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The Arabian mermaid will never stop singing

Aysha E Arar

Installation View of ‘The Arabian mermaid will never stop singing’

Aysha E Arar’s solo exhibition, “The Arabian Mermaid Will Never Stop Singing,” curated by ThisWeekendRoom, runs from May 31 to June 29, 2024. Palestinian artist Aysha E Arar consistently resists the contradictory scenes of contemporary international politics and seeks to share the power of art as a tangible, everyday practice that transforms reality. Through a blend of various practices, including painting, video, performance, and writing, she addresses themes of individual and community life, memory, and freedom. This is her first solo exhibition in Korea and features a wide-ranging selection of major works from 2018 onwards.

Aysha E Arar, Is it your hand? It’s so warm, 2021, crayon on paper, 70 x 100 cm

The Arabian mermaid, referenced in the exhibition’s title, is a mythical creature with both human and fish features. This mermaid is sometimes depicted as a beautiful goddess and at other times as a guardian of the sea. For the artist, the Arabian mermaid symbolizes freedom and imagination, bridging the gap between human and non-human, civilization and nature. Her ceaseless song alludes to the enduring beauty and persistence of her voice of resistance, represented in the exhibition through various forms of visual protest.

Aysha E Arar, Then the sun came with one look, spreading the light of warmth, love and justice, 2023, acrylic on plastic tablecloth, 140 x 218 cm

In her works, imaginary creatures and fragmented human bodies, derived from mythological narratives and literary references from various cultures, intertwine with changing elements of nature to create ambiguous scenes. Rather than adhering to a fixed square canvas frame, the artist uses everyday objects from her surroundings as support, drawing shapes between the figurative and abstract with quick brushstrokes. This improvisational and spontaneous approach serves as both a natural form of inner expression and an inevitable response to the situations she encounters. Her gestures can be seen as a ceremony of aspiration, mourning, and consolation for women and countless other beings who lack power. Through Aysha E Arar’s message of courage and hope, struggle and solidarity, friendship and love, we aim to discover the values that are scattered all around us.

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