daily lives. I was fascinated by the ordinary and the mundane within the
extra-ordinary," says Rania Matar.
The images selected for this exhibition are from multiple bodies of work of the artist.