Born in Lebanon, in 1974, Zena Assi lives and works between Beirut and London.
She graduated with honors from l’Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA), worked in advertising and taught in different universities.
Her contemporary work on canvas draws inspiration from the relations and conflicts between the individual and his spatial environment, society and its surroundings. Her pieces are punctuated by strong visual references to her native Beirut and the predicament of its citizens. The artist uses various supports and mediums to document and explore the cultural and social changes of her country. Her work takes shape in installation, animation, sculpture, and mainly paintings on canvas and replicates the tumult, angst and cacophony that everyday life in the city is fraught with. Assi’s use of pallid colors, jagged angular outlines and intricate layering, imbues inanimate objects, landscapes, and buildings with the emotional burdens of their inhabitants.
Themes that are central to her vision include present-day issues related to countries in the Middle East as they battle with internal strife and civilian unrest. Many of her pieces were repeatedly shown in different international auction houses (Christie’s Dubai, Sotheby’s London, and Bonhams London) and are part of various public as well as private collections.
Assi has exhibited in solo as well as collective shows across Europe, the Middle East and the United States of America including- Alwane gallery (Beirut Lebanon), Subtitled Apeal Royal College of Art (London UK), Artsawa gallery (Dubai UAE), Zoom Art Fair (Miami USA), Shubbak (London UK), Beirut Art Fair Biel (Beirut Lebanon), Abu Dhabi art fair (Abu Dhabi UAE), Espace Claude Lemand (Paris France), Cairo Biennale (Cairo Egypt), Rebirth Beirut Exhibition Center (Beirut Lebanon), Albareh gallery (Manama-Kingdom of Bahrein), Contemporary Art Platform Gallery Space (Kuwait), Overture Show of Contemporary Art (Miami USA), Journey through our heritage BEC (Beirut Lebanon) and Art13 & Art14 London Fair (London UK).