Khaled Sabsabi

Khaled Sabsabi

Khaled Sasabi holds a Masters degree from UNSW Art & Design.

Born in 1965 in Tripoli, Khaled Sabsabi migrated with his family to Australia in 1978, to escape the civil war in Lebanon. Sabsabi has lived and worked in Western Sydney ever since.

Khaled started out his creative practice working in hip-hop, as a performer and as a youth worker. By the time he helped with Sydney's first hip-hop festival in 2001, Khaled had been running hip hop workshops for 12 years, working with young people in Western Sydney who were primarily from Arabic, Aboriginal, and Pacific Islander backgrounds. From these earliest endeavours, Sabsabi’s work showed a strong interest in community outreach, social justice, and working to help marginalised individuals feel empowered and to counteract racism and Islamaphobia.

Khaled Sabsabi’s process involves working across art mediums, geographical borders and cultures to create immersive and engaging art experiences. During his studies he majored in time-based art, and sees art as an effective tool to communicate with people through a familiar language. Sabsabi makes work that questions rationales and complexities of nationhood, identity and change. His innovative projects have involved working in Lebanon with former guerrilla fighters and civil war veterans, and spending 7 years collating 10,000 images of his everyday life, to create 70,000 photoshopped images for an exhibition in a warehouse entitled 70,000 veils which was inspired by Sufist literature.

Khaled was awarded the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship in 2010, 60th Blake Prize in 2011, MCG Basil Sellers fellowship in 2014, the Fishers Ghost Prize in 2014 and the Western Sydney ARTS NSW Fellowship 2015. He is represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane and has works are in private, national and international collections. His works have been shown and performed in Germany, Argentina, Malaysia and China and he has participated in the 3rd Kochi Biennale, 1st Yinchuan Biennale, 5th Marrakech Biennale, 9th Shanghai Biennale and Sharjah Biennial 11. Khaled participated in the National 2017 and was featured in the Sydney Biennale 2018. Sabsabi is a socially-engaged artist who’s worked in detention centres, schools, prisons, refugee and settlements camps, hospitals and youth centres, in the Australian, Arab and broader international context.

Photo credit:
Title - 70,000 Veils
Date - 2014
Images courtesy of the artist, Milani Gallery and Blacktown Arts Centre
Photographer Sharon Hickey