Amir Hossein Mohammadian (1998, Iran) is an Iranian artist based in Zanjan city.
After attending Literature at the University of Zanjan, he started his career as an artist. Outside the Iranian and global academic systems, he looks at painting as something related to the "I" and not to a technique.
The core of his works is the expression of himself and the reality around him.
Chambre Fluide: Hello Amir! How are you? Let’s start by telling us how your passion for art was born and how did you approach painting?
Amir Mohammadian: My first encounter with art dates back to my childhood when my mother's painting habit caught my attention as a child. This experience instilled in me an inherent interest in art that has accompanied me throughout my life.
This interest may not be voluntary at the beginning, but over time, along with the ups and downs of my personal life, it has evolved and today it has become one of my ways of expression that is the result of my personal life considering all aspects of
my artistic career. After all, we can assume that everything goes back to a few still life paintings along with a spot of paint, in a single corner of the canvas, that indicates a playful child nearby.
CF: You studied Literature at the University of Zanjan in Iran, what’s your favorite writers and your idols?
A.M: Well, this question is very wide! What draws my attention to historical contemporary figures is what historical perspective these people see or place themselves in. Whether they are writers, poets, or painters. Hence, the work sand people attract my attention that has a trans-temporal and spatial view and does not hesitate to contradict the concepts of their time.
Sadegh Hedayat, is a very inspiring personality.
Regarding the Western writers, I admire Marquis de Sadehave who always attracted my attention, in my view he's one of the most influential writers in history, and his works have had an interesting reflection in the history of contemporary art, such as “Salo” by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Or even beyond the world of art, Sigmund Freud.
However, as I mentioned, it is difficult for me to name a limited number of writers because my cognition is getting wider every day and I am getting to know new Sadegh Hedayat, which is a very inspiring personality, especially for me, with whom I speak the same language. On the other hand, Western writers such as Marquis de Sadehave always attracted my attention because I believe he has always been one of the most influential writers in history and his works have had an interesting
Her eyes can hear me,
Acrylic on canvas, 100x100 cm, 2019
Acrylic on canvas, 100x100 cm, 2019
CF: You are from a small city at the north-west of Theran and near the Caspian Sea, what’s the relationship with your country, Iran? What is the socio-political situation that you breathe as an Iranian artist?
A.M: Perhaps the best word to describe how I feel about my country is "bittersweet" because although Iran is a country where I was born and raised, I have never felt a sense of belonging to it.
The most important factor influencing this situation is the traditional social structure in which I live, traditions rooted in a history that clearly lacks individualism. The most controversial issue in this regard is the evaluation structure of my society, which has a strict view of cultural modernity and concepts such as art, which ultimately has a dubious view of me and my work. can be said that in practice I live in a society where its members are very distant, especially emotionally. So it has become very difficult to communicate with every individual.
On the other hand, the reality that Iranian youth face today has created an intrinsic motivation for a radical change, which is in fact a reaction to being Iranian stereotypes. In fact, this minority seeks a new perspective on today's Iranian society that is based on today's intellectual need.
In the end, I think it is the young people who make progress everywhere in the world and the situation is the same here, with the difference that young Iranians are always striving for the simplest needs, and this effort has become a model for their lifestyle and I believe It is difficult to imagine an endpoint for this endeavor.
CF: Iran, wider Persia, has an enormous cultural and artistic richness. The History of ancient Persian art is one of the greatest in the world, but how do you see the contemporary artistic/cultural scene in Iran today?
A.M: In my view, the important point of this topic is that the wide cultural history of my country doesn't necessarily support the current cultural situation of my country.
In other words, this vast history can be useful and at the same time can completely deprive the artist of freedom of action, because this vastness has created many rotten stereotypes and concepts.
Of course, this situation does not stem from the content of History, but from the wrong approach to history in my country.
Today is clear that an Iranian artist feels that his work must include indigenous features such as ancient designs and motifs and owes itself to History in this regard. In my opinion, such an understanding of History is superficial and by no means spontaneous. I tend to think, art is an intellectual phenomenon. The art of folklore, which has become very fashionable today, is not relevant to me. In fact, in my opinion, it is the artist's view that should be indigenous, and in this sense, the Iranian artist is free, because to shape this view, he has a wide lexicon available in history to reach and say something that has a universal
interpretation. This work is not a local "work of art" it is a local vision.
See, for example, two lines of Tagor's death poem: "Why don't you put on your saffron-colored scarf put on your anklet, a guest is on the way..." What he is saying is the word of an Indian, but this is not just an Indian issue, it is a global issue.
It is a concern of all human beings; why they have not prepared themselves for death.
CF: Tell us about your artistic practice. How does your research develop? Where do you collect your inspiration from?
A.M: Firstly I think, is related to my ability in painting, and I must say that I consider myself very lucky not to be involved in the academic affairs of art, because I think art is inherently teachable, and today, especially in Iran, the academy has become a place which defines art throughout in technique. Techniques that I am not interested in learning, because painting is a personal practice for me, and I am looking for techniques that are the result of my personal experience, and trial and error is my only means of achieving this. I can say that I am a collector in this regard. I have always been fascinated by the lives and works of artists with whom I have sympathized, and in this regard, they always give me new perspectives on my work.
But about what affects me emotionally and inspires me.
As I mentioned, painting is a personal practice for me, and my source of inspiration is no exception. My familiarity with art is defined from the perspective of the woman, so the interpretation of women has always been an inspiration to me.
Beyond this personal experience, I believe that my aesthetics as a man are tied to the interpretation of woman because apart from the painting itself, which is, in fact, the language of my expression, my world of values are shaped by a
woman. In fact, it is the feminine nature that fascinates me.
Of course, this view is in stark contrast to the place that women have in the culture of my society today because women have long been barred from expressing their nature
CF: What role do art and artists play in society nowadays? How has that changed as the scope of what art is and what it looks like has also changed?
A.M: In my opinion the artist, like any other person, has only a social role and this role does no define a task for him. On the other hand, it is the artist who, with the knowledge he has received from the society, offers a more subtle and accurate look at the issues around him.
CF: In a historical moment when nothing seems to be enough anymore, and the future is more and more uncertain, what are we holding on to? What tears us out of nowhere?
A.M: I think it depends on the perspective of each individual. But I believe that this is the reality of death that keeps our world in uncertainty. In fact, whatever we feel is the result of the concept of dying like love and hate.
For me, life is nothing but drifting between birth and death. But, death, instead of being a tragic co concept, is a comforting fact, and this comfort is rooted in the belief that death is a definite and inevitably end that without it life becomes meaningless.
I'd like to finish this conversation with a poem by Bahman Mohasses:
"An animal dies while living, a human lives in death, the animal that is within me is dear to my heart."