Hypothetically, 2021

Pencil on paper 56 x 71 cm


Artist Hanny Al Khoury (b.1990) was born in an Arab Palestinian minority community in occupied Palestine. Raised in a society that valued critical debate, Al Khoury was exposed to socio-political, literary, and intellectual issues of the day, as well as the complex identity politics faced by Palestinians living under occupation. As a Christian Palestinian, a minority within a minority, he also attended church regularly and was active in religious activities which would later influence his work. These seemingly contradictory aspects of his life spurred an interest in art.

 Al Khoury’s first technical training was during high school through an art program presented by the school at the time. He learned materials, techniques, colors and basic artistic styles for the first time from his teacher Ola Al-Henawi. For Al Khoury, art is a lifeline to new worlds. It is a space in which he can represent his connection to Palestine, while reflecting core human values and emotions.

 Al Khoury is from the Holy Land, specifically a village called Eilabun, near the Tiberias. It’s the only village among hundreds of Palestinian villages in which people returned after the Nakba of 1948. Due to its majority Christian population, the Pope of the Vatican issued a decree to the British colonizers to allow the people of Eilabun to return under new rule. In 1952, the people of Eilabun, including Khoury’s family, returned to the village where the artist was later born. 


2006: Al Khoury graduates from high school


2007: He starts a preparatory year to learn Visual Arts at the Manshar Hamanhal College

He suffered an internal intellectual and religious crisis as an artist in a conservative society. After a disagreement with his family, he left home and unwillingly abandoned his education. He went to Jerusalem, the center of the conflict and lived homeless, moving between the two parts of Jerusalem. He slept in public places, in harmony with Jerusalem’s character. He talked to pilgrims from all over the world and his character matured in the alleys of the streets of Jerusalem, and between the strange stories and miseries he lived, which are reflected in his art today.


2008: With only a small backpack to his name, Al Khoury does some small jobs for a year and managed to save enough money to rent his first apartment in Ben Yehuda Street in western Jerusalem.


2009 – 2010: Al Khoury continues his artistic journey in Jerusalem and produced the series “Between Reality and Imagination” which examines a young man dreaming of an ordinary life. With these pieces he opens his first personal exhibition.


2011: Al Khoury returns to Eilabun. He has many failed attempts to contact organizations and artistic figures. Some of them ignored him because of his lack of degree.


2012: Al Khoury studies under artist Michael Hallaq, a professor and lecturer at the University of Haifa. He masters the oil painting technique and produced several art works.

Over the course of 3 years, he studies and practices art daily. He also studies the history of art, specifically how personal experiences and psychology are reflected by various artists through their work.


2015 – 2016: Al Khoury earns a Guinness World Record for "the largest mosaic painting using toast” with the portrait of a Palestinian poet made completely out of discarded bread. He became popular in within his community, but also received backlash due to the blatantly Palestinian message of the project.


2017 – 2018: Aspirations to travel encouraged Al Khoury to emigrate to Canada, far away from the conflicts and miseries of the Middle East. He started a new stage in his life and subsequently a new phase in his artistic practice. He produced a collection that caught the eyes of by art seekers and collectors in the Holy Land, and the in Arab World.

: Mr. George Al-Aama, a lecturer, art seeker and collector in the Middle East, held the first personal exhibition for Khoury in Bethlehem. “The Chaos of Senses” took place in the lobby of a hotel design and executed by world famous street artist Banksy. Consequently, the exhibition was extended from one month to two months after its successful opening, and the amount of media coverage it achieved. Many art lovers said that it was “one of the most successful individual exhibitions in the history of the Palestinian artistic movement,” putting Khoury on the artistic map in the Holy Land and in the Middle East.


2020: Khoury was featured in “Break,” a group exhibition hosted by art booth in the Salwa Zeidan gallery in Abu Dhabi.