Kaaf’s glass art series titled Helmet, took physical form in Seattle, but the inspiration for the series was a memory rich with influences from his homeland of Syria, a memory triggered by an encounter in Berlin where Kaaf has lived for more than a decade.
In display cabinets of the venerable Altes Museum, Persian and Arab relicts are shown with other classical antiquities, including Roman and Greek battle gear. Ancient helmets captured Kaaf’s imagination. In spite of the distance in time, one helmet sparked a feeling of immediacy, of recognition. As Kaaf said, “This shell, remnant from the battle, defines what humans have in common: the fate of being mortal.”