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Ocula 报告|Condo Shanghai 2019 展览看点 Ocula Report Ocula 报告|Condo Shanghai 2019 展览看点 11 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

即将于2019年7月13开幕的第二届 Condo Shanghai,联合上海7座画廊/艺术机构与14 家来自全球11个不同的城市,如东京、首尔、雅加达、巴尔的摩、洛杉矶、伦敦、纽约、危地马拉城、利马和墨西哥城,为实验性展览营造了一个更切实可行的国际环境。以下是Ocula的展览看点。周奥,《景观/对象WA》(2016)。橡木上固化油墨打印,左: 55.88 × 147.32 cm,中: 121.92 × 152.4 cm,右: 55.88 × 147.32 cm,图片提供:马凌画廊,上海。马凌画廊 × 80m2 Livia Benavides × LABOR × Proyectos Ultravioleta马凌画廊 |...

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Wong Ping: Hong Kong Fables Ocula Conversation Wong Ping: Hong Kong Fables

There is something irrepressibly compelling about the lewd animated videos of Wong Ping. Is it their flat surfaces rendered in popping colours? Or their dark narratives that resonate with the deepest recesses of the human psyche? They have been included in an impressive repertoire of group exhibitions in recent years, including One Hand Clapping at...

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Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House Ocula Report Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House 5 Jul 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...

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Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Studio, Tehran

Lucy Byrnes Freunde von Freunden 20 August 2015
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Studio, Tehran. Image courtesy of Freunde von Freunden, Photography: James Whineray.

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Tehran is a bright, whirling, magnificent wilderness. The air blows hot and heavy from the desert and brings with it some form of scorched earth residue; dust from another place where people are scarce and the moon hangs low, like a luminous stamp above stretches of sand and rocky outcrop. Through built-up streets this desert wind blows, past gridlocked cars from a forgotten era, against bodies swathed in cloth and faces shielded by headscarves. The people of Tehran carry on, remaining resolute against the dry heat.



Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Studio, Tehran. Photography: James Whineray.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian lives on the other side of town. Tehran is more shining, shimmying colossus than common metropolis, and crossing the city’s dense sprawl takes resolve. After gender-divided subway systems are negotiated, heaving alleyways and human tidewaters, the foothills of the Alborz Mountains are reached. Monir’s house and studio live in close proximity to one another in the affluent neighborhood of Tajrish, which is located in the northern reaches of the city and flanked by a vast and snow-domed mountain range. Old trees line the avenues of Tajrish and create awnings of shade against the sun’s midday glare. The studio is unassuming – it lies within a walled enclosure off a side street and its white peeling paintwork looks tired, its gate a little rusty. A modest, light-patched courtyard gives way to the heavy doors of the studio itself and a blaze, far stronger than the Iranian sun, awaits inside. Monir’s studio dazzles, transfixes, eternally recreates the visitor. Mirrored works hang from every surface and compete against one another in their quest to replicate and redefine. Fractured light glimmers and glances from wall to floor to ceiling. The room appears to move in accordance with the brilliance of its bounty. In the centre stands Monir; her work surrounding her, engulfing her. She is 92 years old and small, and her smile is wide.

The mirror works that Monir creates first took shape in the 1960s and 70s when she returned to her native Iran after spending over twenty-six exiled years in New York after the Iranian Revolution. Her journey as an artist began long before the Shah’s overthrow; Monir’s artistic trajectory spans from her early days of study at the Fine Arts College of Tehran, to further studies and freelance graphic design work in New York as well as extensive traveling to Iran’s more remote regions. It was during this period that traditional Persian craftsmanship, Islamic pattern design and western principles merged in the form of Monir’s distinctive art practice. After her return to Iran in 2004 and the establishment of her studio and design workshop, Monir resumed work with many of the craftsmen with whom she had initially collaborated in the 1970s. “When I came back from America, I lived in many different cities in Iran, and traveled all around Iran to find my country. I was very young when I left… when I returned to Iran I wanted to see what my country was really like. What was this 3,000 year old culture? I went to many different cities as well as to the countryside to see what the history of our architecture and fine art was like. I traveled.” When asked what informs and inspires her, Monir replies: “Everything. Traveling, being born here in Iran, seeing mirror works in Shiraz, the mosques, the palaces – everything.”


Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. Photography: James Whineray.
The Persian age-old artistic temperament lies at the very heart of Iranian culture, despite tensions between pre- and post-Revolutionary Iran. Monir’s work draws from both these worlds; she delves headlong into Persian mysticism while simultaneously invoking the current social and political landscape of Islam. Her mirror works reflect this collision. Monir refers to her mirrored pieces as ‘geometric families’, the essence of which is easily recognizable in the geometry of Iran’s heritage. The mosques, shrines and palaces that extend throughout the nation are laced with mirror work and geometrically exacting decorative features. “My work is based on geometry, and geometry starts from the triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, octagon and all that. And you can design many different forms in many different materials from these geometric foundations and principles.”

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Studio, Tehran. Photography: James Whineray.
The mirror sculptures that are housed within Monir’s studio are a mixture of old and new work. Having recently returned from a trip to New York for the opening of her first comprehensive exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, Monir wastes no time in reinstating her studio practice. Her workshop, which adjoins the studio, emits a gentle hum as glass is scored and cut by local craftsmen, learned in the techniques of Islamic design principles. A plate of cold, freshly cut watermelon sits on a table. Newspaper clippings, technical drawings and impromptu sketches are tacked to the walls. Books in Farsi and English are stacked upon shelves, spilling across the floor. Black and white photographs flap as a gentle breeze tugs at their corners – the open window through which it blows is framed by spiralling creepers and intricate latticework. This is a living, breathing, working space; this is Monir’s studio.

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