Works on Paper: Juri Morioka, Zeina Salameh, Houssam Ballan, Omar Najjar and Majd Kurdieh

12 January - 28 February 2021

Fann A Porter Dubai is pleased to present Works on Paper, an exhibition of drawings by Juri Morioka, Zeina Salameh, Houssam Ballan, Omar Najjar and Majd Kurdieh from 12 January – 28 February 2021 at gallery located at The Workshop Dubai, with an opening reception on Tuesday, 12 January, at 7pm. 


About the Exhibition 


The presented works explore the intimate yet primordial nature of paper drawing. The pieces allow the viewer to engage and experience the artists processes in an exceptionally close manner. The exhibition aims to celebrate drawings as basis to the artist’s practice but as a most fundamental form of artistic expression.


Celebrated New York based Japanese artist Juri Morioka’s ‘Landscapes from other Dimensions’ is a new series of paper works made using pencil, water-based pigments, 24K Kanazawa gold and crushed semi-precious gems. The nature inspired abstract works invites the viewer to experience a sense of belonging, where artist shares the belief that everything has a life of its own and a story to tell.  Born in Tokyo, Japan, Morioka spent a year at the University of Toledo before moving to New York City where she earned a BFA in painting at Parsons School of Design in 1990. The recipient of numerous grants and awards, Morioka has exhibited her paintings in galleries and museums across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Since her works were first introduced in Dubai in 2005, they have been showcased in galleries throughout the UAE.


Zeina Salameh is a visual artist and creative graphic designer whose artwork takes the form of etching, lithography, silkscreen, linocuts, monotype, printmaking, installation, and video art.The artist graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts - University of Damascus, Graphics and Printmaking Department in 2000. She has been part of many humanitarian organizations through voluntarily educational workshops of fine arts. She is also a brand strategist and creative consultant for businesses. Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1979, Zeina Salameh lives and works in Dubai. She has participated in group exhibitions and workshops within the Middle East and Japan.


At the center of Houssam Ballan’s work is the idea that representation cannot solely be based on what one sees, but the understanding of what one is seeing and the feelings it invokes in a person - be it through looking at it from different angles, touching it, allowing it to move you subconsciously, as well as other experiential interactions. Ballan takes a large focus on research and the exploration of these ideas within his practice, providing his works with a strong theoretical base. His works on paper, often using ink, charcoal, or markers are informed from this research. Born in 1983 in Sweida, Syria, Ballan was part of the 13th Cairo Biennale, Cairo (2019). Ballan has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions including BBA Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2019); Hafez Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2019); Manara Arts & Culture, Jordan (2019); Atelier Stories, Paris, France (2018); Fann A Porter, Dubai, UAE (2020, 2019, 2018), Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon (2014); Arab Cultural Centre (2010, 2007, and 2005); Ayyam Gallery, Damascus, Syria (2006); French Cultural Centre, Damascus, Syria, (2004); among others. His works can be found in numerous private and public collections. 



Omar Najjar is known for his innovative style that he describes as “structured chaos.” Presented in this exhibition are Najjar’s latest pastel on paper works that continue his modern take on impressionism; their quotidian subject matter is elevated to the sublime, providing a profound, if understated, view of the human experience.  Born in 1992 in Nablus, Palestine, Omar Najjar graduated from the Jordan University’s Fine Arts Department. The artist group and solo exhibitions include The artist group and solo exhibitions include BBA Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2019), Manara Arts & Culture, Amman, Jordan (2020, 2019), Bahrain Art Fair (2019); Zara Gallery, Amman, Jordan (2018), Wadi Finan, Amman, Jordan (2016); Al Bareh Gallery, Bahrain (2016); Fann A Porter, Dubai, UAE (2015); Nabad Art Gallery, Amman, Jordan (2014). Omar Najjar’s works are housed in various private and public institutions including the Palestine Museum, USA.


Majd Kurdieh’s practice incorporates painting, drawing, and literature using recurring figures that stand to tell a story, usually carrying a strong moral and positive reinforcement that the artist projects into the world. The artist has created a ‘cast of characters’, the two main ones being the Fasaeen (Arabic for ‘tiny ones’). The stories told through the representation of these figures are not specific stories that the artist references but rather ones that could apply to any viewer, leaving room for personal interpretation. The Fasaeen, one boy (Fasoon) and one girl (Fasooneh), always smiling despite the fact their world is filled with hardships, are usually accompanied by other characters. Featured in this exhibition are selection of ink on paper works, part of artist’s series ‘Hold onto the Flower’. Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1985,  Kurdieh has featured in solo and group exhibitions at Azad Art Gallery, Cairo (2020), Egypt Art Fair, (2020),  BBA Gallery, Berlin (2019), Manara Arts & Culture, Jordan (2020, 2019); Fann-A-Porter, Dubai (2019, 2018, 2016), El-Sawy Culture Wheel, Cairo (2019), and Athar Al Farasheh, Aleppo (2011), Sikka Art Fair, Dubai (2018) and Art Bahrain, Manama (2019, 2018). His works are housed in public and private collections in the Middle East and abroad, including HE Dr. Zaki Nusseibeh’s private collection and Atassi Foundation. 



About Fann A Porter 

Fann A Porter is a contemporary art gallery that represents a diverse selection of emerging international and regional artists.The gallery aims to nurture the burgeoning and dynamic contemporary art scene through quality exhibitions, non-profit events, auctions, and an active community programme.Fann A Porter has locations in Dubai, UAE and Amman, Jordan. 

The Dubai gallery is based at The Workshop, a unique inter-disciplinary community space consisting of a cafe, art gallery, sustainable store and design space, providing visitors with  a diversified artistic and cultural experience.  Bathed in natural sunlight with its garden, The Workshop is located in the heart of Jumeirah in Dubai.  


Fann A Porter Amman is located at Manara Arts & Culture, a creative hub and social space in the heart of Jabal Al Lweibdeh. 


For more information and for interviews with the artist, please contact the gallery on  email