A sculptor, painter, urban artist and architect working from Beirut, with a background that fuses Oriental and Japanese theories of space, Nadim Karam has developed his own concepts, based on ideas like “micro pluralism”, “the architecture of performance”, and “story-telling architecture”.

Nadim Karam’s production of work across disciplines is an optimistic act of rebellion, as well as an affirmation of the power of creativity against the tedium, soullessness or terror that at one time or another afflicts our lives and cities: his work focuses on re-examining contextual issues with a global significance and relevancy, it engages in enhancing perceptions of pluralism and difference within a society as a source of enrichment rather than a reason for conflict.

With Atelier Hapsitus, the pluri-disciplinary group he founded in Beirut, he has realized urban interventions internationally, both temporary and permanent, in cities as diverse as Melbourne, Prague, Dubai, Beirut, London, Tokyo and Nara, Japan, exploring the use of public art as an instrument of urban activation and regeneration.

Nadim Karam was selected in 2002 by the UN as co-chairman of the conference on the reconstruction of Kabul and by the first Rotterdam Biennale as the curator for Lebanon. He has held academic positions in Tokyo and Beirut, and gives lectures internationally.

2B or not 2B

“I lost my 2B pencil during a long international flight.
We were still at the beginning of the flight;
my sketchbook was ready by my side,

but there was no pencil.

I panicked.

2B or not 2B almost resumes everything.

For me, the creative process is basically an expression of the inquisitive mind
and human condition through stories, memories and identities,
starting always with the stroke of a pencil.
Although constantly in doubt, I have the certainty
that it is about creating, not destroying.


Sometimes, it feels like we are working against the tide,

but it just needs persistence; this optimistic act of sketching.

I found the pencil a couple of hours later. After a silent celebration, I fell asleep, the sketchbook closed and the pencil in my shirt pocket.”

Nadim Karam, In the Plane, 20/05/16