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Art exhibit to review two centuries of Iranian culture of marriage

Source: Tehran Times

An art exhibition, which will open at Tehran's Naqsh-e Jahan Gallery on Friday, will review the Iranian culture of marriage from the Qajar period (1783-1924) to the modern era. Eleven tableaus created by the combination of paintings by Pegah Vaalizadeh and copper works by Shahram Moslemi will be put on display at the exhibition entitled "Ashes on Lovers".

A mixed-media work from the "Ashes on Lovers" exhibition

"This exhibition aims to recall the traditions of Iranian culture and the differences with modern customs," Vaalizadeh told the Persian service of ISNA on Wednesday.

"Our pictorial narration begins from the Qajar era, during which people used to marry and start a family early in life," she added.

"During the time that Reza Khan ruled Iran, we used places like saqqakhanehs (water drinking places) as our subjects in the tableaus. Saqqakhanehs were the holy sites where young women used to go to pray," she stated.

"During the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, people arranged their dates before marriage at places like Tehran's Cafe Loghanteh and the Grand Hotel (two favorite haunts of Iranian intellectuals) due to the influence of their visits to the Western world. We used such places to portray our subjects," she said.

Vaalizadeh said that the last tableau of the collection depicts a one-way sign, "which illustrates the pointless relationships of the modern time."

"Nowadays, relationships and dates before marriage in environments such as Facebook and twitter, and other communication services, like What's Up and WeChat are futile and aimless," she lamented.

Each tableau bears a verse of a poem that is relevant to its subject.

The exhibition will run until May 21 at the gallery located at 9 Ayatollah Mahmudi St. in the Niavaran neighborhood.

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