Art And Culture

Iranian Exhibition of ‘Hope, Dreams, and Desire’ in Berlin

Iranian Exhibition of ‘Hope, Dreams, and Desire’ in BerlinIranian Exhibition of ‘Hope, Dreams, and Desire’ in Berlin

A group exhibition of paintings by four young Iranian artists is on display at the Open Wallas Gallery in Berlin, Germany.

Organized by Masha Shamsaei, the initiator of the Young Persian Artist (YPA) Movement, the exhibition displays pop art and 3D works with acrylic and oil color and “obviously high drawing skills in different forms of representation,” Honaronline reported.

YPA launched their first pop-up exhibition at the gallery on March 5. Zahra Shafie, Ali Esmeillou, Adel Younesi and Romisa Sakaki contributed works revolving around the exhibition’s theme of ‘Hope, Dreams, and Desire’. Each artist worked in their own style to produce a series of images that are surreal, mystifying and engaging.

Zahra Shafie’s large, figural paintings are the first works viewers encounter when entering the gallery. Her figures stand in small boxes with various objects scattered at their feet, seemingly resigned to their almost empty surroundings.

Adel Younesi’s two dreamscape paintings are filled with a variety of out-of-place elements coexisting within the frame. In one of his works, bears and jesters stand amid a background fireworks show, lending a textural quality to the bizarre scenes.

On the room’s final wall are Romisa Sakaki’s flat, colorful images depicting Iranian domestic life. Sakaki’s work offers scintillating insight into the nature of the Iranian private sphere. Familial, platonic relationships play out across her canvases, offering an insight in the social realities of Iranian life.


Viewers enter another room to view Ali Esmeillou’s work. His paintings each depict a crowned character surrounded by a series of animals and gear systems. Esmeillou’s work is surreal in part because of the way he chooses to paint his subjects: his figures appear cold as they stare out, as if waiting for something to happen.

When the curator founded the YPA collective in 2014, the Iranian contemporary art scene was booming. The global art market couldn’t - and still can’t - seem to satiate its hunger for contemporary Middle Eastern art. Tehran responded to the demand for Iranian art with a massive increase in gallery spaces and artist outlets.

YPA is a response to the rapidly commercialized approach to art, and this exhibition is a promising look at the collective emerging talent. With the increase of global demand for contemporary Iranian art, it’s more than possible Iran could produce the next cohort of promising young artists. As Shamsaei writes on the YPA website, “It’s Iran’s turn now.”

The exhibition will be open till March 17.