My Light is Your Light...

My Light is Your Light... tells the story of the uncertainty of being. The six life-sized figures made of curved neon tubes stand on the street as though they have just arrived from far away. They are refugees, conceived by artist alaa minawi.

minawi is, like his father and grandfather, a Palestinian refugee living in Lebanon and Amsterdam. The use of neon lights in art often refers to the way that mass media conveys messages. Alaa minawi has chosen to work with neon for a very different reason. Neon shines the same soft, serene light as
a fugitive, he says. According to the artist, people who have been forced to leave their homes exude a soft, gentle glow. His sculptures are made of white neon tubes that distri- bute an extremely delicate and almost silky substance, especially in the evenings.

These fragile light sources have another function. Although bent to resemble the shapes of human figures, you can only see their contours. They are ultimately hollow, much like a refugee, says minawi, someone who has not only left behind all his possessions but also his past and his image of the future. With only those things that he can carry on his shoulders, the refugee takes the risk to flee to a new country to start a new life; a new life where everything can be filled once again.

About the artist

Alaa Minawi (1982) is a Lebanese-Palestinian artist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. His work ranges between performing arts and installations. Alaa started his career in 2006 as a light designer & Scenographer. In 2010, he started creating his own installations that were mainly presented in public spaces. In 2016, Alaa started his artistic research about belonging and its relationship to physical spaces. This lead to a series of performances all under the same name; "2048". In his practice, Alaa tries to explore the possibilities of merging installation and performing arts. He also tries to involve the audience, not only as active participants, but rather as an integral element in the structure of the performance, for that Alaa diminishes the role of the performer and highlights the presence of the spectator. Subjects like belonging, presence, absence, arab-futurism, wars, traumas, and heeling were tackled within alaa minawi's works.

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© Janus van den Eijnden