Egyptian artist Ahmed Abdel-Wahab will be the guest of honour in this year’s edition of the 22nd Aswan International Sculpture Symposium (21 January - 4 March), and is contributing a granite sculpture to the Outdoor Museum, according to the symposium’s general commissioner Nagi Farid.
Abdel-Wahab, born in 1932, graduated from the Helwan Faculty of Fine Arts in 1957 and studied in Rome at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1970.
The artist is a State Merit Award recipient (2002) and was the head of the Sculpture Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria between 1979 and 1988.
Abdel-Wahab’s work, which largely deals with semi-divine figures, is included in local and international collections, such as the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art in Cairo and the Museum of Modern Art in Prague.
The Outdoor Museum, which opened two years ago, is designed by architect and sculptor Akram Al-Magdoub and houses more than 200 monumental works created during the previous editions of the symposium.
Symposium general commissioner Farid also said that this year will include 10 main artists, five are young Egyptian artists who have participated in the symposium’s workshops in the past years, and five international artists from Japan, China, Georgia, Germany and Spain, Al-Ahram Arabic reported on Friday.
The artists were chosen from a pool of 80 applicants, while participants in this year’s workshops include six Egyptian artists under 30.
The duration of the symposium has been lessened this year to 40 days instead of 45.
The symposium’s higher committee is comprised of Hamdy Abo El-Maaty, head of the Syndicate of Arts, Khaled Sorour, head of the Fine Arts Sector, Mohamed Sabry, assistant curator and founder of the symposium, Adam Henin, honorary member of the committee, as well as Hany Faisal, Essam Darwish and Sherif Abdelbadie.
The symposium is one of the oldest artistic events in Egypt, and has been held uninterrupted for 22 years.
"This annual event is already well recognised internationally. Sinai is plentiful with granite quarries, and after so many crises with tourism, the region needs a boost," Farid told Ahram Online.
A press conference will be held on 22 January to announce more details of the upcoming edition.
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