Palestinian Artist - Portland, OR
Born and raised in Amman, Jordan in a Palestinian refugee camp, Kanaan is an artist by training, studying at the College of Fine Arts at Baghdad University prior to immigrating to the U.S. in 1994. Currently he works in the International Studies Department at Portland State University and continues to produce art.Kanaan's artwork is a continuation of his personal belief in using art to reach out to others, to heal and make connections. It focuses on creating intelligent and thoughtful dialogue about similarities and differences of culture, language, tradition and faith. Through his art, Kanaan hopes to create peaceful and intellectual dialogue about his native culture and faith.
Passing, a durational performance by artists Michele Feder-Nadoff and Kanaan Kanaan, is part of a series of collaborative works begun in 2001 as a response to on-going Middle East conflict and worldwide strife. Illuminated by their personal experiences of diasporas based on their respective Jewish and Muslim traditions, together they have created works that explore and symbolize and desire to maintain hope through trust.
The 2011-2012 Hamersly Library exhibits theme is IDENTITY. The exhibits featured this year will explore the characteristics that determine who we are. Our individual experiences, the communities we live in, and our culture all play a significant role in establishing our identity.
In spring we are looking at cultural identity. Two international artists are exhibiting seperately and joining together for a performance piece to explore similarities and differences to open a dialogue among cultures.