Artist Statement

The concerns that inform my art-making process begin with the meaning of my daily life. “The Silent Narrative of Things” series took shape over the four years in which I lived in a room in Tehran that had a Persimmon tree outside its window. A selection from this series was published in the book “Me and the Persimmon Tree” in Austria in 2020. The simple objects of my daily life and the persimmon tree outside my window inspired me; over time, I saw myself as an object in my paintings, an artistic relationship developed between me and my environment. I was inspired by this space and gave it new meaning. I had moved to a new place, my life had changed, and I was searching for clues to the unknown chaos that made its presence felt in my mind and my body. In the eerily private light of public terror, a new way of asking “Who am I?” took hold of my mind. I still live with the fears and the stresses that are rooted in the childhood worlds and the context of the society I live in. Why are large parts of my body unknown to me? What role do traditional and religious society, family, education, and war play in instilling this ineffable turmoil?

In the process of painting, my attention was drawn to water and looking at my body rendered it a form of object. Water became a symbol of femininity, birth, the subconscious, and chaos.

In 2019 I was invited to Austria to pursue my artistic endeavors and gain new experiences. Many cultural, artistic, social, and religious differences between the two countries have become tangible for me.

On the other hand, this experience has made me keenly aware of the feelings common to human beings everywhere — like fear, love, hate, friendship, intimacy, loneliness, need, and desire. But halfway across the world, I am still faced with questions such as “Why war?” “Why violence?” “Why the border?” “Why the homeland?” “Why does the region I live in direct enormous resources towards inciting war, producing weapons, supporting Islamic terrorists and, in a vicious circle, fighting Islamic terrorists?”

Destruction, death, and chaos have replaced culture, art, and friendship. And in my mind’s eye, the role water plays in life and the world seemed to reveal to me what it means to follow a way of life and a path, or to be uprooted, cross borders, and pass through the door of death. I was haunted by images of refugees who have no choice but to huddle together in boats that may take them to a home on the other side of the border. With the onset of the Corona crisis, the significance of death has become even more prominent for me. Private space gives me an opportunity to experience solitude and myself, but in the broader context of my society I am all too often faced with sudden and shocking news, and this led me to create the “Death” series.

Tragic local and international events between November 2018 and today have brought a new and urgent sense of life and death to my life. We can and should never stop asking — what is existence? Why do we exist? What is our duty and responsibility towards our own and our shared lives?