As an artist with architectural training, my process borrows from both disciplines. As an architect, my projects were consistently conceptual and artistic, and my art now tends to involve an architectural way of thinking involving systems.
Since leaving my young career in architecture about three years ago to pursue art, I carved out time and space through residencies and art fellowships to build a body of work. I soon realized that my process involved making different groups of work almost simultaneously. Therefore the works I am presenting with this application can be organized into four distinct groups.
However distinct, these groups share key aspects. Formally these aspects consist of, modular repeating fragments, slow time, tactility, and materials. Conceptually, my work has begun to express personal themes of early childhood dreams, flying, and my love of Persian poetry both illuminating longing and separation.
When I decided to leave architecture in New York, I was awarded the George G. Booth Traveling Fellowship through the University of Michigan as an alumnus. This fellowship provided me the impetus to begin my venture into art. I chose Tehran as my destination since having grown up there, I was aware of the intense contrast between the spaces of public and private created under the Islamic Republic of Iran’s totalitarian surveillance. There, I befriended many photographers and became interested in photography and collage as my main method of investigating inside and outside. These initially socially motivated collages gave way to work that was more concerned with fragmented time and displacement of the fragmented photograph. With my application, I have presented images of some of the collages and pages of my final document.
In the paper poetry images presented, I have investigated stanzas from Rumi and Hafiz about longing and love, formalizing these concepts as spaces within the stanza. As an Iranian immigrant, I have had to leave Iran, and members of my family in different occasions due to political unrest making the feeling of longing a familiar and consistent presence. In some pieces presented, I start with the text and make spatial the movement of the words into one another in the stanza. Over the course of making my work, I begin to lose the words, and am left with a motion, or a landscape of longing.
I believe that poetry, as space is a fertile site in which I can gather and give shape to my past. The literal use of words in these pieces as starting elements is fascinating to me since it accentuates the play between form and meaning in the poem. Some artists whom provide inspiration for my work are, Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, Petra Blaisse, Louis Bourgeois, Sol LeWitt, Do-Ho Suh, Ann Hamilton, and Bill Viola.