Pursuing her passion around the world.
Sailing from the coast of Byblos, where she has painted the sea from her balcony since childhood, both Lydia Moawad and her paintings have crossed oceans and anchored themselves in major cities across the world – New York and Milan, Dubai and Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
She has exhibited her work in the Florence Biennial at Fortezza da Basso and the European Art Fair in Rotterdam. Closer to home, her work has been displayed at Biel and in Jeddah. One of 12 artists selected in Milano in 2015 and one of 425 artists chosen out of 17,000 to exhibit in the Florence Biennial, doors began to open for Moawad across the globe – the Dictionnaire de l’Art in Germany, the Tokyo Art Fair and the Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong, to name a few.
“My recent participation in Hong Kong was of great importance. The gallery’s organizers made a documentary about me for their national television and they are publishing a book about my career,” said Moawad.
Moawad’s painting entitled Cristal Blue is featured in the Niagara Falls Museum Gallery, whose theme “Water for Life” is dedicated to global water preservation. In addition, she was invited to illustrate UNICEF’s book on children’s rights in 2000, an honor of which she is particularly proud.
“When the late Lebanese writer Dr. Mohamed Dakroub met me 12 years ago, he told me that history would remember me. His flattery was too much, but I feel I am on the right path. I still have a long journey ahead.”
Born to paint
“I was born a painter. Painting was and still is in my blood; it is my eternal passion,” said Moawad. Her Mother is an artist herself, who loves to give back to her community by donating the profits of her exhibitions to charitable causes. Her mother’s father was the renowned Lebanese artist and international jewelry designer Halim Akkawi.
“Painting is a spiritual need for me, the oxygen I breathe,” said Moawad. “It is not a duty or task at all. Painting allows me to express my deepest feelings.
“I was holding a paintbrush or a pencil since my childhood. When my father passed away, my mother found my drawings in his things. He had dated them, some from when I was 2 1|2 and 3 years old.”
Her joyful style
Moawad’s paintings are a free expression of sensations, as if her canvases show butterflies in continuous movement, captured in bright and dramatic colors.
It is after liberating oneself from artistic rules, “only at this point will he or she find new rules and ways of expression,” she said.
“My paintings are sadness-free, still a little hardness sometimes escapes into them unwillingly, due to the war I witnessed for 30 years and my fight against cancer in 2011. I see a softness in every hardship because I still keep hope and stay positive.”
At one point, Moawad included a woman captured from behind by her braid in many of her paintings. She was an elegant woman, always rising above materialism and life’s trials. “Armed with pride, she turned her attention to the future, while spreading culture and wealth around her,” she explained.
A place of her own
In September, Moawad will go back to Hong Kong to inaugurate her new collection Shapeless Energy in the Lydia Moawad Gallery, and in October she will be part of a live auction in the Historical Distillery District in Toronto. This event will support cancer research and benefit the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Meanwhile, she welcomes visitors at her private gallery in Ain el-Rihaneh, Byblos and hopes to inaugurate the Lydia Moawad Gallery in Lebanon soon.
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