Intimate fantasies of small worlds – Pier 22

While some are preoccupied with interfering with the vast expanses of this world, traveling across the Earth to discover new planets, wandering between galaxies and skyscrapers and why not jumping from one plane to another in search of adventure and all that scares the corner, invites us. in a world that relies on miniature.

A small and delicate world, we can “enter” it through a box decorated by two friends who realize that we need a safe haven to write according to our imagination. Two friends chose a slightly darker space to create these little worlds. A space in which the novels that come in the form of boxes are collected, the visitor imagines that they are suspended between the pages of the Book of Loneliness, though the whispers of the street pour into it through the large windows that protect it from the outside World.

Many ask Gabi and Nada why they have not added figurines to these boxes, which tell dozens of stories through miniatures and revive old crafts in their own way. The answer does not change, even if dozens of people ask the same question. These boxes are the garden of our secret dreams, we enter them and tell through them the story that simulates our imagination and threatens our loss.

In this sense, they felt they had no right to interfere with our dreams and place restrictions within small boxes.

We are invited to enter the siege that we think will take us on a new journey. Whether, thanks to the imagination of Nada and Gabit’s fingers, the case represented a kitchen complete with the necessary things, or the bedroom of the broken tragedian, Van Gogh, looking at the olive groves (his muse and the bride of his hallucinatory poetry), and why not, the shoemaker’s workshop, where there are plenty of glues and knives dedicated to shoe cutting, or a forgotten library of a philosophy busy solving the dilemmas of the universe.

On a small street in the heart of Mono, a professional miniature artist … a small and meticulous McCann world begins to seduce us with a special invitation to enter it.

Miniature cabinets

Since 2014, on the ancient street of Beirut, Lebanon, retired architect Gabi Qamar and former fashion stylist Nada Abdallah have turned a shop on the intimate street in the heart of “Mono” into a professional dedicated to the art of miniature or model consisting of luxury. , ranging in size from half to 10 centimeters. A workshop, the façade of which overlooks the street, and consists of two connected sections, one of which has been turned into a workshop for Gabin working by hand these small treasures and the other is a showroom for these embracing boxes small worlds open to all possibilities. .

Gabi and Nada were looking for a hobby through which they could use their creative energies, as the engineer was tired of his hard work and fashion design was no longer a priority for Lebanese, however, Nada needed to create and give veins of her passion for creation.

So, at the invitation of the owner of this space, which he introduced to various artists over the years, to transform their dream home into a corner of the historic street, they decide to embark on this crazy delicious adventure and call it arkan space in French.

And the Word is overflowing with mystery and secrets and all that we can not comprehend, but the effects of which we feel on us. This name was the harshest expression of the dimensions of these miniature models, which may require many months of intense thought and research before passing into the implementation phase, arising, for example, in the intimate music room dedicated to training, or the trap of books. that heroes thrive between two sides of their madness.

Since it is a “biography and an opening”, Gabi has his own style in handling the little books that are placed in this or that box. They carry real covers that the engineer uploads online, reduces using Photoshop, and prints. to be placed in their final presentation in the book.

The first case arose in the studio closest to a forgotten attic in a remote home after they decided to download an old radio and show a scene inside. Gabi Qamar comments with a laugh: “In the past the radio was like a narrator and it was customary for the family to gather around him to hear these stories. From here the first scene was born.” The retired engineer did not find it difficult to deal with these miniatures, which sometimes needed a small, thin pliers to hold them, given that “the older generation of engineers designed house models by hand “We cut the wood, he carved it and carved it without the help of technology. Percentage”.

Gabi and Nada do not get tired of emphasizing that these very accurate models require us to pay special attention to them, “and whoever chooses them does not take some small models with them and puts them where he wants in the box, these boxes require a lot . of research, thinking and planning before moving on to the implementation he has personally achieved in all its details. ” Nada is the creative mind behind every box and she puts her soul into it. ”

Gaby and Nada spend a lot of time in specialized markets for antiques and recycled items, located in various Lebanese regions, looking for luxuries they can use to compose great stories within small worlds.

And because they are trying to revive old crafts in their own way, they shared one box for old saws used in factories and another for tools used by shoemakers. As for the male hairdresser, the visit to his little world is a must, especially since Gaby and Nada give small details a lot of importance, given that the devil is in the details.

Gabit this hobby made retirement more beautiful. While some succumb to illness, fear, and despair after retirement, the engineer was able to feel that he was still producing, creating, and setting up businesses that could cost up to $ 10,000 per box.

“But I have to admit we have not sold anything for two years. In the past, customers were mostly foreigners who appreciated this tedious manual work. We had problems with Lebanese who thought that handmade luxury should be cheap. Some Lebanese do not do this Miniatures are considered an art to be appreciated and placed in the category of businesses that attract tourists, today Lebanese who like these jobs are experiencing a stifling economic crisis and foreigners working in the country receives a small part of his salary, and most of it is transferred to his country, due to the collapse of our banking system.

Today, the two friends are preparing to attend Dubai Design Week in November, expanding the spread of these little worlds.

And when Gabe asks me which box represents me and makes me choose it to live in my diary, I get a little out of reality and soon return to the confidence he embodies in its simplicity and beauty, I laugh and do not answer honestly . .

I avoid them a bit. And he would not have known that, during the interesting interview in which we shared a cup of coffee and one or two cigarettes, I had stepped into the long kitchen, put the apron around my long dress and started preparing aperitifs for echo arm for next to family and friends, and stray dogs and cats who found in my kitchen the hammock of dreams that has become inaccessible. After I finished the virtual meal, I jumped into Van Gogh’s next room to talk to him a bit, trying to solve the mystery of this humor and this difficult character.

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