Habib Asal, a conceptual artist born in Amman, Jordan in 1974, lives and works in Zurich. He attended the art academies of Vienna, Berne and Zurich, earning a Master's of Art in 2011. He interprets his intellectual engagement with relevant sociopolitical themes in installations, texts, performances, drawings and ready-mades in formally distinct ways. In doing so, the artist often plays with the beholders' expectations and attempts to expand their perceptions and to prompt them to reflect on contemporary historical and transcultural phenomena. Thus, an installation from 2016 invites the visitor to climb a ladder in order to look into a glass cube at the top. Inside the cube is a piece of paper with the sentence "This is not what you expected it to be." Because of his ancestry, the Near East and the artistic investigation of concepts like identity, nationality, inclusion and exclusion as well as representation are recurring themes in Asal's work. At the moment he is focused on the highly topical themes of the refugee crisis, threat and fear. Habib Asal's works are shown regularly in exhibitions in Switzerland and Europe; among others, the art museum in Thun and the gallery knoerle & baettig in Winterthur put on one man exhibitions of his works in 2016. His art has been awarded project and atelier grants on a number of occasions, among others by the city and canton of Zurich.
The Foundation Board acknowledges an artistic position devoted to the examination of contemporary themes that embrace topical political, social and cultural questions with a promotion grant of CHF 15,000.