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Welcome to Sana Gallery

10 September 2012


“Sana” means splendour in Arabic and that’s what we want to bring to Asia:  Outstanding Middle Eastern Contemporary Art by exceptional young artists from the Middle East region. 


Sana Gallery is a Pan-Asia platform for Middle Eastern art.  Our collection is housed at Sana Gallery, 12 Blair Road, Singapore, a 3-story house spectacularly restored in the 1980’s to its look and feel when originally built in the 1930’s. 


Sana Gallery' home at 12 Blair Road is a Chinese “shophouse,” the most traditional architectural form in Singapore and a building type indigenous to South East Asia, originating in China but mixed with features borrowed from European colonial architecture. 


Historically, shophouses were used by families operating businesses on the ground floor and living on the upper floors. 


Our neighbourhood is one of Singapore’s conservation areas, pieces of Singapore preserved or restored in order to showcase the common heritage of Singapore’s cultural melting pot.


Our first private viewing (opening on 1 November 2012), “Kisses of an Enemy,” will feature two outstanding artists, Semaan Khawam (Lebanese) and Thaer Maarouf (Syrian).  


Thaer Maarouf’s work is noted for highlighting human rights issues in the Middle East, in particular the conditions of the displaced populations affected by upheavals in the Levant.  


In his own words: “I don't paint strife but I indicate the pain and the scars left behind; I don't paint happiness but I express the hope which never abandons us”. 


Semaan Khawam speaks to the power of art to challenge sectarianism and limits on freedom of expression in the Middle East, and to protect and nurture liberty. 


Together, Thaer Maarouf’s and Semaan Khawam’s diverse body of work (spanning paintings, narrative video and installations) conjure up the collective memory of a Levant subjected – periodically, over several thousand years - to organized and random violence, dislocation and strife; yet their art is also simultaneously infused with unbending hope and optimism, sprinkled with defiance, characteristics necessary to adapt and subsume current events into the continuing (and optimistic) narrative of some of these Levantine societies, amongst the oldest organized communities in the world.

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