PARIS - Hélène Jacqz -
DAMASCUS - Ibrahim Jalal -
TOKYO - Michio Takahashi -
In November 2009, we met at a painters’ symposium at Raqqa in Syria. Among the thirty or so artists from Syria and from some neighboring Arab countries, each one of us painted freely on the hill of Jabar.
The sun was shining, the west wind was blowing and the horrors of civil war were not yet visible.
In spite of our different origins, our works were the expression of some affinity, as if the desert and the Silk Road were promoting a crossing of our paths.
Helene 4 days' Studio between earth and sky
Sunset light and canvas on the floor
Michio's studio, north side
During the last three days in Damascus, we visited the museums and our colleagues’ateliers.
Edward Shadda's studio (4th from the right)
Damas Museum in front of ibrahim's painting
In the evenings, drinking tea, our discussions turned to artistic news and the idea that Art is based on universal values. We believe that the diversity of cultural legacies is not a hindrance to these values but on the contrary, essential.
Abdullah Murad's studio (1st on the right)
In 2011, during the Nuit Blanche in Paris, on the banks of the river Seine, following a key discussion on the approach to contemporary art and the meager part being left to painting, we decided to create a groupe “Caravan”, messenger of our desire to share our vision. Like a challenge to the new academism of current trends.
We hope that new caravans will join us on this Silk Road, the road to the «self».
We dedicate this project to our Syrian friends, wishing to meet once again in Syria with peace.
Mars 2012, Hélène Jacqz, Michio Takahashi, Ibrahim Jalal
PARIS - DAMASCUS -TOKYO
West - Middle East - East
The common point shared by Helen Jacqz, Ibrahim Jalal and Michio Takahashi is not only to live in France, while extending their distinct cultural traditions. It is that they chose a demanding mode of expression - painting - in their case marked by an obvious spirituality. "Spirituality" in the sense that Kandinsky gave to this word in "The Spiritual in Art", without referring to any given religious tradition. All three present meditative works, slowly thought and matured, that offer to the eyes a support for reflection.
- Rapid and spontaneous gestures in Helen Jacqz’ large canvasses, open to the beauty resulting from the chance meeting of dynamic forms, traces of a flight achieving a delicate balance between dance and acrobatics;
- Great depth in the pictures of Ibrahim Jalal, whose slow genesis, and hidden layers are revealed only gradually, after careful observation;
- Lightness and elegance, finally, in Takahashi’s work, like the superposition of light veils, pale and silky illusion of transparency, but also signs marking the milestones of a secret itinerary.
Among the many trends of contemporary art and its contradicting propositions, Jalal, Jacqz and Takahashi, painters of refined tradition, sometimes feel like in a desert. That’s why they have formed this group they called Caravan. I hope this caravan will go a long way, providing to all those who follow it the joys of a rare and poetic adventure.
Marc Albert Levin, Paris, April 2013.