Hrair Sarkissian (Syria) in his work appears to use the codes of documentary photography, while at the same time as adopting a critical position towards the limitations of the medium. In his body of work, Unfinished (2009), the artist documents buildings in Damascus and Amman that are undergoing construction work. In these photographic works, ideas around transition are explored through time and space, whilst the uncanny atmosphere of the scenes highlight both, the presence and the absence of the human figure in the architectural landscapes. Recent exhibitions took place at SALT Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey (2011), Tate Modern, London, UK and Darat al Funun, Amman, Jordan (both 2011); the Kalfayan Galleries, Athens (2010), Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi (2009), the 11th Istanbul Biennale (2009), and The Bluecoat, Liverpool (2008).

Hrair’s work is included in the collection of Tate Modern, Sharjah Art Foundation and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena.

Born in Damascus in 1973, Hrair Sarkissian attended the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles, France (2003-2004) and in 2010 completed a BFA in Photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.  From autumn 2010, Hrair has been based in London.

In collaboration with

Artist’s website



Please note all artist-in-residence biographies are accurate at the time of their residency. For up-to-date bios please visit the artist’s website.