Art And Culture

Historical Faces of Stone Lions in ‘Tattoo’

Historical Faces of Stone Lions in ‘Tattoo’Historical Faces of Stone Lions in ‘Tattoo’

A statuette collection ‘Tattoo’ by Sadeq Adham, sculptor, is on display at Seyhoun Art Gallery.

It includes 13 papier-mâché stone lions bearing historical Persian tattoos that reflect “the dynamic relations between self and society,” Honaronline reports.

Lion statuettes were used only as tombstones for royal family members in the Qajar dynasty (1785 to 1925).

The collection is made of papier-mâché, (French for ‘chewed paper’) a composite material made of paper pieces or pulp, sometimes reinforced with textiles, bound with an adhesive, such as glue, starch, or wallpaper paste.

“Many believe that papier-mâché is not stable material and suitable for sculpture. However, I found it to be in harmony with the historical era to which stone lions belong,” Adham said. The material is not characteristically similar to stone, “but no one can make out what it is unless they touch it”.

 Adham has used tattoos for heroic Qajar personalities to reflect “the power of a character’s soul through the lions.” Both strength and weakness of ancient characters are figuratively shown in the sculptures; some have powerful and glorious forms while others a weak body and short legs, he said. “It is as if all wounds and narrations of history are inscribed on historical stone objects.”

The exhibition will run through September 23 at the gallery, 4th Alley, Vozara St., Tehran.

Adham, 37, holds a degree in sculpture from the University of Tehran. His works have featured in several exhibitions, namely Volume Art Solo (2014) in ‘26’ Art Gallery, Painting Solo (2013) in Ahvaz Museum of Contemporary Art and Design Solo Exhibition (2007) in Mehrin Art Gallery.

Niavaran Sculpture Biennale (2011) hosted his work. Adham won the first prize at the 7th, 8th and 9th editions of Khuzestan Visual Arts Festival (2005-2007).