Born in Hama in 1952, Edward Shahda studied at the Suhail Ahdab Center in Hama and the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus, before undertaking a residency at the Anatoli Klankov Atelier in Russia. His distinctive mixed media works and acrylic and oil paintings capture sombre-faced figures, predominantly women, bending the rules of perspective to create powerful and emotionally resonant scenes. His innovative bursts of colour contrast to his monochromatic cityscapes, imbuing his scenes with a mythological quality. In the artist’s words: “I take special care to prepare the colour for each painting. The visual tension issued by a specific colour, by its proximity to others, tempts me… I believe that a small spot of colour can carry a vaster amount of drama and expression than a whole novel.” Since 1980, his work had been exhibited at numerous prestigious international solo and group exhibitions in Syria, Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, Dubai, Turkey, US, Canada, France, Switzerland and China. Notable international exhibitions include the 2005 Second International Biennale Beijing exhibition in China and the Institut du Monde Arabe exhibition in Paris in 2008.