Art And Culture

precious Lapis Lazuli Effect on Artworks Displayed in Ahvaz

precious Lapis Lazuli Effect on  Artworks Displayed in Ahvazprecious Lapis Lazuli Effect on  Artworks Displayed in Ahvaz

The ‘Persian Blue’ exhibition underway at the Museum of Contemporary Art Ahvaz (MCAA) in southern Khuzestan Province displays the work of four generations of Iranian artists who have explored the various tones of blue in their artworks.

The exhibition, which was inaugurated last week in the presence of Homayoun Qanavati, director of the Department of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Khuzestan, Japan’s Cultural Attaché to Iran Rika Omagari and many prominent artists, presents a unique collection of artworks unified by one of Iran’s strongest cultural symbols, Persian blue.

The color is the symbol of purity, sincerity, glory, faith and peace and is also given great attention in Persian literature, architecture, miniature and traditional works of art. Traditionally, it is a very precious color to Iranian artists, Honaronline reported.

The title ‘Persian Blue’ has been taken from the color blue in some Persian pottery and tiles used in the construction of mosques and palaces in Iran and the Middle East.

“This is the first time such an exhibition is held in Iran. Thematizing on global peace and beauty, it showcases 120 works by young and veteran artists. So far, six countries have offered to hold the exhibit after it concludes in Ahvaz,” Director of MCAA Mohammad Manouchehri said.

A variety of artworks of different medium are exhibited including paintings, calligraphy paintings, miniatures, photos and pieces of ancient tiles and potteries. Mahmoud Farshchian, Sohrab Sepehri, Ali Shirazi, Farah Ossouli, Aydin Aghdashloo, Bahman Mohasses, Parvaneh Etemadi, Parviz Kalantari, Mahmoud Zenderoudi, Hossein Mahjoubi, Pariyoush Ganji and Atousa Yazdani are among the artists whose works are on display.

The museum is the second biggest cultural complex in Iran and “as an arm of the private sector aims to support the art community at the national and international levels,” Manouchehri noted.

 Exhibition in Japan

Following discussions with the director of the museum and the secretary of the exhibit Mohammad Hamzei, the Japanese diplomat said that paintings by Iranian artists will be displayed in Japan and an exhibition of works by Japanese artists will be organized in Iran.

“We have decided to introduce Iranian culture through the exhibition of paintings and other artworks to the people of Japan and present works of Japanese artists here in Iran with the help of the MCAA,” Omagari said.

Praising the modern and classical works at the exhibit, Omagari said she was familiar with Persian miniature as well as Sohrab Sepehri’s works before.

She pointed to the paintings by the veteran painter Pariyoush Ganji who was recently presented the badge and ribbon of the ‘Order of the Rising Sun’, signed by Japanese Emperor Akihito, and said, “I am really happy to see Ganji’s works here as she uses elements of Japanese culture in her paintings and this way Iranians can also get to know Japanese art”.

Persian blue is a representation of the color of the mineral lapis lazuli which comes from Iran and Afghanistan. (The color azure is also named after lapis lazuli).


In Nezami Ganjavi’s ‘Haft Paykar’ (Seven Beauties), a romantic story by the celebrated 12th century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi written in 1197 AD, the Persian blue room is symbolic of the world as well as the human body.

The Persian blue dome is the symbol of imagination in Persian literature. In the art of tiling, the basic color that supports other colors is Persian blue.

Because of the color’s association with purity, sincerity and glory, it has always been greatly esteemed by Iranian artists. In modern and contemporary works of Iranian art it is also largely used.

On the first two days of the exhibit, the veteran painters and university professors Pariyoush Ganji and Abdolhamid Pazooki held two workshops at the museum on the subject of Persian blue and its role in Iranian art.

The exhibition will run through February 27.