Visual Dialogues | The Book of Kings | Shirin Neshat & Fereydoun Ave | March 2019
Secret of Words
Mehran Mohajer & Sadegh Tirafkan
Total Arts Gallery at the Courtyard and Massoud Nader Present exhibition of Photography by Sadegh Tirafkan with support of Silk Road Gallery this exhibition is accompanied by photographs of Mehran Mohajer Sadegh Tirafkan is a persevering artist who navigates through time and culture in search of his place and identity as an Iranian man in the contemporary world. The medium of photography has become his main platform to construct powerful visual plays, using a combination of elements that he seasons sufficiently with symbolism.
The significance of symbolism throughout Tirafkan’s body of work comes from his Persian root in which direct dialogue is rarely used, but frequently replaced by symbolic languages. How do you inform a culture that has three thousand years of history, rich in tradition and essentially a homogenous and male dominated society? Tirafkan expresses his concerns through images of numerous self-portraits and portraits of friends. He once said, "I began photography by recording what surrounded me. Now I take what is around me in the studio and make it into what I see through the prism of my life and culture." Tirafkan poses himself and others in the studio time after time to explore the meaning of being a contemporary Iranian. Blending tradition, history and memory, he recreates visually compelling scenes that build visceral connection to his ancient country. And this is where the strength and beauty of Tirafkan's work lie.
In reinventing and revisiting Iranian tradition he is also criticizing and challenging his ancestors' long-standing authority. In spite the highly eloquent appearances; I see two hidden trends in his work, which the artist has perhaps introduced even without realizing it: a theatrical staging of all the historic drama of his country, all the painful events of which he experienced intensely, and a discreet journey towards a spirituality which emanates from his whole vision. Here, Tirafkan surreptitiously rejoins the mystical quest which remains, whether we like it or not, the key-stone of any metaphysical edifice of the Iranian world. Born in Iran in 1965, Tirafkan trained as a photographer at the University of Fine Arts in Tehran. Since the late 1990’s he has participated in numerous solo exhibitions and group shows, in Tehran, Paris and New York.
Tirafkan’s work offers an eloquent meditation on modern Iranian man’s relationship to his past and on his search for a meaningful identity in the present. Identity, history and memory have been central concerns in the work of non-western artists since the era of colonialism. Tirafkan, frequently using himself as a model, revisits and reinvents these themes in his series of enigmatic yet visually compelling photographs. He uses words and symbols to communicate with the audience and
Abstract & Lanscape
A. Mohseni was born in 1960, in Kermanshah west of Iran. He started painting with Master Rahim Navesi before moving to Tehran. He held his first one-man show in 1994 and has come a long way from his humble beginnings. Landscape, traditional life and nature were always his main subjects to paint and after moving to UAE he found this passion in the local scenery. T
his exhibition would be an exceptional one in Mohseni’s career since he is entering a new period after 10 years of professionally painting landscapes and still life witch is still the close to Mohseni’s heart in a different way. Mohseni has participated in more than 40 solo and group exhibitions in Iran including Tehran Contemporary Art Museum, Australia, Kuwait and the UAE. Mohseni has won a special award from Tehran Contemporary Art Museum as the best Artist of the year in 1996. Mohseni has published 2 books, which are: 1. Nature in the painting of Abdol Hossein Mohseni 2. Painting of Abdol Hossein Mohsenis He is working on two new books at present.
TOTAL ARTS GALLERY
at the Courtyard
Across Seven Fields
Across Seven Fields is a presentation of Seven artists’ work & practice, whether displayed as a completed work of art or in progress, it’s the reflection of a creative journey and integral to each artist’s growth and vision.
The exhibition triggers the dialogue between artists and creative minds regardless of the visual & conceptual dissimilarity and diversity of their work, it also explores the relation of each artist with the exhibition space itself, close or far memories, and connections.
Participating artists include,
Emma Boyce (pause, observe, sketch & escape, fine liner or pencil on paper, 2020-21)
Ivan Bondarenko (untitled pages, fine liner or pencil on paper, 2020-21)
Kourosh Salehi (Tarrogan Fields, 1999)
Mozhdeh Zandieh- Grayson (Hands, Hearts, Skins, Eyes, mixed media, 2019-21)
Steven Gifford (Study of flowers, watercolour on paper, 2018-19)
Yasmin Sinai (Self portrait, paper mache, 2021)
Zia Ismail (Imprint, mixed media, 2020-21)
As part of this exhibition’s programming, on Saturday, November 13th from 11.30 to 12.30 pm, we will host a poetry reading by Poet & Novelist Siddharth Dasgupta.
Emma Boyce’s visual diary is the result of many sessions of exploring.
Using Fine liner, as her favourite medium, allows her to quickly translate her observations onto paper and freeze and record a moment or feeling, then return to that memory at a later time to add more detail. This process is used for the trio ‘Hermit Crab’, ‘Beau Vallon Beach’ and ‘Fixing my toe’. A similar approach is taken for the Al Bastakiya pencil drawings.
Ivan Bondarenko is a designer and entomologist whose work is greatly inspired by the meticulous observation and study of the segmented body plan of insects. Fascinated by the mechanism and function of insects’ anatomy and life habits, they became one of the main subjects for his drawings and affected the other area of his practice whether as a model maker, bookbinder or a tattoo artist.
Kourosh Salehi is a practising architect and a visual artist who constructs the narrative of emotional severance from people, places and time – a personal journey that is patched together using old letters, photos, digital imagery, and hand drawings.
His video-art films represent a temporal distortion of memory and the process of creating a personal mythology. Longing and reconciliation are common themes and are repeatedly invoked in his films.
Mozhdeh Zandieh- Grayson is an interdisciplinary visual artist whose works cover mixed-media photography, motion art, sculpture, installation, diagrams, drawing and painting. The concept of her works emerges from her lived experiences, questioning and exploring human relations and perception in vital and emotional states in communication. Her primary point of reference is the human mind and the human body, pondering the philosophy of 'border' in one's exterior and interior being. Mozhdeh has exhibited, nominated, featured and participated in several international art shows, events, contests and awards.
Steven Gifford, as an accomplished architect Steven first found himself drawn to images of monuments, places, and cityscapes, capturing the emotion of architecture in watercolour paintings. He later expanded his subjects to landscapes, flowers & abstract paintings.
In his paintings, light & dark, warm & cool, and manmade & natural worlds are expressed with the diffused watercolour washes and faint shadows.
Yasmin Sinai’s material of choice is paper, which is symbolic of her overall aesthetic and approach to personal expression. She mixes paper and cardboard to create dynamic and immersive installations and dramatic sculptures, often forming narrative scenes that feel both realistic and whimsical.
Yasmin’s work has been exhibited worldwide and participated, conducted, and awarded with numerous awards &workshops.
Zia Ismail, an architect by education and practicing artist, her artwork is driven by her love of nature and her in-depth observation of details. Deeply inspired by the diversity of flora and fauna in Zia’s hometown (Kerala, India), her work is characterized by true-to-life impressions of environmental elements, playing with textures, colour variations, and anatomy. She is experimenting with various mediums, from felt pin to watercolour and acrylic, and the most recent series “Imprint” is the first time using light as her medium.
Siddharth Dasgupta is an Indian writer of poetry & fiction. His literature dances with the ethnicities of desire and the pull of cities, both known and foreign. Siddharth’s books include Letters From an Indian Summer and The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows. His words appear in literary journals across the world, while he has read in places like Mandalay, Bombay, Paris, Amsterdam, Galle, Lucknow, and Istanbul. Occasionally, Siddharth explores fragments of travel and culture for a smattering of publications. He lives within the swirling nostalgias of the city of Poona.