Art And Culture

Kiarostami Commemorations From Boston to Hong Kong

A photo from the ‘Snow’ series by KiarostamiA photo from the ‘Snow’ series by Kiarostami

Boston Festival of Films from Iran paid tribute to the late Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami by opening its 2017 edition with the screening of one of his greatest masterpieces ‘The Taste of Cherry’ at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, on January 18.

Kiarostami’s masterpiece which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 will have another showing on January 19. The US event will also screen ‘76 Minutes and 15 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami’ which is a documentary directed by Kiarostami’s close collaborator Seifollah Samadian, the website of the MFA reported.

Born in Tehran, Kiarostami (1940-2016), was an active filmmaker since 1970, involved in over 40 films, including shorts, documentaries and features.

He studied at the College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran and later worked as a graphic designer, book illustrator and advertising filmmaker. For his cinematic works, he received over 80 international awards.

The festival has also scheduled to screen a number of other acclaimed Iranian movies including ‘The Salesman’ by award-winning director Asghar Farhadi, ‘Lantouri’ by Reza Dormishian, ‘Starless Dreams’ by Mehrdad Oskouei, ‘Me’ by Soheil Beiraqi, ‘Drought & Lies’ by Pedram Alizadeh and ‘A Dragon Arrives!’ by Mani Haqiqi.

Since 1993, the festival has been jointly curated by film programmers from the MFA and the Smithsonian Museum’s Freer and Sackler Galleries.

The festival, offering a range of perspectives by contemporary Iranian filmmakers, will conclude on January 29.

  Art Basel Hong Kong

This year’s Hong Kong edition of Art Basel, a massive Swiss art fair and one of the premier events of the international art world, will also commemorate Kiarostami by exhibiting his final photography series.

Though the auteur was best known for his works in cinema, he was also a photographer, poet, painter, illustrator, installation artist and graphic designer.

Kiarostami had described his self-taught photography as a parallel activity to his filmmaking in that they both interact and influence each other. He had expressed his great love for the stillness of photography and believed that “photography is the mother of cinema”.

According to the fair website, in addition to the Kiarostami exhibit, which will be presented by the gallery Rossi & Rossi, Art Basel’s Hong Kong show will be exhibiting various moving image works within its expanded film section, from Hong Kong artist Lee Kit’s video installation ‘It Was a Cinema’ (2016) to ‘Happy Bed’ (2014), a five-minute video work from Chinese artist Wang Qinsong.

Art Basel is an international art fair with four shows staged annually in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach, Florida; the Wynwood Art District in Miami, Florida; and Hong Kong, China. Each show has sub-sections that showcase contemporary artworks by established and newly emerging artists.

The Hong Kong fair will run from March 23-25.


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