Loving dad: Ouisam’s art honours fathers at Rixos Premium Dubai - GulfToday

Loving dad: Ouisam’s art honours fathers at Rixos Premium Dubai

Ouisam 1

Presentations by Ouisam.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Rixos Premium Dubai, in the heart of Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), has inaugurated an immersive art exhibition celebrating Father’s Day – or Father’s Month - since it opened on June 13 and will be on view till July 13. (Father’s Day 2024 was observed on June 16 this year). Titled A Short Story About Father Hood, the show is being presented in main lobby of the hotel; the artwork features a series of installations, including a large painting and a six-metre-high sculpture that captures the enduring essence of fatherhood in a contemporary and creative fashion.

The art pieces featured in the exhibition is the work of Ouisam (Wissam Melhem), a talented painter and sculptor. His illustrious career, which has seen him working in architecture and landscape design, is marked by a deep exploration of various themes. His most recent work was featured in several exhibitions, including the Interweaving solo exhibition in Spain, the Remember August 4th collective exhibition in Washington DC, and the 22nd International Art Exchange Exhibition in Tokyo. One of his creations was also selected to be exhibited in the permanent collection of the Peoria Riverfront Museum in the USA.

The month-long exhibition at Rixos is seeing the lobby of the hotel transformed into an engaging space; it is designed to take you on a journey of introspection and contemplation of what fatherhood means. As you step into the hotel, you are greeted by a symphony of sounds and sights that evoke a sense of interconnectedness. On reaching the exhibition area, an array of artworks unfolds, which have been thoughtfully curated by Dr. Tony Karam, an obstetrician and gynaecological surgeon with a passion for art, who has been promoting artists and helping them showcase their masterworks in multiple exhibitions.

Ouisam 2 Ouisam (Wissam Melhem) is showing his artworks at Rixos Premium Dubai JBR.

The artworks portray the different aspects of fatherhood, symbolising the nurturing and protective qualities of father’s love, and hinting at the complexities and challenges inherent in the fatherhood dynamic. Nestled at the heart of the show is a series of intertwined paintings stretching across two 10-metre canvases that capture the meaning of fatherhood. The works evoke memories of paternal guidance and spark dialogue about the impact of fathers in our lives.The journey concludes with a six-metre-high sculpture, symbolising the interrelatedness of human experiences, allowing you to reflect on your own relationships and associations. Rixos invites you to “explore the fundamental truths and complexities of fatherhood through the lens of philosophy and reflection.”

Whether you seek to understand the connotations of fatherhood or want to explore new forms of artistic expression, the exhibition will inspire curiosity and spark conversations. It is a celebration of an important factor of life, through artistic creativity. Of Lebanese origin, Ouisam (b. 1974), is an architect, landscape designer and artist. He investigates contemporary themes, mainly through the processes of sketching and painting.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Master of Arts in Landscape Urbanism and has worked for over 15 years as Senior Architect at Nadim Karam and Hapsitus Architects in Beirut, after an education at the American University of Beirut.

Ouisam 3 The love symbol in an artwork.

The hallmark of his art is the representation of five elements: The Crown, The Bird, The Cloud, The City and The Human. The Crown represents power. “Power makes us stronger and enables us to overcome challenges in our lives,” says Ouisam. “It dictates how we think, behave and act. Without it, we are mentally obsolete.” The Bird represents freedom and mobility. Human beings strive to achieve these when they seek to set themselves free from taboos, habits and routine. The Cloud represents dreams. “We all need dreams to achieve a successful future and free ourselves from our past,” says the artist. The City “is the sense of belonging – our identity. Without it humans are lost, falling into emptiness.” Finally, sans The Human, “the four other elements are meaningless! The human is the Catalyser of all existence.”

“Art is a fantasy, a poetic consilience, a possibility of realising an utopian vision for the coming future,” says Ouisam, consilience meaning the linking together of principles from different disciplines to form a single, comprehensive theory on a topic. Father’s Day, wikipedia reminds us, is a day honouring one’s father, as well as fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Father’s Day, says the website of 1000museums.com, “helps us celebrate fatherhood, the influence of fathers in their children’s lives, our own experiences as fathers, and the paternal bonds we may experience with father-figures in our lives.”

Established in 2000, Rixos is one of the world’s fastest-growing luxury hotel chains specialising in luxurious all-inclusive holidays. At the heart of every Rixos Hotel & Resort is a wellness spa with a Turkish hammam, kids clubs and sports outlets. Rixos has locations in Turkey, UAE, Russia, Croatia, Switzerland, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Qatar, and Rixos Hotels have received global recognition from distinguished professional bodies, including the American Five Star Diamond Award, Conde Nast, World Travel Awards, Haute Grandeur Global Awards and TripAdvisor. Rixos Hotels currently operates five hotels in the UAE: Rixos Premium Dubai in JBR Dubai; Rixos The Palm Dubai Hotel & Suites in Palm Jumeirah Dubai; Rixos Bab Al Bahr in Ras Al Khaimah; Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island; and Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi. Rixos Hotels is part of Ennismore, a joint venture with Accor, formed in 2021.

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