Bassel Bou Khzam is seen in his shop in the town of Kfarhim, Mount Lebanon, sitting alone in a small shop in Kfarhim, a village in Mount Lebanon, with blocks of untouched clay can be very labor intensive. It can take hours to create a basic piece of pottery to start with. The slightest mistake can ruin an entire piece with hours of work lavished over it. But for Bassel Bou Khzam, this is not the case. Bou Khzam enjoys every second spent in his atelier in Chouf, producing creative drawings, 2D clay faces placed on canvas, and other pottery works that reflect Lebanon’s culture and traditions. (Image: Bilal Jawich)
Article written by Dana Halawi
“I am a citizen of the village. I have always imagined the village in all of my works. I wanted to symbolize the village so I drew the nature, trees, mountains and snow in my paintings and on pottery jars,” he said.
“I wanted to come up with a new concept that is affordable to everybody. So I started combining drawing with craftsmanship by creating 2D faces for popular people on canvas and pottery jars by using clay materials and acrylic coloring,” Bou Khzam said.
Bou Khzam explained that 100-percent hand-made products are very rare to find all over the world, the reason he preferred to stand out by avoiding the use of any machines in his work.
“I love producing work for old people’s faces using clay because I can work more on their detailed features such as wrinkles,” the young artist explains passionately.
One of the main pillars of success for any artist, according to the young man, is their capability to work in both classic and contemporary arts without focusing on specific rules.
Contrary to most young Lebanese, Bou Khzam does not wish to leave his country for more exposure despite all the hardships he experienced throughout his path to success.