‘I am a socially-engaged artist who’s worked in detention centres, schools, prisons, refugee and settlements camps, hospitals and youth centres, in the Australian, Arab and broader international context.
I began my creative life in the mid 80’s as a socially-engaged Hip-Hop performer and since then have artistically evolved to develop and produce numerous art presentations. I migrated with my family to Australia in 1978 due to civil war and in 2001 I reconnected to Lebanon and the surrounding region for the first time since migration and today continue to engage with the region regularly.
I make work that is in continual transfer from the local to the global, from the physical to the philosophical and back again, to interconnect the interrelatedness and cycles of daily life’.
Khaled Sabsabi spent his childhood in Lebanon and moved with his family to Australia in 1978, settling in multicultural Western Sydney. He specialises in multimedia and site-specific installations, often involving people on the margins of society. In 2003, he returned to Lebanon for the first time, which led to a reengagement with the region and its people. He continues to work across borders, culture and disciplines to make artworks that challenge extreme principles and actions. Sabsabi has worked with communities, in particular communities in Western Sydney, to create and develop arts programs and projects that explore people and places from a broad social, political and ideological spectrums.
Sabsabi has exhibited in more than forty-five solo and group exhibitions in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Poland and Spain. Sabsabi is a recipient of the Blake Art Prize, Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship and an Australia Council for the Arts Community Cultural Development Fellowship. He has participated in the Sharjah Biennial 11, 2013, the 2012 Sydney Biennale, New Media Fest, SoundLAB, Beirut Arts Festival, Electrofringe, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, the Monographic Sample of Art Average Colombia and 3rd Digital Art Festival in Argentina and Italy. He has presented solo exhibitions in Sydney at Campbelltown Arts Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Gallery 4A and Mori Gallery, and has exhibited in group exhibitions including Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Edge of Elsewhere, Sydney Festival; Making It New: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Out of Place, Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin; Integration, Assimilation and a fair go for ALL, Gallery 4A; Soft Power: Asian Attitudes, Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China; ASIA - EUROPE Mediations, National Gallery Poland; The Resilient Landscape, Ivan Dougherty Gallery; Interdigitate, The Moving Image Centre, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand; and Living Here Now - Art and Politics, Y2K, Australian Perspecta.
Artist's website https://khaledsabsabi.com/ . Under the Media tab is an excellent set of links to articles about Sabsabi's work.
ABC Interview: A Day in the life of prize winning artist Khaled Sabsabi