Artwork in São Paulo pay tribute to Arab immigration

Artist Kléber Pagú signed the piece of art

Published in 06/07/2022 - 12:42 By Camila Maciel - Agência Brasil - São Paulo

An urban artwork was inaugurated on Tuesday (Jul. 5) on 25 de Março street in downtown São Paulo as a tribute to the Arab immigration. The painting called "Ahlan", which means "Hello", is on one of the facades of the Senador Automatic Garage Building, which is 70 meters high. The masterpiece is signed by artist Kléber Pagú, and curated by journalist and cultural manager Fernanda Bueno.

The piece of art is a way of thanking the contribution of the Arab people to humanity, and a tribute to immigrants in Brazil. 25 de Março is a street where the Arab community is concentrated. The region is a strong symbol of the entrepreneurship of these people in the country.

The complete work, which is still seeking sponsorship, tells on each facade of the building the history of Arab immigration, and its contributions to humanity in medicine, architecture, and algebra, among others. The artist Pagú has in his portfolio more than 200 art installations in Brazil and other parts of the world. The first part of the painting was sponsored by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, which was founded 70 years ago, and has the support of the Federation of Muslim Associations of Brazil (Fambras), and the certification body Cdial Halal.

Conception

The project brings together elements of the Arab tradition, such as gold, which is a symbol of the peddling trade, and the arabesque, an ornament characterized by the crossing of lines in geometric combinations. According to the artist, the patterns are similar to the shapes of plants, which constitute an infinite perspective, beyond the visible and material world. At night, the work will be illuminated.

The building that houses the artwork belongs to Zaki Dib´s family, a Syrian immigrant from the city of Homs. In the early 1930s, the building housed five shops on the ground floor and four residences on the upper floor. In the 1960s, Zaki's children decided to build an automatic garage building which at that time was the tallest one in the city. Heloísa Dib, Zaki's granddaughter, is in charge of the project. She participated in the research work together with Fernanda Bueno.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Valéria Aguiar / Sônia Fernandes

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