FOCUS IRAN 2 Brings Contemporary Photography and Video From Around the World to Los Angeles at The Craft & Folk Museum

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FOCUS IRAN 2 Brings Contemporary Photography and Video From Around the World to Los Angeles at The Craft & Folk Museum

5814 Wilshire Blvd.
90036 Los Angeles

January 29th, 2017 - May 7th, 2017



FOCUS IRAN 2 Brings Contemporary Photography and Video From

Around the World to Los Angeles at The Craft & Folk Museum

January 29 – May 7 

Ticketed VIP Reception is on January 27th

 Juried exhibition sponsored by The Farhang Foundation offers distinctive visions of Iran from inside and outside the country

LOS ANGELES - The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) and Farhang Foundation are delighted to present Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video, the second biennial juried exhibition of contemporary works relating to Iranian culture and heritage. The group exhibition of 33 photographs and nine video works features an international selection of emerging and mid-career artists from around the world, showcasing a rare collection of diverse perspectives of contemporary Iranian life.

 "The Craft & Folk Art Museum has historically valued the promotion of cross-cultural understanding through our exhibitions and programs, and in an era where xenophobic rhetoric has taken center stage we feel that our partnership with the Farhang Foundation has taken on a new urgency," says CAFAM executive director Suzanne Isken.

"It has been an immense pleasure to once again join forces with the visionary Craft & Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles to create a platform that will help showcase works of international artists exploring themes of Iranian heritage and culture," says Farhang Foundation Fine Arts Council Chair Amir Angha. "Focus Iran 2 has now developed into a well established biennial resulting in an inclusive and diverse body of work selected by a world renowned jury panel of experts. We are thrilled to be able to share these great works with the entire Southern California community."

Focus Iran 2 democratizes the art form of image making by giving both novice and seasoned professional artists an equal opportunity to offer distinctive visions of Iran from both inside and outside the country. An international jury panel has selected work by artists residing in countries such as Iran, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Offering a unique point of access and convergence, Focus Iran 2 offers the viewpoints of citizen journalists, personal archivists, and vernacular storytellers who are connected to Iran either by heritage or deeply felt admiration. Themes vary, yet all are rich in narrative detail, with a prevailing focus on “making connections with cultural traditions that are fixed and a contemporary society that is constantly dealing with change” says Arpad Kovacs, J. Paul Getty Museum’s assistant curator of photography, Focus Iran 2 juror. Award-winning photojournalist Reza Deghati (REZA), Focus Iran 2 Juror, also adds, “As a world explorer I have always looked to create bridges between cultures, communities and individuals. Farhang Foundation creates bridges between one of the oldest cultures in history and the people of California. I am thrilled by the quality and thoughtful visuals. I am confident that these stories will bring further understanding of Persian culture beyond the news."

Viewers can expect to experience powerful works such as Sanaz Khosravi’s digital photograph, False Roots, examining female struggles after the Iranian revolution; Amir Amiri’s Iranian Carpet, which showcases the skillful craft of rug making, an integral part of Iranian tradition; Omid Sariri’sLove, capturing two lovers in a  remote and colorful location in Iran; and Saeedeh Keshavarzi’s Life of Things, a photo taken in the oldest part of Shiraz, Iran, embodying a “compact collection of Iranian history, culture, religion, architecture, crafts and decorations, all in one room,” as the artist describes.

The international jury consisted of the executive director of Photo L.A., Claudia James Bartlett; French-Iranian photojournalist Reza Deghati, also known as REZA; CAFAM exhibitions curator Holly Jerger; the J. Paul Getty Museum’s assistant curator of photography, Arpad Kovacs; American photographer Steve McCurry; and Iranian visual artists Ali Akbar Sadeghi and Newsha Tavakolian.

The selected artists are Mehrdad Afsari, Sobia Ahmad, Oolduz Alaei Novin, Ebrahim Alipoor, Amir Amiri, Armin Amirian, Parna Baharali, Ahmad Belbasi, Saskia Boelsums, Asieh Dehghani, Parisa Ghaderi, Hasan Ghafari, Erfan Ghiasi, Mehdi Hawaii Sardehaii, Mohammadjavad Jahangir, Motahare Jalili, Saeedeh Keshavarzi, Ali Kheradyar, Sanaz Khosravi, Machine Studio, Emelie Mahdavian, Elham Masoudi, Mohammad Reza Masoumi, Ebrahim Mirmalek, Ali Mobasser, Madjid Mohammadi, Masoud Mohammadi, Siamak Nasiri Ziba, Labkhand Olfatmanesh, Maryam Rassapour, Susanne Roewer, Hossein Sadri, Mehdi Safari, Gazelle Samizay, Farid Sani, Omid Sariri Ajili, Stephanie Seguino, Javid Tafazoli, Ashkan Tirdad, Farkhondeh Torabi, Mohsen Zare, and a video collaboration between artists Elahe Moonesi, Maziar Moradi, and Farhood Yazdanpanah.

 An opening VIP reception for Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video will take place at the Craft & Folk Art Museum on Friday, January 27 from 7 to 10 p.m. The event will be a fundraiser for the exhibition, with artists and jury members in attendance. Guests will enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, as will entertainment by DJ Arin. Musical guests are Grammy-nominated, world jazz performers Strunz & Farah. Tickets to the VIP reception are $150 and available here. 

Focus Iran 2 will be on display at CAFAM from January 29 to May 7, 2017. It will continue on to the University of California, Irvine's Viewpoint Gallery, where it will be on display from September 16 to October 13, 2017.

Sponsored by Farhang Foundation at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. Special thanks to presenting donors Gramian-Emrani Foundation; lead donors Ali C. and Anousheh Razi, Michael and Katy Saei; and major donors Shazad & Parisima Ghanbari, Roshi Rahnama, and Farhad and Nushin Mohit.


CAFAM will offer exhibition-related workshops and events in conjunction with the exhibition, including CraftLab family workshops on the second Sunday of each month from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.


A fully illustrated catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition. Catalogues will be available for purchase in the CAFAM Shop and online at 

About Farhang Foundation:

Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz, Mehregan, and Shab-e Yalda, theater, dance performances, film screenings and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. For more info, please visit

About The Craft & Folk Museum:

Situated on historic Museum Row since 1973, the Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) is an invaluable contributor to Los Angeles culture, exhibiting current artists with intriguing perspectives and distinctive practices. Exploring the leading edge of craft, art, and design, CAFAM gives audience to diverse makers and artists whose work is often not represented in larger art institutions. The museum is a place to see art and make art — all under one roof. CAFAM coordinates a robust roster of hands-on workshops led by professional artists and makers. The intimate, atypical museum space and independent spirit at CAFAM combine to create an atmosphere of excitement and innovation, where people in Los Angeles deepen their relationships to art, creativity and one another. For more information, visit

Craft & Folk Art Museum

Location: 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Admission: FREE every Sunday

Regularly: $7 for adults; $5 for students, teachers, seniors, and veterans; free for CAFAM members

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Mondays. Every first Thursday of the month, extended hours 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Above Image:

 (L-R) Iranian Carpet, Amir Amiri, digital photograph, 2002. Courtesy of the artist; False Roots, Sanaz Khosravi, digital photograph. Courtesy of the artist.



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