Ayman Yossri Daydban’s works reinforce the mul tiple layers imbedded in Arab culture and identity itself. Although he has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia most of his life, he is still regarded as a Pal estinian artist – his country of origin. Yet, due to the Political upheavals in Palestine (aka Israel), he holds a Jordanian passport, ‘although’ the artist re-iter ates ‘I only lived there a few months’. Jeddah has become his hometown, yet nostalgia often seeps into his work in the form of posters dating from the Egyptian classic movie hey-days of the 1940s and 1950s. These posters, printed onto especially fabricated wooden tissue boxes, feature films star ring iconic actors that continue to unite the Arab world’s respect, admiration and escapist fantasy.

The Arab equivalents to the West’s Maria Callas, Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astair, Yossri appropri ates images of Eastern legends such as Umm Kalthoum, Faten Hamama and Anwar Wagdy all synonymous with class, elegance and cultural refinement as well as outstanding performances with expressive emotive power capable of mov ing audiences to tears. Hence the inspiration for the title ‘Maharem’, which has a double meaning in Arabic: either ‘tissue-boxes’ or ‘family in-laws’. The artist grew up watching his mother grab a tis sue each time she watched one of these classic films, and now Yossri follows suit, each time he think of ‘home.

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