Saudi Arabian artist Ayman Yossri Daydban's Spanish debut

Saudi Arabian artist Ayman Yossri Daydban's Spanish debut

'Common Grounds' in Madrid

Image: Sabrina Amrani

A Madrid-based gallery collaborates with Athr Gallery in Jeddah to present a retrospective exhibition by Ayman Yossri Daydban

Art Gallery owner Sabrina Amrani brings in the new year with 'Common Grounds', an exhibition featuring the works of Saudi artist Ayman Yossri Daydban, who will be showing in Spain for the first time - opening tomorrow.

Born in 1966, Ayman Yossri has lived most of his life in Jeddah - a city which he strongly identifies himself with despite his Palestinian origin and Jordanian nationality. This sense of national isolation permeates his artwork. Yossri works with various media forms and tackles the subjects of identity and social shared memories.

The new show consists of curated works from four different exhibits by the artist over the past five years. Visitors will first be welcomed with the 'Flag' series, a body of work that the artist has created from various objects, ranging from Prozac packages to soda or detergent labels. Yossri folds the relatively mundane items in such a way that make the resulting shape resemble the Palestinian flag.

The exhibition will continue with the 'Maharem' series, which originated from the tissue box that many families in the region have in their sitting room. Yossri manipulates the usually decadently fabric-covered boxes to the bare frame, adding prints to the box from Egyptian movies that shaped his childhood and contributed to his emotional development. Exploring the concept that the movies he watched growing up revealed the outside world, whilst his family acted as the protector and shield. In Ayman's words: "The Middle Eastern man is an emotional man, primarily driven by feelings and often governed by them ... We are not materialistic, our emotions take over."

The series will then explore the 'Subtitle' series - in which the artist uses stills from Western and foreign movies with Arabic subtitles. The fourth series of works in the show is 'Reflections', a powerful group of pieces made up of stainless steel folded into a shape resembling the Palestinian flag, in which the viewer can see their own distorted reflection.

'Common Grounds' opens on January 22 and runs until March 1 at the Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid, Spain.