Mohsen Keiany

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Chakhe Gardoon, 2013 Oil On Canvas 90 X 190 Cm © Mohsen Keiany
Circle of love, 2014 Oil On Canvas 210 X 210 Cm © Mohsen Keiany
Sokhan-e Eshq (conversation of love) , 2014 Oil On Canvas 200 X 260 Cm © Mohsen Keiany
Pardis da khane (Paradise at home) , 2014 Oil On Canvas 180 X 240 Cm © Mohsen Keiany
© Mohsen Keiany
Motherland, 2013 Oil On Canvas 240 X 110 Centimeters © Mohsen keiany
The Dreamland, , 2013 Oil On Canvas, 190 X 120 Centimeters © Mohsen keiany
Shadi-e Asemani (Unearthly happiness). , 2013 Oil On Canvas 130 X 60 Centimeters © Mohsen keiany
3.Mah-e man (my moon) , 2013 Oil On Canvas. 60 X 60 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Bi man macharkh (Do not rotate without me). , 2013 Oil On Canvas, 55 X 60 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Del-e Ashena (familiar hearth), 2013 Oil On Canvas 60 X 60 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Jan va Del (soul and hearth), 2013 Oil On Canvas 55 X 60 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Charkh –e Gardoon (rotating wheel). , 2013 Oil On Canvas, 69 X 80 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Hamsayeh (neighbour), 2013 Oil On Canvas 30 X 50 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Tarvish va Tashvish (Dervish and wondering). , 2013 Oil On Canvas. 20 X 25 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Yaran (friends). , 2013 Oil On Canvas 55x 95 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Awaz-e Asheqaneh (The love song). , 2013 Oil On Canvas. 60 X 60cm © Mohsen keiany
Heaven and Earth,, 2013 Oil On Canvas, 110 X 110 Cm © Mohsen keiany
City of Joy, , 2013 Oil On Canvas 120 X 120 Cm2 © Mohsen keiany
Musafer, (The Passenger), 2013 Oil On Canvas 40 X 80 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Tribal dancer, , 2013 Oil On Canvas 40 X 80 Cm © Mohsen keiany
Quick Facts
Shiraz (Iran)
Birth year
Lives in
Birmingham UK
Works in
Birmingham UK
BCU. School of Architecture, 2010, PhD
BCU. School of Architecture, 2010, PhD
Tarbiyat Modarres University of Tehran, 1997
Persian art, spiritual art, islamic art, Persian painting, iran, figurative, mixed-media

Bio & Art Statement

Dr Mohsen Keiany born in Shiraz (Iran) in 1970. He moved to Britain over 15 years ago and through persistence and natural talent he has established a career as an artist and art lecturer. He completed a PhD which originally explored the symbolism of mosques in Baluchistan at the prestigious, Birmingham Institute of Arts and Design, Birmingham City University. His PhD was a very strong piece of research and a book based on his findings will be published by Oxford University Press shortly. He is a successful artist in Birmingham and the West Midlands and has presented his paintings in more than 60 exhibitions in the region and throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. 

Mohsen’s style, technique and use of materials blend approaches from both East and West. The most important cultural inspiration, however, comes from past and present Persian cultural traditions.  References to Persian miniatures, manuscripts, archaeology, history, pottery, music, calligraphy, poetry, ceramic tiles and stained-glass window designs appear in his paintings. They also combine philosophical considerations and Islamic spirituality. Mohsen believes: “My art is my cultural identity. My culture is my dignity and it is my main source of inspiration”. 

Mohsen has a lot to say and this may be one of the reasons why the surfaces of his paintings are often too small for him to express himself. His work is crowded with people, animals and elements from the natural world. Black outlines, bright colours and the absence of perspective and shadows reflect Persian techniques. The bright colours remind us of tiles and stained-glass windows in Persian architecture. The warm colours represent the sunny climate of Iran. Ancient references are inspired by Mirlic, Seyalc and Lurestan archaeological sites. Recently he has scored poems by Hafez into the surface of his paintings, which demonstrates his loyalty to this great Persian poet.

The people in Mohsen paintings wear traditional Iranian and tribal clothes from centuries ago. They ride horses, play music and participate in ceremonies, dances and other social gatherings. Their facial expressions reveal strong emotions. They look sad, even though they might be thinking and meditating cheerfully. His art is rhythmic: the observer’s gaze moves from one object to another as it travels to all parts of a painting. The music of Persian instruments combines with the sounds of horses and goats that run across an image.   

Mohsen does not sketch plans for his paintings. He begins by creating a textured surface and then meditates in front of the canvas or board. He finds objects in texture: “Everything is there – I do not to search for them. I just see images and take them from the texture. Later I add some more colours or wipe some colour off. A human body, horse, goat, tree, stone and other objects appear.”

Mohsen tries present spirituality in his paintings by using the beautiful to contribute to the enhancement of consciousness.  A necessary part of his work is to represent the Creator as the most delicate form of consciousness in the universe. Those who seek spiritual knowledge need to purify themselves so that they can know God.

Spiritual can be defined as that which expresses the numinous and evokes attraction and awe. Spirituality is a feeling we gain when we face an aspect of the divine, an overwhelming consciousness, which may not be overtly religious.

Spiritual knowledge can be achieved by focusing upon fine emotions and rejecting crude ones, by following God's commandments and loving all living beings. It can also be developed with the help of meditative techniques and special methods of psychical self-regulation. Mohsen has found art as the best guiding path towards spirituality. 

The Persian philosophical-religious approach can be seen in traditional Persian miniature paintings and this is the most important inspirational component of Mohsen’s art –  a mythical legacy from the past.  His art introduces a different way of understanding traditional Persian philosophy which compares with other modern representations in the arts, including Iranian cinema.

Mohsen’s art evokes spirituality as a means of leading people to God and ultimately towards perfection. His paintings provide a spiritual signal to those who want to realise the meaning of life on Earth. 

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tse said: ‘the wise prefer non-doing (meditation) and live in quietness. Everything happens around such a person as if by itself. He is not attached to anything in the Earth. He does not own anything made by him. He is not proud about his work.’

For Mohsen painting is a form of meditation. He never plans, designs or makes sketches for his paintings.  He creates textures and then he sits in front of the canvas for hours, uncovering different elements such as trees, rocky landscapes, animals and human figures, who wear traditional Persian dress and play music. 


I am a highly experienced artist, art teacher and lecturer in visual arts. I trained as a fine arts teacher and lecturer. I obtained a PhD in Architecture, from BCU, which based on rural and nomadic symbolic arts, crafts and architecture. I did my both M.A. and B.A degrees in Fine Art (Painting).

I am very much into multi-culturalism and always interested in researching about different cultures and traditions particularly art and architecture. Currently I am carrying out a research for BCU under the title of “Hidden symbolism in Muslim Community in Birmingham”. I have taught different courses of arts such as Animation, Paintings, Drawing, Illustration, Decorative arts in various places including in schools, colleges and Universities for more than 17 years. Over the years I built up a reputation as an award winning artist by having my work showcased at various national and international venues.

My art work is deeply influenced by my background. Historical, religious and cultural themes feature strongly, especially the influence of spirituality or Sufism (Erfan). My art can contribute not just to the aesthetic pleasure that people will experience but also enhance their understanding of diverse art traditions and the human condition.

Representing Gallery - Art Scene Gallery, Karachi



2011, Post-doctoral, BCU, Birmingham

2010 PhD in Architecture, BCU in Birmingham

2004, SNVQ Level 5 in Practical arts, South Birmingham Collage

1998 MA in Illustration based painting, Tarbiat Modarres University of Tehran, Iran 1997, Lecturer and teaching qualification, Tarbiat Modarres University of Tehran, Iran

1996 BA in Illustration based painting, Pardis (University of Arts), Isfahan, Iran

Solo Exhibitions

2014, Art Scene Gallery,  Karachi, Pakistan, April,

2013, Tanzara Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan, September/November

2013, Mussawir Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE, April/ October

2012, Art Scene Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan, October

2011, Sareban Art Gallery, Tehran, December

2011, Nomad art gallery, Islamabad, November

2011, Art Scene Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan, March

2011, Ejaz Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan, February

2010, Bewdley Museum and Art Gallery, Bewdley, UK, October – November

2010, Khaas Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan, May

2010, Artscene Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan, April

2010, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham UK, April – July

2009, Ferdowsi Art Gallery, London, February- March

2009, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Huddersfield, January-February

2008, Resvan Art gallery, Mash’had, Iran, December,

2008, Isfahan Contemporary Art Museum, Isfahan, Iran, January

2007, Haft Honar Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran, November

2007, RBSA Craft Gallery, Birmingham, February-March

2006, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Gallery 28, November 06- January 2007,

2006, Birmingham Central Library, November 2006

2006, Barber Institute of Fine Arts, September- October, Birmingham

2006, Coventry Transport Museum, June, Coventry

2005 Hawkseley Community Centre, Birmingham, November

2005 Kufa Gallery, London, January

2004 The Bullring, St Martin’s Gallery, Birmingham, August- September

2004 The Drum, Birmingham, April- July

2004 Wednesbury Museum & Art Gallery, January- March

2003 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, January- March

2002 Newman College of Higher Education, Birmingham

2002 Plater College, Oxford

2002 The Drum Art Centre, Birmingham

1998 Tarbiat Modarres University of Tehran, Iran

Group exhibitions

2013, 45th edition of “Umoristi a Marostica” festival, Marostica (VI),Italy

2008, Tehran Contemporary Art Museum (Paintings’ biannual), Iran, May-April

2007, Fragment, ICA (Institute on Contemporary Arts) Gallery, London, November

2007, Creativity and soul, Milton Keynes Art Gallery, Milton Keynes, September

2007, Open Exhibition, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, February- May

2006, Art & Business, June, London

2006 RBSA Gallery Prize Exhibition, Birmingham, July (won the prize)

2005 Qube Art Gallery, Oswestry, July- September

2005 RBSA Gallery 2, Birmingham Art Circle Exhibition, Birmingham, July

2005 RBSA Gallery, Prize Exhibition, Birmingham, June

2005 RBSA Gallery Open all media exhibition, February

2004 RBSA Gallery, Birmingham, October

2004 RBSA Gallery, Birmingham, August

2004 St Paul’s Gallery, Birmingham, June

2003 Re-location, Birmingham, September

2003 Summer Open Exhibition, RBSA Gallery, Birmingham, August

2003 Leave to Remain, London, June

2003 RBSA Gallery, Birmingham Arts Circle Exhibition

2002 Intervention, Birmingham

2002 International Convention Centre, Birmingham

1998 Contemporary Arts Museum of Tehran, Iran

1997 Desert’s Exhibition, Turkey

1997 1st Festival of Visual Arts, University of Arts, Tehran, Iran

1996 Contemporary Arts Museum of Tehran, Iran

1994 Nipan, Japan

1993 Contemporary Arts Museum of Tehran, Iran

Prizes and Awards

2008 Individual Art awards, Yorkshire Art Council,

2007 Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Prize Exhibition, (Highly Commended)

2006 Arts Council England, West Midland, (Visual Arts Award)

2006 Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Open Exhibition, (Cash Prize)

2005 Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, February (Highly Commended)

2004 Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, October (Coley and Tilley first prize)

2004 Individual arts award, Birmingham Arts Council

2002 Creative Ambition Award, West Midlands Arts


Artist in residency in Abu Dhabi Art Hub during may 2014 followed by an exhibition in June 2014.

Work Experience

2012-14 Visiting Lecturer of fine art, School of Visual Communication, Birmingham City University

2011-12, Lecturer in Isfahan art university,

2010-11, Post-doctoral researcher, School of architecture, Birmingham City University

2010-11, Visiting Lecturer of fine art, School of Visual Communication, Birmingham City University

2009/2010 Artist in residence for Birmingham City Council

2002/2010 Running art projects and art workshops around the UK

2002/2004 Art teacher at Primrose Hill Community School, Birmingham

1998/2000 Lecturer, Sooreh, Art University in Shiraz, Iran

1996/ 1999 Illustrator of Janbaz Magazine and Resalat Newspaper (Iran)

1984/1999 Teacher and coordinator, Kavar, Shiraz, Iran


2014, Baluchistan; the land of architecture, crafts and religious symbolism (book), Oxford University Press (in process)

2011, Well-being international Conference (Paper), BCU, Birmingham

2011, Biting Back Symposium (presentation), 21 March Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham

2010, Inter-Chat Conference (presentation), A dialogue on arts and communities with local and international perspectives. 7-8 April, the Drum. Birmingham, 2010, Hidden Symbolism in Asian community of Birmingham (research), Birmingham City University

2010, Nomadic architecture of Baluchistan (article), Mardjani Foundation, Moscow University

2010, Architecture, craft and religious symbolism in rural areas of Baluchistan in Pakistan (PhD Research)

2009, Mythical legacy (Article), London, 20th of February

2008, Minaret in Islamic architecture (article), on Luka versa (book), Birmingham City council,

2008, Visual art, Catalogue, Birmingham

2007, Colourful dreams, Catalogue, Tehran

2006, Minaret symbol of sacredness (article), The Faith initiative magazine, May, Lancaster

2005, A pictorial survey of tribal living culture in Iran (article) Firouzeh (Journal of the Centre for research in Iranian Arts), Birmingham 2004, Conflict & Spirituality, Catalogue, Birmingham

1998, The use of materials in Persian painting; school of Qajar (research), Trbiyat  Modaress University in Tehran

1996, Investigation of rural and tribal elements on Persian paintings, school of Trabriz (research), Isfahan Art University

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