Focusing on the bodies of humans and animals, Syrian sculptor Nour Asalia explores the dynamics of static and moving objects. She explains: “My father had embalmed several small creatures, scorpions, locusts, beetles… Simply, I consider that I imitate my father; I mummify the face [and] I may go beyond that to mummify the moment."
Born in Hama, Nour Asalia (1984) graduated from the Department of Sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University in 2005. She obtained a Master’s degree in aesthetics and contemporary art history from the University of Paris VIII. Her doctoral thesis is entitled ‘The Fragility of sculpture in the first half of the 20th century’.
Capturing or preserving, whether real or illusionary, the different disembodied parts of the body is what the artist calls “the conversation with death”. In the moment of the object's fragility or vulnerability, this stillness can contain a reference to violence, a theme that underlies many of her pieces.
Using physical transparency as a large part of her work, from fragile and transparent rice paper to casting or encasing objects in a transparent resin, Asalia refers to her father’s workshop as a site of influence. “Even on a technical level, I had borrowed the technique of casting in resin from my father, as well as my understanding of the role of light and its visual effect on the sculptural pieces cast with transparent material,” she says.
Nour Asalia’s work is in public and private collections and has shown in exhibitions at venues such as: Atassi Foundation, La maison des arts, centre d’art contemporain de Malakoff, Galerie Tanit, Biennale de Sculpture de Yerres and is a member of the Syrian Cultural Caravan.