Haibat Balaa Bawab - EMERGEAST
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Haibat Balaa Bawab
b. 1952, Lebanon

"First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end." – Aristotle

Haibat Balaa Bawab weaves narratives of Beirut and its people in her collages and in her oil paintings that are clones of collage. She assembles fragments gathered from popular sources, such as magazines, stamps and bills to chart the fabrics of the city by literally using paper to express her popular iconographies. She composes figurative images using abstract media. From the lustrous and reflective surfaces of the haute bourgeoisie’s houses to the floral and polychromatic patterns of peasants, refugees and beggars, Balaa employs different cut-outs as a signifier status.

Haibat Balaa received her BA in Fine Arts from Beirut University College now (the Lebanese American University) in 1975. She has taught in several institutions since the late 1970’s, including the National Educational Center for Research and Development, the Young Women’s Christian Association, and the Lebanese American University. Since 2001 Balaa is the Fine Arts Coordinator at the American University of Science and Technology (AUST). She has participated in collective exhibitions in AUB, LAU, ALBA, Haigazian, Galerie Rochane, Station Des Arts, Sursock Museum, Grand Palais in Paris, Cairo, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrein, Kuwait, among others. She held solo exhibitions at Amateur Gallery (1991), Epreuve d’Artist (1996), Espace SD (2006), Galerie Alwan (2010), AUST (2012), Art On56th (2014) and Agial Gallery (2018). In 1982, she was awarded a prize by the Central Bank of Lebanon for designing a new Lebanese currency.

A monograph of her work was published in 2012 titled “ Haibat Balaa Bawab: The Art of Collage”. Balaa composed AUST publications titled “Beyond the Medium I” and “Beyond the Medium II”. Balaa is a member of the Lebanese Association of Painters and Sculptors and a member in Syndicat des artistes.

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Solo exhibitions
International group exhibitions
Biennale participant
Award winner

Artist Statement


Haibat Balaa’s oil paintings, focus on memories, on daily life and on the occasional escape from the busy schedule. Born in the city and having lived in it all of her life, the day-to-day scenes have had an effect on her and were translated in the artworks through her own style of art. The markets and the busy city streets are part of her everyday life. With this busy and restless life comes the need for a getaway and a time for relaxation. In that respect, scenes from the village, the harvest and the old times come into our minds. Carpets, rugs and oriental tapestry are found as a reminder of times of serenity and relaxation and are thus a recurring theme in the artworks. This group of oil paintings are a linkage between our daily lives and the relaxing times.


Solo Shows

2018 Agial Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2014 Art on 56th Beirut, Lebanon
2012 AUST, Beirut, Lebanon
2010 Galerie Alwane, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 Espace S.D., Beirut, Lebanon
1996 Epreve d’Artiste, Beirut, Lebanon
1992 Maarouf Saad Cultural Center,Saida, Lebanon
1991 Amateur, Beirut, Lebanon

Group Shows

2019 Invited to participate in the 8th Beijing Biennale China
2014 'Women, Inspirations &Expressions', Haigazian University, Beirut, Lebanon
2012 LAU Alumni art exhibition: The Homecoming, Beirut, Lebanon
2009 Spring exhibition at AUST for eleven eminent artists, Beirut, Lebanon
2006 Espace S.D., Beirut, Lebanon
1999 Galerie Rochane, Beirut, Lebanon
1998 Tabbara center, Beirut, Lebanon
1994 International College, Beirut, Lebanon
1993 Stations des Arts
1992 Salon d’Automne, Grand Palais, Paris, France
1992 “Portrait in Lebanese Art” BUC, Beirut, Lebanon
1991-2000 Salon d’Automne, Sursock meuseum, Beirut, Lebanon
1991-1993 Lebanese Art Association, Beirut, Lebanon
1988 “Three BUC art generations”, BUC, Beirut, Lebanon
1983-1993 Salon de l’Alba, Lebanese Academy for Fine Arts, Beirut, Lebanon
1983 “Eight BUC art graduates”, BUC, Beirut, Lebanon
1982 Ministry of tourism, Beirut, Lebanon
1982 AUB, Beirut, Lebanon
1980 Makhoul show, Beirut, Lebanon
1979 Makhoul show, Beirut, Lebanon
1975 BUC, Beirut, Lebanon
1975 AUB, Beirut, Lebanon


1982 First and unique prize for designing a new Lebanese currency organized by the Central Bank
1980 First prize for painting at Makhoul.
1979 First prize for painting at Makhoul.