Artist Statement

My work is a bridge between my past and present.  I seek to broaden cultural awareness, specifically to communicate to Western society the richness and beauty of my own Persian culture. I hope to build a chronicle, which successfully encapsulates Persian history and symbolic cultural events. I am inspired, changed and challenged by the experience of living in two different cultures. The marriage of these experiences is at the center of my studio work. In order to effectively craft this connection, I have studied and relied on hybrid identity theory to justify and explore the multicultural experience.

Hybrid identity, although understood as a newer perspective in cross-culturalism, is a concept that actually predates artistic categorization altogether. I use the concept to offer a memorable contrast. For instance, though my work resonates with both East and West, the emphasis is placed on the Eastern viewpoint in order to pay tribute to my roots. A pertinent example of Eastern and Western perspectives can be seen in my newest series of collage work. This series is an effective application of hybridization as it combines elements from Western and Eastern cultures to provide a dialogue of biculturalism.

I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to represent Persian culture to Western society. This privilege has motivated my work. Though there are many opinions about Iran (the culture, way of life, and religion), I have done my best to illustrate what I see as the true beauty and authenticity of Persian life and heritage. I see that as my responsibility as I owe that to my culture and my people. This responsibility is not only to be truthful and accurate in my representations, but also show the West a fair and balanced view of Iran and a country and Persian culture altogether.

Tirazheh Eslami