The unconventional photographs of Syrian artist and film-maker Ammar Al Beik possess a highly developed cinematic quality. Often taking the form of large ultra-chrome prints on canvas, he has recently begun producing overtly political works that incorporate elements of video, sculpture and animation. His photographs toy with the manipulation of light and contrast and delve into the art of visual storytelling. Believing that art must not only imitate, but capture life, he upholds the narrative of his subjects with unflinching scrutiny and heightened sensitivity.
Born in 1972 in Damascus, Ammar Al Beik lives and works in Dubai. Internationally renowned for his work in film and documentary, he has shown at numerous international festivals including the Sao Paulo International Film Festival; Edinburgh Documentary Film Festival; Berlin International Film Festival; and Locarno International Film Festival. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Jury Prize Winner at the Busan International Short Film Festival, Korea (2012); Golden Award at the Rotterdam 7th Arab Film Festival, Holland (2007); the Golden Award at the Tetouan 13th Film Festival, Morocco (2007); and the Jury Award at the Brisbane International Film Festival, Australia (2002). In 2006, he was the first Syrian filmmaker to receive the award for best documentary at the Venice International Film Festival. In 2011, he presented The Sun’s Incubator, a work exploring the domestic affects of the Arab Spring, at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. In 2014, Al Beik will present four of his films at the Fotofest Biennial of Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art in Houston, Texas. Solo exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2013); Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2011, 2010, 2008); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2010).