Artist Shaun Rabah unveils “U,” an online video series exploring the power of facial expressions to unite us
While the mandated use of masks is underscoring our separateness and physical disconnection from each other, U showcases what lies underneath: our common bond as humans
[Sofia, Bulgaria, January 13, 2020]: Artist Shaun Rabah is today unveiling U, his 4 year long exploration into facial microexpressions. U is an online video series which gives anyone from around the world the opportunity to express their emotions in silence, leaving only the microexpressions on the mouth to do the talking.
With the advent of Covid-19 affecting most aspects of our lives, U has taken on a new meaning. “We are only getting half the story of how a person is feeling when wearing a mask and that adds to the sense of disconnection building between us,” stated artist Shaun Rabah. “U explores the bridge that exists between the separate you and through the microexpressions on our face. We express universal emotions through our microexpressions. A smile expresses joy, a frown sadness.”
The artist started U during a short trip to Berlin in 2017. Since then he has gathered almost 300 videos and more than 1,500 minutes of footage of individuals from 13 countries. Shaun Rabah has been filming short 4 minute videos of participants silently contemplating their life. The videos focus on the region around the mouth and showcase the microexpressions we express. The short films can be viewed online at shaunrabah.com/u.
Describing the project, Shaun commented, “I find it fascinating and emotionally moving how much is being communicated and how many emotions are being conveyed, without a word even being said. As participants remember a specific memory, a smile appears, or a twitch of the lip. Most of these expressions are subconscious and non-voluntary, giving an unfiltered view of how they are really feeling.”
Peter Dunov, a well recognised Bulgarian philosopher said, "The eyes are a reflection of the mind and the mouth is a reflection of the heart." U is a window to people's hearts and a reminder of what we are hiding from each other by covering our mouths.
Shaun Rabah continues to explore these themes through various art compilations and art installations, which will be unveiled in the coming months. A sneak preview of the art compilations can be seen on instagram.
As the next wave of lockdowns is forcing people into isolation, U invites people from all over the world to participate in the project, by taking a moment to record their mouth while they sit and think about their lives. For more information on how to participate, please visit shaunrabah.com/u
About Shaun Rabah:
Shaun Rabah is a multimedia artist who explores concepts of identity, emotion, and connection through different forms of artworks ranging from video to geometric abstract paintings, His paintings traverse space and geometry with richly colored and textured motifs. His accompanying video-graphic works center on human facial and micro-expressions as a form of communication to express emotion and connection
Shaun Rabah was born in Valletta, Malta in 1981 to a Palestinian Jordanian father and an American mother. He has been exhibiting his visual art since 2011. Many of his works have found their way into respected galleries, private collections and have also been featured in Home & Design magazine. His work has also been auctioned for select institutions and non-profits such as the Human Rights Foundation and the Edward Said Foundation.
For more information about Shaun and his work, please visit shaunrabah.com.
Shaun Rabah, Multi-disciplinary Artist
Project URL: shaunrabah.com/u