By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
The Aaran Gallery, which opened last month right in the center of Tehran not far from the 7th Tir Square metro station is Tehran's newest hot news and ongoing sensation.
Nazila Noebashari, the owner, is a very successful business lady who has been running a major transport company in Tehran for the past 25 years. She decided last year to slow down her business operation and devote more of her time to what she loves most - art and artists. When I asked her why she did this, she said it was part of her retirement plan, which made me laugh because she should not need to talk about such things for another 25 years! But on a more serious side, she mentioned that she wanted to do what she liked more, to be close to creation and being involved with art and artists is perfectly close to that goal.
Aaran is not just a gallery, it is a place of peace where one can freely enjoy the beauty of the work on display. On the first floor of the gallery, as well as in the office, art works by selected artists are on display and collectors may view and buy them even if the artists are off somewhere involved with creating their new works.
The first time I went there, I simply fell in love with the place. This new gallery has definitely been designed by someone who knew what they are doing and understood what a real gallery should be like. It is first class design. It is large and has a good sense of space without its size becoming overwhelming. It has a fantastic garden, which makes you want to sit down on those lovely benches in that sweet garden and enjoy the large pool, just lingering without any desire to leave.
Last Friday Abbas Kowsari, who is a photojournalist - his works have been published in many Iranian and international publications, and he has taken part in many international and local group shows - had his first solo exhibition titled Shade of Water-Shade of Earth at the gallery.
photo by Abbas Kowsari
All his photographs in the exhibition show people in search of something! In the Earth photographs, taken at Hallabche and Talayeh, people, unconscious of the camera lens, are disheartened, looking for remains or signs of their loved ones; and in his Water photographs taken at Rezaieh Lake, people are waiting in a most theatrical setting as if they are looking for that which the viewers must search within themselves to find.
Abbas Kowsari told me that water is a definitive symbol of life and life grows around wherever water has existed. Earth is the symbol of faragh, the symbol of parting, disconnection, separation and death. I have become fond of Mr Kowsari's works since I came to know them during my involvement with the Kaveh Golestan Photojournalist Awards. When I asked him why he chose this career after some years in theater, he said that 'this is what I can do on my own and this profession enables me to go to places and enables me to meet people that ordinary folks cannot, in all my work people are present and I have never had any desire to photograph landscapes or scenery'.
It is his deep sense for people in his work that captures my heart.
Visiting Aaran is a pleasurable exercise which I highly recommend and the managers must be congratulated whole heartedly for such a fabulous new home for art in Tehran.
9 Dey Street, North Keradmand Avenue, Tehran
... Payvand News - 12/11/08 ... --