Manaf Halbouni is a Syrian artist. He was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1984.
His father is Syrian and his mother is German. In 2008 Manaf moved from Syria to Germany after completing his studies in Fine Arts. As he stated in a video commissioned by Counterpoints Arts:
“The damascus I left in 2008 doesn’t exist anymore.”
In 2008 he moved to Dresden, Germany, where he studied Visual Art before beginning to exhibit his works across Europe.
Manaf captured the attention of many when he created the installation Monument in the city centre of Dresden. Monument is a recreation of three vertical busses that were used as a defense against sniper fire in Aleppo, Syria.
It contrasts starkly with the ornate city centre buildings, acting as a reminder that Dresden, like Aleppo, was a city of rubble itself not too long ago.
“You just wanna find the place, the perfect place where you can say ‘okay now I’m gonna put roots and I’m not gonna leave this place again and I’m home’ and for me I didn’t find this place yet. Basically I think my identity is being on the way”
In 2021 Counterpoints Arts was one of the partners for Manaf’s project Mobilistan:
“Manaf Halbouni and Christian Manss declare the first mobile state in the limited space of a vehicle in 2021. The art project starts its first business trip at Pariser Platz in Berlin and leads to the Mahalla Festival in Istanbul.”