Recent works by Elias Saifan, June 18 – August 24
opening reception Friday, July 17th, 7-10pm (please note this is not the first day of the show)
Special performance by the USA Shaolin Temple demo team under the direction of Shifu Shi Yan Ming will take place during the opening reception, starting 8 pm.
On June 18th Elias Saifan will commence a 30 day, performative/meditative process of painting a massive 24 by 9 feet canvas. Inspired by his Buddhist martial arts practice, the piece will be action painted on the floor and become a daily diary of his kung fu and tai chi routines. The audience is invited to visit and witness his process, images of his daily progress will be posted on our social media.
Elias Saifan is a New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. He studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA but dedicated himself to painting upon graduation. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including long periods of residence in Spain and Lebanon. Some of his solo projects took place at Sala Medez Nuñez (Lugo) and The Schmooz (Beirut). His work was featured in 2008 NYC Art Expo. In 2011 the Arab Spring revolutions started across North Africa and the Middle East forcing him to stop preparing for a solo show in Beirut at Mark Hashim Gallery. In 2012 he departed for Northern India, Dharmshala, to study Buddhism. During the three month that he spent there he became fascinated by mandala paintings, sat in on some traditional drawing classes and studied Tibetan language and Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy. In late 2012 he came back to New York to study Chan (zen) Buddhism under the guidance of Shifu Shi Yan Ming at the USA Shaolin Temple. He has been practicing Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Chi Gong ever since. He follows these three aspects of The practice: Chan which is meditative, Wu which is martial, and Yi which is medicinal.