As a part if “Aun Gallery Biannual Challenge”, the exhibition “Paykan: the Iranian Automobile” scrutinizes Iranian contemporary artistic pratie and thought and its status, in comparison to its origins. A six thousand years old, educated and civilization history in which art for art’s sake, for the first time, plays an important role. During its times of glory, Persian Art and life merged and created a proper context where some of the masterpieces in human history appeared. Arthur Upham Pope, the pioneering American expert on Persian Art, believes that it’s impossible to communicate with the art of many regions without considering the influence of Persian culture.
There is an intimate connection between Iranian art and thought. Iranian art is the creative representation of people’s beliefs, which is influenced by their interpretive and symbolic way of thinking. This combination creates a wholeness, which is also visible in Iranian architecture, miniature, carpet, and even literature and corresponds to the daily life and worldview of any Iranian. It makes it possible to travel through different layers of meaning; from appearance deep into the reality. This continuity and link between Iranian art and thought appeared in different eras of history.
The distraction of this wholeness cause and break in the link between an Iranian individual and Iranian spirit. The people of this country, who have always transformed foreign culture and integrated them into their own, are now cut-off from their previous mentality and history and attempt to destroy their culture heritage. This fracture is the cause for much of the temporary chaos and disorder.
Here, Paykan has been chosen to symbolize the distraction of a forty- years-old industry. An originally British automobile whose Iranian counterpart became part of the Iranian culture and life; and despite its particular status in the Iranian’s recent history, it was effaced quite suddenly from the automobile industry. This is just another sign of Iranian distancing themselves from Iranian’s history, culture, heritage and civilization.
In this collection, a group of artists where invited to take the hood of a discarded Paykan and create their own interpretative art. The hood is the part of the automobile that covered the engine, the heart of the car, and its design was never changed during the course of its production. All this symbolically reflects on a wider a more general and contemporary life.