Rasha Omar

born 1989 in Damascus, Syria.

Born in Damascus, Rasha Omar lived through the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011 and was 23 years old when she left the country. In her works, the artist of Kurdish descent explores the dichotomy between the utopian aspirations of civilization — embodied in the Sumerian myth of Dilmun— and the complex reality of conflict and migration. Drawing on her personal experiences, her art is not only a testimony to the effects of war, but also a meditation on harmony and resolution. The paintings capture both somber and confident tones: While Rasha Omar's portraits resonate with traumatic experiences and memories, the compositions dissolve into topographical landscapes. These bird's-eye view garden images, in which one shape merges into the next, are reminiscent of the peaceful paradise of Dilmun. "In Dilmun", reads one of the oldest poems, "the dove does not hide its head".

Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at Khan Asa’ad Pasha, Damascus; at the Festival of the Syrian Kurdish Artist and at Shander Gallery in Erbil; in Diyarbakir; in Vienna; at Nova Contemporary, Bangkok; and at City SALTS, Basel, among others.

Gallery exhibitions

Rasha Omar, Dilmun at Jan Kaps, Cologne
17 Nov 23 – 27 Jan 2024
Jan Kaps, Cologne


Lives and works in Vienna, Austria 1989 Born in Damascus, Syria

Education Since 2020 Painting, University of applied arts, Vienna, Austria. 2007 - 2011 Faculty of fine arts, Damascus, Syria.

Selected Exhibitions

2024 Above A Cloud, City SALTS, Basel Orbital, Nova Contemporary, Bangkok

2023 Dilmun, Jan Kaps, Cologne, Germany

​2015 For Kobani, Diyarbakir, Turkey

2014 Shander Gallery, Erbil, Iraq

2013 Impression, Shander Gallery, Erbil, Iraq

2010 The Annual Spring Exhibition, Khan Asa’ad Pasha, Damascus, Syria

2009 The Annual Spring Exhibition, Khan Asa’ad Pasha, Damascus, Syria