Among such themes, Kassem cited the mythical winged birds and marine creatures that communicate with humans, and tales of bold exploration, such as the adventures of Sinbad, the Sailor, echoed in the exhibition.
The imprint of Scheherazade can be traced from one work to another within the tales she related to the king, a concept developed in the paintings.
“My task is not to convey the stories as they are, but rather to edit their vocabulary in a contemporary way to take on a new narrative dimension,” Kassem said.
The paintings seem closer to dream-like flashes. However, the artist intensified his expression of the ambiguous fairy tales through his abstract style. He also confronts the stereotypical portrayal of Scheherazade and her heroes by liberating them in a remarkable theater-like scenery while keeping them with blurred features and masked faces.
The paintings depict the love by which Scheherazade captured Shahryar’s heart, thanks to her “strong intuition and ability to captivate him with tales,” says Kassem.
Viewers cannot miss the motifs from ancient Egypt, notably the Ankh or the key of life, besides the free-floating water hyacinth on the Nile.