Ali Cha’aban and Rayan Nawawi Get Nostalgic for the 90s

When Kuwait-based artist Ali Cha’aban teamed up with fellow creative Rayan Nawawi, the duo embarked on a nostalgic cultural reverie. The kind that breaks the boundaries on global identity and just so happens to tap into the urban zeitgeist. “We came up with the phrase ‘satellite culture.’ It’s a phrase we tend to think about when we visualize an age before the internet,” Cha’aban tells Vogue Arabia in an exclusive interview. The two artists joined forces prompted by the campaign Summer Of White, associated with the #mywhitesneaker hashtag. “We chose the Nike Air Max 97 model and decided to elaborate on its aesthetics,” adds Cha’aban.

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Redefining the Saudi Art scene

In conversation with Ali Cha'aban and Khalid Zahid

Ali Cha'aban and Khalid Zahid are similar in the way they see the world, approach their art and interpret life. Cha'aban describes Zahid as “the Yin to my Yan”, referring to the meaning of the ancient symbol which pictures the pairing of two opposites creating a synergy through their very different takes on life that results in a unified whole.


Ali Cha'aban’s first solo exhibit

Lebanese-born artist Ali Chaaban is as much a socio-cultural commentator as he is an artist. He’s also fast emerging as a fashion photographer, shooting for Vogue Arabia and the Fashion Prize winners’ collections. With a blend of retrospective western sensibilities and an acute passion for Arab heritage, Chaaban has taken the plunge and is set to cut the ribbon on his first solo exhibition at La Cantine du Faubourg, Dubai on January 15, 2017. Vogue Arabia talks to the artist about superheroes, subversive art, and provoking change through artful shock tactics.

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Ali Cha'aban     Deciphering The Mainstream

Our love/hate affair with the mainstream could easily be considered as the idiom of the century. We praise the constant quest for individualism, tricking ourselves into thinking that by boycotting everything mainstream, we’ve delivered humanity from its consumerist doom. However, if anyone were to do humanity a favor and honestly study the intricate workings of the human mind, then they would ultimately be lead to the following: what’s so wrong with embracing the mainstream for what it is. It’s made up of the old and the new, the beautiful and the ugly, and the fashionable and ‘uncool’. 

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عمل العربي الحائر.. لماذا يغطي هذا الرجل رأسه؟

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة (CNN) -- هوية عربية ضائعة.. وحنين دائم إلى أماكن لم نقم بزيارتها قط.. و"حلم" يدمج بين الماضي التقليدي والحاضر "المعولم" المعاصر.. هكذا هي أعمال الفنان اللبناني الشاب، علي شعبان، والتي غالباً ما تأتي من خضم أفكاره المتلاشية، والتي ترصد كل ما حوله

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Celebrating Saudi art at the 2017 Shara Fair

Ali Cha’aban, an artist with a background in anthropology, has been a keen visitor to the fair in the past and took part for the very first time this year.

His piece “Broken Dreams” shows the true essence of the artist, he told Arab News.

“This piece is a mix of my childhood and my adulthood. I wanted to find an aesthetic that linked all of this together and what better way than to display my childhood idol, Superman, on a simple yet essential item in every single Arab household, the rug. Superman is the epitome of my childhood and many others’ as well. I specifically called it ‘Broken Dreams’ because I’ll never be Superman.”

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In conversation with Ali Cha’aban

Often labelled an observer of culture, a thread often reflected in his work, he views himself as an analyst pop-culture, writes Nadia Al-Sayed. His work revolves around the notion of nostalgia which we see depicted in his art, tackling socio-political issues such as the Arabian identity and the state of dystopia.

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Affordable is the buzzword at this art fair

The Galleries Week features local, regional and international galleries: Salwa Zeidan from Abu Dhabi; Cuadro Fine Arts Gallery and Elmarsa from Dubai; and ATHR and Hafez Gallery from Jeddah, along with Galleria Continua from Italy, France, China and Cuba.

Ali Cha'aban's TECHNICOLOR opening

Lebanese artist and 'pop culture analyst' exhibits art that tackles Arabian identity and state of dystopia

He is widely viewed as a pop culture analyst. His work revolves around the notion of nostalgia, which is depicted so intricately in his art, tackling socio-political issues such as the Arabian identity and the state of dystopia.


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So What Really is the Arab Dream? Three Rising Stars Investigate

Photographer Rayan Nawawi, Kuwait-based artist Ali Cha’aban, and Saudi Arabian designer Mohammed Khoja of Hindamme have collaborated for the first time. Naturally, the results are thought-provoking, aesthetically on-point, and oozing cool. In a series of photographs featuring Hindamme’s Fall 2017 collection, the artists explore motifs of Arab culture and investigate the tension of today’s Middle Eastern identity. Cha’aban describes the project as “a research of how we remix our heritage as well as our customs into one melting pot.” explores the dynamism between the meeting of these three minds…

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Satellite Culture: Reimagining the 90s by Cha’aban & Nawawi

Les artistes Ali Cha’aban et Rayan Nawawi se remémorent les années 90 au travers d’une série de photos pour Nike qui met en lumière la mythique Nike Air Max 97.

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Ali Cha’aban: An artist ‘who is not an artist’

This artist is not your everyday type of artist. He has a keen interest in anthropology, a subject he studied earlier and that helped grow his curiosity, which progressed his fascination of modern cultural terms. He mixes fun with the serious, old with the new and sarcasm with the controversial. 

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Artists Ali Cha’aban and Rayan Nawawi Pay Homage to ’90s Nike With Their Air Max 97 Photo Shoot

Anyone old enough to remember the ’90s will agree that times were much simpler back then. Social anxiety and depression were not as common as they are today, thanks to a lack of social media and its filtering system. Patience existed in general, as wait times for things as small as getting on the internet were unavoidable, and fashion was much more personally expressive, seeing as inspiration came from genuine research and exploration as opposed to being dolled out from a thousand sites or accounts. Serving as a homage to those simpler days are incredibly talented Middle Eastern art directors Ali Cha’abanand Rayan Nawawi, who have conducted a photo series orientated around the classic Nike Air Max 97.

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Tres artistas de oriente medio a conocer

Presentarse a uno mismo siempre es ardua tarea sea cual sea el objetivo o la situación que lo requiera. Empezaré por mi nombre: soy Stephany Sanossian. Y seguiré por donde nací y crecí, un hecho que siempre genera un “¿ah sí?, ¿pero vosotros tenéis coches o vais a camello?”. En caso de que aún no lo hayáis adivinado, soy de Aleppo, Siria. Sí, Siria. Y sí, hablo inglés y estoy aprendiendo castellano. Mi apellido al acabar en “ian”, típico sufijo de familias armenias, siempre deriva en: “Entonces, ¿eres armenia? ¿Y qué supone vivir en Beirut?”.