Nour Choukeir – Whimsical Wonders

"My work revolves around the intriguing relationship between Time and Space, creating visual narratives that celebrate the past."

Nour Choukeir – Whimsical Wonders
Omaia Jallad

Nour Choukeir (Instagram), a Lebanese designer and multidisciplinary artist, has a creative spirit that mirrors Beirut’s vibrant energy. Her artistic prowess transcends conventional boundaries, seamlessly blending academic excellence in interior design with a boundless passion for luxury fashion. Collaborating with prestigious brands and publications, Choukeir transforms each creation into a captivating narrative of Beirut’s essence. As she continues to push the boundaries of innovation, her work evolves into a dynamic exploration of design possibilities. In the heart of her artistic journey, Choukeir not only captures the beat of Beirut but orchestrates a symphony where creativity knows no limits.

Welcome, Nour Choukeir, when was it that you realised you wanted to pursue a career in the arts?

I chose to pursue a career in art because creativity has always been a significant part of my life. Growing up in a family of artists and architects, our activities revolved around drawing, crafting, and unleashing our imaginations. My decision to delve into the field wasn’t  about art itself; it was a celebration of creativity in all its forms. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but rather an instinct, cultivated in an environment where getting our hands dirty to craft something extraordinary was the norm. 


You’re rooted in Beirut; how does the city’s vibrant and complex history influence the narratives you explore in your art and design?

The city’s rich history, marked by significant changes, fuels my creative exploration. Navigating through Beirut’s evolving landscape, I strive to bridge the gap between generations and capture the essence of heritage. My work revolves around the intriguing relationship between Time and Space, creating visual narratives that celebrate the past. By infusing historical elements with a modern and surrealistic twist, I aim to defy easy categorization, making my art a timeless experience. In other words, Beirut made me pursue a style where I craft scenarios suspended between the past and the future, resonating with a sense of belonging for all.

How do you unite interior design and multidisciplinary art, and what valuable insights do you gain from one discipline that enhance the other?

In uniting interior design with multidisciplinary art, I leverage a symbiotic relationship that elevates both fields. The synergy allows me to transcend conventional boundaries, sparking imaginative connections. For instance, inspired by art elements, I weave them into design language, transforming spaces into visually captivating narratives. Interior design’s spatial understanding becomes a canvas, merging functionality with aesthetic appeal. Analyzing shapes and historical eras through design fosters curiosity, enriching my perception of objects and spaces graphically. Multidisciplinary art, meanwhile, liberates me from design constraints, infusing fantasy into reality. This fusion becomes a perpetual catalyst, stimulating curiosity and engaging the senses, consistently pushing creative boundaries.

Can you elaborate on your process of seeking and finding inspiration, and how it evolves over time?

Initially, I find inspiration everywhere, even in chaos, by being an attentive observer. Childhood exposure to scientific and art history classes laid the foundation. As I matured, I delved deeper into exploration, researching the wonders of the world, from nature to eclectic movies and philosophy. This evolving journey involves asking the right questions and extracting inspiration from diverse sources, recognizing beauty in structured education environments and the profound complexities of the world. The process is a continuous refinement, fueled by curiosity and a broadening perspective.

How do you infuse your artistic vision into the luxury fashion realm, and what unique perspectives do you bring to these collaborations?

I infuse my artistic vision into narratives that transcend aesthetics. I aim for a mirror effect—leaving a lasting impact on the viewer’s memory. Garments seamlessly integrate into these stories, becoming pivotal elements. This approach, highlighting the harmony between imagination and memory, distinguishes my contributions in luxury fashion. Each collaboration transforms fashion into an evocative experience, leaving a visual journey imprinted in their memory.

Can you share a project where your surreal and dramatic touches left a strong impact, and what emotions or reactions you aimed to evoke in your audience?

“Cyclamen,” an artwork showcasing my surreal exploration of human transformation captured by Jon Bronxl, was exhibited at the Lynn Modallal Gallery in Beirut earlier this year. The exhibit prompted viewers to contemplate their environmental connections by challenging the boundaries between humans and nature. Vibrant colours and dreamlike scenes composed a poetic narrative, fostering introspection. The inclusion of a headpiece, inspired by the 1890s serpentine dance, seamlessly melds traditional sculpture techniques and digital collage. This fusion underscores nature’s significance, resulting in an emotionally resonant and innovative piece that encourages reflection on our relationship with the natural world.

If you could time travel to any era, which period in history would you choose?

If I could time travel, the mid-’70s to mid-’80s would be my destination—an era defined by unparalleled exploration. Electronic beats set the rhythm, accompanied by a visual explosion of curiosity and sci-fi in movies. Bold brutalism in architecture stands in defiance, embracing diverse design movements like postmodernism with Verner Panton, Ettore Sottsass. Futuristic visions from Ugo Della Pietra and the iconic Palais Bulle reshape landscapes. Artistic expressions of Luigi Serafini and fashion by Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood redefine norms. 

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