2014 International Art Festival
Artist Official Entries
When I first moved to the United States I faced a big culture shock which became the main idea behind my series of works. The vast difference in language and appearance was dramatic as an Iranian woman. The most prominent change in my appearance was the freedom of wearing or not wearing a headscarf. This change made me see my conflicting feeling about the headscarf. The headscarf emotionally connects me to my home country, culture and past that are important part of my identity. It also reminds me of my foreignness in this country and stresses the struggle of restrictions happening in my country. I like to pick subjects that are of personal concern to me. As a foreigner in a new land, the difference in dress was a key change for me. Although it was not as mentally challenging as mastering a new language, the impact on my emotions was far greater and served as the inspiration for my work. Maybe choosing the headscarf was an excuse for talking. At first it was very important for me to communicate the concept of Hijab and mandatory covering, but at some point I moved past that. What remained for me was playing with dualities like beauty and ugliness, freedom and restriction, order and chaos. The canvas is of my body size and the headscarf is depicted in its life size. The scale is chosen in life size because I wanted the object to relate to human scale. I choose this scale because I wanted to reveal its human elements while conveying both a sense of absence and presence of body. A technique I used on the canvas was to unravel the canvas to refer to the fringe of the headscarf. This removed the patterns I had made and the canvas became an object of its own. The different in pace between the process of spray painting and shredding the canvas was fascinating to me. Because I compare my past with my present, duality is an important theme in my works. To show both parts of a duality, I painted an object in two different ways. Also, compositionally, I separate the space symmetrically into two parts. The objects that I painted are figureless; I wish them to suggest the absence of body.