21st Century Gordafarid

Yasmin Sinai uses recycled paper and cardboard to make expressive sculptures. The Act of Gordafarid The Female Warrior, is the name of a collection of her latest work which are inspired by the Iranian female warrior of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (Book of Kings). Sinai tells the story of Gordafarid as a leader, warrior, daughter, partner and mother through a sequence of sculptures with the heroine in various settings. She explains: “Gordafarid fought bravely against the mighty hero Sohrab to protect her father’s castle, earning his respect, and becoming a symbol of courage and wisdom for Iranian women. I want to present this ancient legend in a contemporary context by depicting Gordafarid as a modern-day warrior — a woman who plays many roles in society, and fights for her right to pursue her dreams and desires. This show is about the theatre of life, and the many facets of the 21st century woman warrior.”

Images by: Yasmin Sinai © Written by Roshanak Keyghobadi, 2019. This text cannot be quoted, translated or published in part or as a whole without Roshanak Keyghobadi’s permission.
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Thirty-Three Shapes of Identity

A group of Shahpour Pouyan’s ceramic sculptures are studies and variations of a same theme—architecture. His small-scale recreations of domes, buildings and towers in many configurations and forms mimic the main characteristics of the world’s various styles of architecture which signify power and wealth. Few years ago after taking a genetic test, Pouyan’s DNA traced his ancestors and linked him to thirty-three countries which made him explore his identity by creating thirty-three dome structures that would signify each country. By focusing on the domes and detaching them from the rest of the constructions he drew the attention to what unified all structures and was a universal form. Pouyan also states: “I love ceramics from Islamic land, they are amazingly beautiful. This is one of the reasons that I started working on domes…because they are somehow like upside down dishes.”

Images by: Shahpour Pouyan © Written by Roshanak Keyghobadi, 2019. This text cannot be quoted, translated or published in part or as a whole without Roshanak Keyghobadi’s permission.

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Agitated

Ahmad Amin Nazar’s paintings are enigmatic narratives that only he can correctly unpack. In his pictorial universe children are suspended in the air, headless figures occupy spaces with authority and those with heads on their bodies have demonic features. Although his ink paintings are predominantly in shades of grey and sepia tones yet here and there a rainbow of colors or blotches of red appear which changes the mood of each image. The central subject matter for Amin Nazar is humankind’s dual nature and as he explains, “As humans we are a big bundle of ambiguities and complexities. One minute we’re full of hope and goodness and kindness, the next minute we’re bereft of all that and become so heat up and agitated that mindlessness can take over, leading us to an act of aggression or violence.”

Images by: Ahmad Amin Nazar © Written by Roshanak Keyghobadi, 2018. This text cannot be quoted, translated or published in part or as a whole without Roshanak Keyghobadi’s permission.
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The Face in My Plate

Leila Shahhosseini’s haunting portraits are trapped in her underglaze paintings on round plates. Some of these solemn faces look at the viewer with piercing gazes, simultaneously watching you intensely and fading away. Silent and calm, they reside in a black and white state of being—void of color. The smooth and glowing surface of the glazed plates are disrupted by cracks and imperfections reminding us of their fragility. Shahhosseini lures you to start imagining possible stories for each face to make it familiar and less distant yet the more you try the more mysterious they become.

Images by: Leila Shahhosseini © Written by Roshanak Keyghobadi, 2018. This text cannot be quoted, translated or published in part or as a whole without Roshanak Keyghobadi’s permission.

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