Hratch Arbach is Born in Damascus in 1975, to a Syrian father and an Armenian mother. He moved to Paris in 2000. He shares his life between his keen interest in science and his passion for art. After obtaining his M.Sc. in biochemistry in Damascus, he received his Ph.D. in microbiology and virology from the University Paris VII. He then joined one of the leading Paris-based Art school, l’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs. Having always been inspired by the diversity of artistic expression, he worked with different media, including photography, painting, drawing and scenography. After several years of working at the Molecular Genetic Institute in Paris, Arbach now devotes himself to his artwork.

Lives and works in New York.

Work Statement

The key element of my work is the state of man from past to present and I constantly seek to push the boundaries of our consciousness on the way to unification.

In my installations, the diversity of my artistic practice (photography, sculpture, drawing and video) serve to create a tension between different elements, for the visitors to experience them emotionally and intellectually.

In 'Armenians, portrait of a people', for instance, I invite the spectator to a journey in my own heritage, where conceptual and frontal pieces merge to reflect a strange mix of feelings, between pain and healing, in a continuously stimulating process.

My art work is always initiated in response to personal life events and influenced by my diverse origins that I exploit as vectors to evoke a contemporary context. 'Syria, my Forgotten Land' was a quest to find my inner truth about my childhood obsession to leave my homeland. With this piece, I provided the visitors with an alternative reality to inspire their apprehension of the complexity of the conflict in Syria.

I was determined to position myself as a person who is concerned by the human spirit and to raise the consciousness of man to a certain level of responsibility. This was the message of my latest installation, 'Mawtini -homeland-', for which I created a universal ritual. Importantly, I realize the healing power of art as a medium to give hope and reconciliation and this is the foundational meaning of my installations, ephemeral as our existence.

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Hratch Arbach est né en 1975 à Damas (Syrie) d’un père syrien et d’une mère arménienne. Il s’installe à Paris en 2000. Après avoir obtenu son doctorat en biologie moléculaire à l’université Paris VII, il rejoint l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris. Attiré par la diversité de l’expression artistique, il se consacre désormais pleinement à la photographie, la peinture, la sculpture et la scénographie.

Ses travaux portent principalement sur ses origines, notamment sur la mémoire du peuple arménien, entre passé et présent. Arménie, le silence des pierres est un travail qui, par le biais d’éléments suspendus et immobiles (pierres, bois, papiers…) témoigne de l’horreur infligée à un peuple. Cette installation vise à dénoncer un négationnisme toujours d’actualité. l'autre projet sur les Arméniens intitulé Arménie, portrait d’un peuple est un ensemble de portraits d’Arméniens du monde entier. Dans le mouvement inverse à la dispersion, il s’agit d’un travail de réunion afin de présenter l’identité de ce peuple.

Depuis 2011, il développe avec Syrie, mon pays perdu, un travail photo et vidéo qui tente de décrire le cheminement intérieur et la relation qu’il entretient avec son pays natal. Enfin, Hratch Arbach aborde aujourd’hui la question de la religion et plus précisément du concept de martyre au sein de la culture orientale.

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