Through my life in Iran and now my identity as a South West Asia North Africa (SWANA) woman living in the United States, my work offers a commentary on sociopolitical issues. I create images, sculptures, and installations that illustrate my struggles related to my cultural identity and how it is perceived in my new home. Creating from a personal place, I am able to craft a space to share my experience with the viewer.
Incorporating different forms and materials, I talk about subject matters that have deeply affected my life and many others. Censorship from my youth in Iran manifests itself in images from art history that are obscured by Persian calligraphy and geometric patterns prevalent in Islamic architecture. Through objects made from different materials such as cast iron, fabric, ceramic, light, and shadow, I address the violation of women’s rights in Iran such as mandatory hijab. Each material brings its own cultural and conceptual significance in relation to the piece.
Utilizing text to pay homage to the history of hiding critical commentary in Persian poetry and visual arts, my work employs politically-charged writings such as news articles, propaganda, or feminist poetry. The writings are subsequently transformed into patterns using the smooth curves of Persian calligraphy. While Persian text is associated with fear and terror in the current political climate of the Western world, these patterns take over the space to confront the viewer.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kiana Honarmand is an artist born and raised in Iran. In 2012, Kiana moved to the United States to pursue her Master of Fine Arts degree. In 2014, She received her MFA from Penn State University. She currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has been exhibited in numerous venues including Metal Museum, Memphis, TN; San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, CA; Lite-Haus Galerie, Berlin, Germany; Lorimoto Gallery, Ridgewood, NY; 709 Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA; Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries, Dayton, OH; Emerge Gallery, Greenville, NC; Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, OR; Laleh Gallery, Tehran, Iran; Root Division, San Francisco, CA; Fountain Gallery, Lafayette, IN; Spectrum Gallery, Centerbrook, CT; Rogers Gallery, Berea College, KY; Olin Gallery, Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA; HUB Robeson Galleries, Pennsylvania State University, PA; Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Aggregate Space Gallery, Oakland, CA; Sidney Larson Gallery, Columbia College, Columbia, MO; MCLA Gallery 51, North Adams, MA; Crayola Gallery, Banana Factory Art Center, Bethlehem, PA; Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Novato, CA; The Drawing Room, San Francisco, CA; Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland, CA, Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA.
© Kiana Honarmand