The Warehouse, Goshi Warehouse
Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
Opening Monday November 27, 2023
In the presence of the artist.
‘Euphoria’ by Rima Chahine is transcendental in use of colour.
DUBAI: Rima Chahine, the Canadian award-winning artist based in Dubai with an enviable international portfolio of art, will be showing her abstract artworks from November 27 to December 10 at The Warehouse, Dubai (@The.Warehouse.ae). It will her third solo exhibition in Dubai and is titled ‘Euphoria’.
It is part of the latest collection from the prolific artist, whose previous shows in the UAE have been sell-out successes. Her signature pieces, with their bold yet harmonious strokes of colour, have been the collector’s pride and enjoy enviable display spots in various homes and offices around the world.
Rima has been striving to understand her world and the world we live in and her art, which manifests her discoveries, unveils the spirit in which she found her subjects. In ‘Euphoria’, the sweep of colours takes everyone and everything in its current: the viewer is left with feelings of exaltation, elation and joyousness. ‘Euphoria’ is a part-ironical, part-prescriptive, title.
“To give name ‘Euphoria’ for the exhibition,” says Rima, “is to assist the overcoming of the limits of the individual self and its desires. The remedy for self-fixation – the I, Me, Mine syndrome – is to lose oneself in self-transcendence.”
For Rima, this means spiritual contemplation and ultimately, self- realisation. “The logic of self-transcendence,” she says, “is based on humility, and respect for the mysteries we did not create but yet are subject to. Self-transcendence is, at its core, is the realisation that you are one small part of a greater whole, and to act accordingly.”
She says the values of self-transcendence express a growth motivation and reflect care for others’ well-being, over self-interest. This will increase pro- sociability – which helps build and maintain relations.
Common emotions felt during transcendence, she adds, are gratitude, compassion and perhaps awe. According to her, transcendent emotions result in the concern for the welfare of others and therefore promote pro- social behaviour and altruism.
“The name Euphoria,” she concludes, “ is meant as an irony for the quick fix exaltation generation we are part of. Quite a few of us – indeed many of us – are consistent in our pursuit of exaltation through temporary emotions generated by feelings of greed, power, hate, passion, success, money, beauty or fame, among others. But I am presenting an alternate possibility through my art.”
Rima was never one to stint on colour and in ‘Euphoria’, we see the full power of her mastery of colour. She plays with the brush on colour much as a maestro would do with his fingers on a piano.
Alternately cathartic and therapeutic, Rima uses colours to bring out the full gamut of emotions in the viewer. However, in playing with colours, she never wants to play with the emotions of the viewer.
Her purpose is vastly different. All she wants to do is to bring about positivity; if in any way angry colours such as red are used, it is only to purge negative thoughts, to cleanse the self and create warmth.
Colour psychology has long been acknowledged as a factor that affects sentiments. Colours have been proved as provoking physiological changes, such as increased blood pressure, increased metabolism and eyestrain.
You may feel anxious in a yellow room and blue could make you feel calm and relaxed. Does red make you angry? “ Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions”, Pablo Picasso once said. Ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practiced chromotherapy, or the use of colours to heal.
Rima’s art colours – whether vertically seen or horizontally prepared, whether they are stand alones or merge into each other – are designed to kick negativity in the shins. They race like Formula 1 cars, burst into life like the glowing sun, wave about like fierce sea anemones and burn with unbridled passion. One of them even has a hint of the UAE’s National Flag, a unifying force if ever there was one.
Who can be lonely or feel empty and rejected amidst such a splendid show? You would have to be especially unfortunate if you cannot enjoy this carnival of colours, brought about by an artist who has felt and experienced what she has drawn.
‘Euphoria’ is a must see in your art calendar. Takeaways will include precious memories you can draw on in your bad days. It will make you one with the poet who said:
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way …
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”