Skip to main content

Constantly looking for innovations, YKONE continues its creative conquest of the Middle East. It is more precisely in Riyad that the influence marketing agency met Ali Cha’aban, a visionary and talented artist who has been appointed as the Artistic Director of this new versatile creative hub.

This “why not” artist with Lebanese origins and unique talent reveals his artistic vision of the world around him.

@alichaaban Creative Director in Saudi Arabia

  • Did you always want to work in the art sector?

At first I wanted to be a doctor, and then I switched to anthropology which I think paved the way for looking at culture in a more academic perspective. That gave birth to the archivalist and artist in me.

  • What does art mean to you?

Art is about creating a narrative, a dialogue that might transcend time and space.

  • Do you think creation has limits?

As long as we are able to observe, we can always create.

  • During which collaboration did you feel most fulfilled?

The Nike collaboration in 2018, where I was able to focus on mental health, which was “How to safely survive a heartbreak.”

Satellite Culture campaign, collaboration between @alichaaban, @nike, @vice and @rnawawi

 “A shoe inspired by the streets of Lebanon, the “ممنوع الوقوف” symbolized the aesthetics of the streets and the meaning of never slowing down”.

  • In an article for YKONE dedicated to the future of YKONE Riyad you said “It goes without saying that for a community to be able to create, we need to invest in its people and talents. So who is or are the talents you would like to see join the YKONE Riyad adventure?
  • What do you like most about your job? 

Working with Mag (Magali Rady — Managing Partner MENA) so far has been amazing, as well as finding incredible talents under the YKONE Dubaï Office such as Haneen, Leen, Lana. Other than that the quality and way of work is a breath of fresh air.

  • Where do you find your inspiration?

Most of my inspiration comes from being raised in a transnational upbringing. As a third-culture child, I was heavily involved in nature and my surroundings. With that being said; as individuals, we usually tend to find our identity through things we observe and consume. Growing up in the Gulf shaped my upbringing to indulge in both cultures, causing a rift in my identity as an individual. The aesthetic and observational culture of the Gulf while also being heavily nostalgic to my Levantine roots and traditions. Such experiences and multi-cultural diversity of the region created a duality in my artistic and creative approach. which is always mirrored through my artwork.

  • With your pronounced taste for art, how did you organize your interior?

I think it comes with the territory, since your eyes are exposed to many different cultures and hues, it tends to translate to your interior.

  • What’s your motto?

Live and let live –  Laugh and grow fat.