Dalloul Art Foundation

Dalloul Art Foundation


CHAOUKI CHOUKINI, Lebanon (1946)



Written by Zeid El Amine

Chaouki Choukini was born in 1946 in Choukine, a village in southern Lebanon. He studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Artsin Paris from 1967 to 1972, later teaching sculpture at the Lebanese University in Tripoli (1985-1987) and the Jordanian University of Yarmouk (1989-1991) before settling in Paris. In 2010 he was awarded the Taylor Foundation Prize for his sculpture Petit Prince, L’Enfant de Gaza (2009)As a sculptor, he works primarily with wood, which he describes as a living material with a connection to the earth that he strives to preserve in his sculptures. The artist’s conceptual and straightforward works are executed in a figurative style that is partially abstract yet identifiable in form. He carves polished wood in elegant curves and Cubistic edges that are spatially balanced to create rhythm and harmony. 

Choukini’s path to sculpture started early and was deeply entwined with his personal life. As a child, Choukini experimented with wood by making toys at a carpenter’s workshop. In Paris, he trained for five years with his wife’s uncle Fumio Otani, an expert in wood sculpting, and, in 1984, spent a year in Japan with his wife. This year had a marked impact on his work, as the artist drew inspiration from Japanese minimalism.

Choukini’s early works in the 1970s and 1980s were mostly horizontal, depicting bird’s eye memories of landscapes from his village. Humans are absent in these sculptures, but their traces are palpable, symbolizing the relationship between man and nature, for example, in Nu Paysage (1972). Choukini carves Iroko wood to appear simultaneously as a flat landscape and a reclining nude figure, eliding the distinction between soil and flesh as interconnected products of the natural world. Later in his career, he began creating vertical works with a more contemporary feel. Inspired by Japanese minimalism, he removes parts of his sculptures by puncturing them, thus incorporating light and air into his work. In Cheval De Guernica (2012), he depicts a horse as a tribute to Picasso’s Guernica and a reminder of the tragedies of war. The bronze figure is varied in texture, incorporating both smooth and rough surfaces and riddled with window-like openings, which allow a play of light and shadow to form around the sculpture.  

Choukini’s artistic process often begins with a watercolor sketch, and these plans for sculptures can be considered artworks in their own right. Though they are destined to be carved or cast in wood or bronze, the shapes that populate his sketches are not hard and brittle, but instead feature soft hues and minimize dark edges; perhaps these watercolor plans partially explain the artist’s skill in lending an organic softness to the severe geometric shapes of his work. He also produces landscapes in watercolor that deploy a light touch and a dreamy color palette, evoking the hazy mist of memory itself. Désert 5 (1992), for example, is an aquarelle portraying an empty desert with a greyish-yellow background. Choukini’s vision for deserts came from childhood readings of pre-Islamic poetry, as well as his stay in Jordan. After drafting his work, he begins carving and always nearly-completes a sculpture before making another, a process that can take years.

Chaouki Choukini lives and works between Paris and Normandy.


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Selected Solo Exhibitions


Choukini, 10 recent sculptures, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France


Chaouki Choukini, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE


Choukini, Bronzes, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France


Choukini, Sculptures, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France


Choukini, Sculptures, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France
Poetry in Wood,Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE


La Condition Humaine. Sculptures. 1978-2014, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France


Le Bois et le Bronze. Sculptures Récentes, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France


Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France

Selected Group Exhibitions


Masterpieces, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France
Le Monde Arabe Vu Par Ses Artistes, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
A Century in Flux, Sharjah Art Museum, UAE


Beloved Bodies Part 2, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
Mathaf Collection, Summary, Part 2, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar


Resistance and Persistence, Sanayeh Garden, Beirut, Lebanon


Rituals of Signs and Transitions, Darat Al Funun, Jordan


Portrait of The-Non-Existent-Bird, Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch, Issoudon, France
Modernités Arabes, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France


Petits Formats en Fête, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France
Tajreed, Contemporary Art Platform, Kuwait
L’Art Au Liban, Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris, France


Le Corps Découvert, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
Abdelké/Adonis/Choukini/El-Hajj, 4 Artistes de la Galerie Claude Lemand, Galerie Jacques Leegenhoek, Paris, France
La Création Libanaise, 1959-2012. Œuvres de 14 artistes de 3 générations, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France
Les Art de l’Exil, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France
La Verrière, Paris, France


Acquisitions Récente, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France


International Aswan Sculpture Symposium, Cairo Biennial, Egypt 


Biennale d’Issy des Moulineaux, France 


Trois Sculpteurs, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France


Colamarini et Son Atelier, Musée Rodin, Paris, France

Awards & Honors


Prize of the Pierre Gianadda Foundation, Academie des Beaux-Arts de L'Institut de France


Prize of the Taylor Foundation, Paris


Young Sculpture Prize, Paris


Ramzi & Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon
Centre National des Arts Plastique (CNAP), Paris, France
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Val-de-Marne, Ivry-sur-Siene, France
Arab World Institute, Paris, France
Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar
National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan
The Khalid Shoman Collection, Jordan, Amman
La ville de La Verrière, Yvelines, France
La ville d’Evry Courcouronnes, Essonne, France
Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE



Choukini- Artiste Sculpteure
Tom Laurent
Art Absolument/ Artist Website, French
Choukini- Artiste Sculpteure
Artist Website, French
Choukini- Artiste Sculpteure
Louis Leygue
Artist Website, French, 1979
Art From Lebanon. Modern and Contemporary Artists 1880-1975
Nour Salame Abillama & Marie Tomb
Wonderful Editions/ DAF Library, English, 2012

Extract from book p. 404, 405

النحت في لبنان
Cezar Nammour
Fine Arts Publishing & Printing/ DAF Library, Arabic, 1990

Extract from pp. 42,56,57

Art In Motion. Resistance & Persistence
Banque Du Liban, English, 2016


Chaouki Choukini
Nadine Fattouh
"Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas Collection Claude et France Lemand Peintures, dessins, sculptures, livres d’artiste et estampe Sur un poème de Claude Aveline 23 mai au 31 août 2014 Exposition"
Musee de l'Hospice Saint-Roch, French, 2014


النحاتون اللبنانيون بقلم حسين أحمد سليم
حسين أحمد سليم
دنيا الوطن, Arabic, 2015


"Chaouki Choukini, un sculpteur qui fait pénétrer la lumière dans la matière"
L' Orient Le Jour, French, 2010
شوقي شوكيني منحوتاتي مفتوحة على الطبيعة الجنوبية
فيصل سلطان
السفير, Arabic, 1983

Extract from book كتابات مستعادة من ذاكرة فنون بيروت

Découvrez l'incroyable expo d'art contemporain
Le Parisien, French, 2012
حضور عربي بمعرض "ار باري" في باريس
naharnet.com, Arabic, 2013
الشرق و الشباب نجوم "أرت باريس"
أوراس زيباوي
almodon.com, Arabic, 2013
EXPOSITION ITINERANTEPortrait- de-l’Oiseau-Qui- N’Existe-Pas
museeissoudon.tv, French, 2014
Chaouki Choukini. La Condition Humaine. Sculptures, 1972-2014
artabsolument.com, French, 2015
Art in Motion! صمود و إصرار: الفن ينزل إلى الصنائع
al-akhbar.com, Arabic, 2016
Beirut Exhibition: "Resistance and Persistence"
Noor Tannir
Orient Palms, English, 2016
Announcement detail view
Sylvia Beder
e-artnow.org, English, 2016
"Resistance & Persistance"
Agenda Culturel, English, 2016
People and art mingle at Sanayeh garden Art in Motion brings 24 renowned artist to the public
Olga Habre
Executive Magazine, English, 2016
Resistance and Persistence : Art In Motion
Inferno Magazine, English, 2016
صمود و إصرار ... فاتحة معارض في حديقة الصنائع Art In Motion
al-binaa.com, Arabic, 2016
Le Monde arabe vu par ses artistes
Institut Du Monde Arabe, French, 2018
Le Monde arabe vu par ses artistes
arts-in-the-city.com, French, 2018
Green Art Gallery
dallasartfair.com, English, 2019
Breaking The Mold
Nancy Cohen
PatronMagazine.com, English, 2019