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The Sursock Museum is pleased to invite you to the opening of
"Les Mondes de Willy Aractingi"
on Thursday 8 June 2017 from 18:00 to 21:00.

The exhibition will be on view until 18 September 2017.
Special Exhibitions Hall, Level -2

"Les Mondes de Willy Aractingi" is an exhibition devoted to the work of painter Willy Aractingi (1930-2003).

Self-taught, Aractingi has often been labeled as a naive or primitive artist; this exhibition looks to take a more nuanced approach, and features more than 120 works created between 1973 and 2003.

Best known for his gradations of color, Aractingi was also fascinated by tales, fables, and other stories told to children such as Geha, Tarzan, Abla and Antar, Adam and Eve, and by La Fontaine’s animals and characters. He depicts a world inhabited by creatures and animals including lions, foxes, crows, monkeys, and brings them to life with as many vivid colors as his palette permits.

Aractingi is in pursuit of his own aesthetic and humor, and plays with variations to obtain several versions of his propositions. Abla’s alternately purple, yellow, and green face, framed by a tarbouche or high bun, is transformed with each of these variations.

This exhibition follows a generous donation of 224 oil paintings to the Sursock Museum by the Aractingi family. Each painting illustrates one of de la Fontaine’s fables. A major achievement in Aractingi’s artistic life, he began the series in 1989 and completed it on the 300th anniversary of the writer’s death in 1995.


Les Mondes de Willy Aractingi: Curator's Tour
Saturday 10 June, 16:00 to 17:00 in French, 17:00 to 18:00 in English
Thursday 15 June, 18:00 to 19:00 in French
Free admission
Spaces limited. First-come, first-served.

Join curator Yasmine Chemali for a tour of Les Mondes de Willy Aractingi, exploring the main themes and ideas behind the exhibition.

Yasmine Chemali is the Head of the Collections at the Sursock Museum.


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Origins of a Tale
With Collectif Kahraba
Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June, 20:00 to 21:00
Free admission

A performance for all ages.

The first fable may have even been modelled from clay. The central element will be clay in layered sheets, in piles, in blocks, in bas-relief, modelled live, and so on, giving life to figures and spaces. It is from and through this raw material that the two interpreters (Eric Deniaud and Aurelien Zouki) will build the genealogy of fables and their origins. Drawing inspiration from the exhibition Les Mondes de Willy Aractingi, the piece combines live sculpture and drawing, movement, object manipulation, and sound creation.

The development of Origins of a Tale was supported by the Swiss Embassy in Lebanon and the French Institute in Lebanon, and has received grants from Focus Liban (French Institute– Zoukak Company) and from Masrah al Madina – 20th anniversary grant.

Collectif Kahraba is a performing arts company comprised of artists and technicians from different backgrounds, who believe that art is a trajectory towards openness and dialogue. Since 2007, Collectif Kahraba has presented ten different performances that brought together various disciplines, including, theatre, puppetry, shadow theatre, and contemporary dance. The collective has also initiated a multidisciplinary, free festival, “Nehna wel Amar wel Jiran,” which held its fourth edition in 2015, bringing together more than 40 artists and over 5000 spectators. Collectif Kahraba are also at the helm of the Hammana Artist House, a new art residency space located in the village of Hamman


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Wild Things: A Mask-Making Workshop
With Junk Munkez
Saturday 17 June, 11:00 to 13:00
Saturday 8 July, 11:00 to 13:00
In French and Arabic
Ages 6-12. Children must be accompanied.
LBP 10,000 per child. LBP 5,000 per additional child.
Spaces limited, booking required. To book a spot, click here:

Create a mask using colorful and patterned textiles, cardboard, and origami techniques. In this participatory workshop, children will enter a fantasy world with an oral storytelling session of the Fables de la Fontaine. After choosing their favorite fables and characters, kids will draw an initial sketch of their mask and fabricate it. They will also be able to take their custom mask home.

Lea Kirdikian is a product designer with an avid interest in recycled materials. Xavier Baghdadi is an imaginative animator/illustrator. They teamed up to collaborate on an upcycling initiative called Junk Munkez, joining forces to conquer the local trash heaps through colourful eco-friendly products with eco-conscious ethics.


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