Syrian sculptor who prefers not to name his works

Aboud Fares sitting on one of his functional sculptures at his first solo exhibition in George Town. — Pictures by KE Ooi
Aboud Fares sitting on one of his functional sculptures at his first solo exhibition in George Town. — Pictures by KE Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, Sept 8 — The exhibition may have been put together in a hurry but the breathtaking iron sculptures on display at the Hin Bus Depot Art Centre over the weekend were anything but hastily created works.

The larger works are shaped like abstract chairs and stools, all with signs for visitors to “feel free to sit” while the smaller sculptures are oddly fluid pieces that look like abstract human shapes or even aliens.

One large piece looked like a patched-up chair made of iron while another was like a rocking chair balancing precariously on a narrow strip of wood, much like a side-to-side rocking chair.

A smaller iron sculpture by Aboud Fares that is also untitled to leave the interpretation open to viewers.
A smaller iron sculpture by Aboud Fares that is also untitled to leave the interpretation open to viewers.

And another one looked oddly like a stool balanced on multiple legs with wooden bases and a “seat” made of different lengths of wooden pieces arranged in a haphazard manner.

One smaller piece on a pedestal appeared to be a figure, of a human or an alien, stretching up and another appeared to be sharp edges protruding in almost a Z shape.

All of these works were not titled and this is the basis for the whole exhibition aptly named “Untitled.”

The 19 iron sculptures displayed were the result of seven months of work by Syrian artist Aboud Fares who doesn't believe in naming any of his works.

Is it a cage or a sculpture or a stool?
Is it a cage or a sculpture or a stool?

“I don't want to categorise my work. I don't give names to my work. I don't want to take any lead for the people. I want them to be free so they can decide from what they see,” he said in an interview with Malay Mail Online.

Fares has been based in Penang since last year when he came here to work for a sculpture company on a commercial project. After finishing the project, he decided to stay on and set up a workshop here.

“When I first came to Penang to work with another sculpture company back in 2012, the art scene then was not like today and now, I see it is growing and I want to grow along with it,” he said.

Is it a sculpture or a piece of furniture?
Is it a sculpture or a piece of furniture?

He now travels between Penang and Syria and now that he has achieved his first goal of having his solo exhibition in Penang, he might go home for a while.

“Maybe I will stay, I'm not sure yet... I will decide later,” he said.

All his works are for sale and any enquiries can be made through Hin Bus Depot Art Centre. The art centre has been organising regular art exhibitions featuring talented local and international artists. Find out more about events and exhibitions at the centre here.

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