Renowned American photographer Jin Lee's visit to Syria
Syria-USA, Culture, 5/20/2002
Renowned American photographer Jin Lee has recently made a visit to Syria during which she conducted several workshops for young Syrian artists in both Damascus and Aleppo
In a statement to Arabic News (ArabicNews.com) Jin Lee said: "I came to Syria to participate in the Women International art festival in Aleppo for three days with women artists from 15 other world countries including Syria." She added I also did two workshops with students in Aleppo. Photography students from private institutes mainly from "Le Point" Gallery for photography of Issa Touma. She also said that she conducted other similar 4 workshops in Damascus.
About her artistic experience, she said "I am working with students from the contemporary art and examining the relationship between painting, sculpture, photography and video and also discussing the impact of technology on the artists."
She added that art can be made simply and directly without a lot of facilities and technology, noting that this is a very important point to understand.
She continued that, along with the new technology, painting and sculpture is still very important.
On her experience with the Syrian students at the Damascus and Aleppo workshops. Artist Lee said "The Syrian students are very curious, very questioning and we have a very live dialogue and discussions during the workshops. I was very impressed with the intelligent questioning the students raise." She continued:" It is opening up a dialogue between Syrian students and the American cultures," noting that artists in America are also addressing these issues and politics so this kind of dialogue brings more discussions.
She expressed hope that with further promotion of cultural exchange, culture and art can play a great role in bringing peoples together and promoting understanding about each other.
She indicated that " A program like this will help us in person to talk together and then we can talk directly in a workshop about ourselves and then we will discover we have many things in common."
Noting the friendly relations she established with her students in Damascus, artist Lee " In my recent workshop in Damascus, my student reached me to the old city of Damascus. I was so impressed that the Syrians are so knowledgeable about their history and proud about their culture, so welcoming.. And I was greatly moved by that."
On the technique she used in her artistic creation, artist Lee said "I use simple technique. It is using light directly- known as a light drawing (making a drawing using the light). A paper sensitive to light. You put an object on top and expose it to sunlight and the papers get dark and then you wash the paper to have then an image for the object." She commented that it is a very old technique and it is only one color and used to be very popular before the camera was invented.
Artist Lee highlighted many things in common between her students in Syria and the US. She said:" I think the Syrian students I met are so much like my students in the US. Both are thinking what art can be, what they do with their art, what role their art can play," noting even the Syrians are more inventive.
On her impressions about Syria, artist Lee said: "I love being here in Syria.. I was amazed that there are such influences and periods of ancient history and civilizations in this country. What I like most is the architecture of the streets in the old city of Damascus, the oldest continuously inhabitant capital in the world."
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