The intercultural quality that marked ancient, classical, and medieval Islamic Syria continued into the Syrian cultural and artistic production of the Ottoman and early modern periods. This interculturalism is still evident not only in the mosaic of religions, ethnic groups, and languages inhabiting Syria today, but also in the region’s traditional artisanal crafts and modern art.
Affinities pairs objects from different periods and locations in order to reveal the cultural continuities that they frame. Syrian modern art, for instance, though fully rooted in modernity’s ethos and influenced by modern art schools, still retains strong connections to the long history of heterogeneous creativity in the country. This can be seen in the historical references found in many contemporary artists’ œuvres and their adaptation of particular cultural modes of expression in their individual creative explorations.