MAB Anachar Basbous, a new space full of beauty, love and hope
Following two years of construction, Anachar Basbous unveiled MAB “Mohtaraf Anachar Basbous”, a space now rooted on a stretch of land overlooking the sea in the village of Rachana, Batroun district, North Lebanon.
More than fifty works of art by Anachar Basbous are on display across the grounds of MAB Anachar Basbous. These pieces were created between 2017 and 2022 and are made out of corten steel, steel, stainless steel, marble, wood, aluminium, basalt, and concrete. Among the standouts and discoveries at the space is the first sculpture created by Anachar Basbous at the age of ten. He has been involved in artistic and creative pursuits since birth, thanks to the influence of his father, Michel Basbous, an accomplished sculptor, and his mother, Thérèse Aouad, a writer and poet.
Anachar Basbous used his gifts to the fullest to preserve his family’s heritage, and the way Rachana is reflected in his art may be most clearly seen in the tiny details. He had bought a piece of land in front of his house in Rachana that faced the ocean and featured two components that were typical of the villages in his region: First, a flat area known as a “baydar”, which translates to “threshing floor” in Arabic, is a particularly windy part of town. At the time of the harvest, the wheat seeds and the oats were separated at this specific location, which had been chosen with great care. The second structure is called the “rejmeh”. It is a huge mound that was made by stacking small stones by the villagers. The decision to build MAB Anachar Basbous in Rachana, particularly on this piece of land with a view of the sea, was made without hesitating. Anachar Basbous and the architect, Jawdat Arnouk, came up with the idea of building a raw concrete monolith that would be set into the ground on its eastern side and stick out like a cantilever towards the sea on its western side.
MAB Anachar Basbous stood as much more than just a collection of sculptures; it is also a narrative experience, a story of Anachar Basbous’ journey and artwork, and a tribute to his mother and father. The tribute has been created through a room in the space that has a glazed opening in the ceiling that looks out onto the sky and lets in overhead light. The room presents a bronze sculpture that was created by Michel Basbous in 1954.
According to Anachar Basbous, the idea of a time machine is the most prominent theme in the space because the general public can enjoy using one to travel through time and explore both the realm of modern art and the past with the same insatiable curiosity that propels them to constantly travel to new places around the world. “I believe the space will captivate its audience in a way that allows them to experience a sense of connection with the past through their sense of smell, the earth beneath their feet, and the feelings of those of the older generation”.
In his artwork, Anachar Basbous sculpts geometric forms and integrates them to assemble an architectural shape that establishes a discourse with its environment and interacts with the sunlight. Anachar spent a year learning about architecture prior to pursuing a career in the arts, and the influence of this particular field can be seen in his work, particularly in his most recent exhibitions. His sculptures, which are pieced together from various components, create the illusion of movement through space while at the same time posing questions about dichotomies such as the relationship between the body and the soul and gravity and magnetism. Anachar Basbous’ finely crafted works include Meteorite, which was featured in Artcurial Monaco’s Exhibition in the most picturesque areas of the Principality, alongside a collection of sculptures by renowned 20th and 21st century artists. In addition, his works have been acquired by the Institut du monde arabe in Paris and Christie’s, the world’s leading art and luxury business. Throughout Lebanon and the rest of the world (including Canada, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates), his sculptures can be found in both public and private collections, including those of museums, lodges, individual residences, and gardens.