Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Joy and Pain of Beirut

Tom Young is a British painter who has developed a fascination for Beirut and Lebanon and depicted it in his work. He points out that the city provided him with the symbols of both 'joy and pain' and their co-existence. No doubt, there is little shortage of either in Beirut and Lebanon.

Tom Young's attitude and craft are discussed in this pleasant video that also depicts photographs of a Lebanon long-gone, one that will be hauntingly familiar to anyone who lived there during that era.

Young states that his work focuses on memory and longing, as well as rebirth and recovery. Lebanon is indeed penetrated with sentiment and melancholia; the people's faces, and often their taste in music, reflect these longings. Their actions do also speak to the patch-up and the constant recovery from war.  

The video also has a quote which may be relevant in these circumstances: "There is a circle called sentiment and there is the compulsion to break free of it. In the negative space between contraries we learn to venture."