Title: Work-hand October 18 and 20, 2020 Kashan, Iran

October 18 and 20, 2020

Kashan, Iran


About Persbook:

Persbook is an annual event for presenting works of Iranian artists and residents in Iran. This event was organized by the artist-curator Neda Darzi in 2009. The main aims and purposes of Persbook are as follows: An unbiased free climate for presentation and introduction of Iranian youth works and an independent dynamic climate for interaction and synergy. Choice of advisors, artists, and jury were not limited to Iran borders and Invitation of International artists and jury were also taken into consideration. Persbook is of the first annual exhibitions in Iran, introducing artists’ works not only in galleries but also in virtual pages. In 10 recent events, Persbook has invited Iranian and International artists to presentation of their works concerning different themes and areas. Moreover, this group concentrated on opportunities and capacities of Iran’s different regions and their special ecological and cultural details and for this they decided to exit Tehran and choose their performance site in different areas.

Neda Darzi paying attention to widespread public concerns of contemporary environment pursues a similar approach to her Curatorship and since fifth event she has had long-term purposes for protection of environment and Iran’s heritage. Since seventh event, she as curator has personally held Persbook. By holding annual events of Persbook in different regions of Iran, putting emphasis on different cultural areas, and running place-oriented projects, she has attempted to fill the gap between artists and their ecology. These themes were primarily chosen on the basis of crucially social and environmental concerns and ecological criticism was obviously conceptualized.

 Tenth Persbook: work-hand The Perspective:

Art stage of Iran is full of various approaches and trends. During 10 years of their activity, Persbook has taken this variation into consideration and has attempted to present different dimensions of Iran’s contemporary art stage.  By choosing Kashan (cradle of Iran’s crafts) for their exhibition, tenth event of Persbook adopts an approach to Iranian artistic heritage and supports national traditions of Iranian arts. Also, by concentrating on facilities of the ancient Kashan City, this group invites artists to the rethinking of Iranian artistic and cultural traditions and their recreation in the contemporary art. Since long time ago, Iran’s crafts have been intertwined with the ordinary life and Iranian culture and nature. These arts have grown and continued for centuries in this country. Therefore, there are enormous capacities and facilities for development and advancement.  The Tenth Persbook focuses their attention on the redefining and recreation of traditional arts in contemporary context. Artists of this event foster relationship between Iranian ancient and traditional arts and the contemporary art or look for this relationship. Revival of traditional arts does not mean repetition of the past or continuance of established methods. Rather, the focus is on dynamism and artistic pursuance for creativity in form and content of the artistic art. These aims are achieved by relying on knowledge, skills, studies, and awareness of ancient arts qualities and the present requirements. Work-hand is a strategy that fosters a relationship among the above-mentioned items in contemporary context. It conveys the meaning of hand-made creation, an industrial-artistic master, and also hand art and industry. Work-hand intends to excite attentions to dimensions of Iran’s contemporary art intertwined with hand-made skills and industries and relying on Iranian ancient artistic traditions. Work-hand also means companionship and friendship. In the other words, it implies commitment of Persbook to cooperation, interaction, and emphasis on participative arts. In the shadow of this title and approach, tenth Persbook gathers artists believing significance of Iranian artistic heritage and artistic participation and interaction.

 This Year Geography:Kashan: A bridge between Past & Present(Kianoosh Motaghedi)

Kashan is one of the most ancient city in Iran and is viewed as a crucial region for production of all crafts throughout history. Its special geography and its access to Silk Road made contribution to the increased commuting of caravans, development of a boom market, and relationship with cultural east and west items in Iran’s heart.  Also, Sialk Archeological Hills are regarded as a cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations in Iran Plateau and a manifestation of Iranian cultural identity and its continuance throughout history. Mehri shrines (e.g. Raees Cave), Sassanid Fire Temple or Chahartaq (Niasar), and underground city surrounding Kashan (e.g. Nushabad) show commitment of its people to their religious-cultural thoughts throughout the centuries.

In this city, glory of nature and desert made contribution to diligence, innovation, and art creation of people. Although this region is always dry with a desert climate, it enjoys one of the most efficient strategies for coping with this problem since the ancient times i.e. a water supply system and use of aqueducts and drainpipe which their structure are still very wonderful.  Architecture and urbanism of Kashan are one of most prominent local architecture in coordination with Iran’s ecology and are still sustained.

With the beginning of Islamic Era, big changes occurred in Kashan community, its people, social associations, social class relations, and life and belief of people. As a result, Iran’s art and architecture in central regions especially Kashan were significantly influenced by the new religion thoughts. This newly Islamic people seeking for Shiite spirituality and modern ideology were concerned with not only formation of an Islamic civilization, but also production of knowledge, science, and industry. A rational relationship was established between aesthetics and art among Kashan artists and were fostered in an artistic climate relying on local resources and environment. Of all arts, pottery and tile-making are undoubtedly the first achieves of Iran and Islam world and were artistically and industrially viewed as the most crucial productions of Kashan before Mongol Ilkhanate attack.  Resources, mines, and rich soil existing naturally surrounding Kashan was a historical opportunity for advancement of this art-industry and sustainable relationship between humans and earth.

Alchemy of Iran’s traditional arts and main characteristics of Iran culture and its pictorial narratives relying on lyrical literature were primarily shown in enamel potteries and golden potteries of Kashan as compared with other artistic media. This process continued and Kashan potteries were exported to all areas of world and Kashan tiles were used by people of Islamic nations. On the other hand, since the early centuries, colors have been viewed as very significant in Iran Art, bright sun of Kashan reflected colors of these potteries more clearly and the ideal combination of cyan color and thatches or soil coloring in Kashan architecture and cyan domes changed into jewel of the desert heart.  Then, from Safavi Dynasty, idea for building palaces or royal palace-garden attracting attention of Iranians from ancient era emerged on the basis of architectural gardening innovations and Kashan enjoyed one of the most magnificent Iranian palace-gardens. Fin Garden is a perfect sample of an ideal palace-garden in the heart of desert and is viewed as a successful and sustainable experience as regards building plan. It is worth noting that Kashan houses enjoyed great architecture in Qajar Dynasty and are a sustainable model for interaction between architecture and environment.  During last slice of Kashan’s art history, this city changed into the main center for production of elegant textiles, cloths, and carpets. In 10th and 11th centuries AH, these productions of Kashan and surrounding villages (e.g. Jushqan) were great slices of Iranian carpet art history. This tradition continued in Qajar Era and image-weaving movement was revived and developed.

The present Kashan has a heritage of these architectural traditions and crafts. Throughout the centuries, it has achieved a balance between inside world and outside world in a way that it has contained great manifestations of earthly and heavenly concepts. This city establishes a relationship between cultural elements relying on spirituality and nature and also acts as a bridge linking art, literature, environment, and special visual details similar to interpretations existing in paintings and poems of Sohrab.

Persbook nearing their 10 years of age is an invitation of contemporary artists to symbolically and conceptually offer visual translations of Kashan ecology and protection of its natural resources. Persbook waits for a new awareness and reading of Kashan’s great heritage from the contemporary artists’ viewpoint. Rethinking about remarkable methods of dry Kashan region and interaction of artists with environmental art based on the existing artistic symbols (metal-made textiles, weaves, mirrors, wall painting etc.) are opportunities for finding new strategies of our surrounding invisible reality presentation.

Objectives & Purposes:

The contemporary art has uncovered a large number of implicit dimensions and contemporary artists have experienced and pursued different approaches to art. Accordingly, the contemporary art is not concerned with following accepted prior macro-narratives as the only integrated formal definition of art. Rather, it seeks for peripheral narratives sometimes neglected and/or intentionally abandoned. In this regard, art is committed to its influential and social role in human life. In line with the main dimension of this event i.e. rethinking and recreation of Iranian crafts, some macro-objectives of 10th Persbook are as follows:

v Attention to ancient buildings, attempt for introduction and protection of constructions in harmony with Kashan ecology;

v Attraction of the public attention to elegant crafts and artistic heritage of Iran;

v Contemporary performance of traditional architecture in spatial orientation projects;

v Relationship with life culture of Kashan people and situational recreation for interaction with the present time;

v Promotion of participative art and teamwork;

v The recognizing and promotion of local artistic talents and creation of opportunities for experience and interaction; and

v Interaction of artists with people, encouragement of art, and use of interactional strategies.


Since Kashan is of the most ancient cities of Iran and a crucial center for production of crafts throughout history and 10th Persbook concentrates on rethinking of Iranian artistic traditions, the following questions are addressed:

v What is the status of rethinking and recreation process of Iranian ancient artistic traditions in Iran’s contemporary art?

v Can focus on national artistic works offer opportunity for creation of contemporary artistic works?

v How can artists attract public attention to ancient architecture of Kashan when interacting with an old house of Kashan and creating their works? How can they redefine its values in the revived function of the place?

v How do artists use crafts of this region including pottery, tile-making, architecture, gardening, carpet-weaving, and other crafts and their detailed methods in their contemporary expression?

Since, training and communication of Iranian crafts were primarily done face to face and through discipleship, their considerable details were lost and forgotten without record and release in the advent of modern era and afterwards. How can present artists and scholars protect, record and release these valuable techniques among next generations?

10th Persbook Exhibition Site:

Manouchehri House:

Artistic and participative projects of 10th Persbook are carried out in Kashan and Saheb House Site. Residential complex of Manouchehri House located in historical construction of Kashan and viewed as one of Iranian traditional architecture heritages was artistically restored and rebuilt on the basis of inspirations rooted in this desert region art and tradition. For restoration of this House, top architectural standards were observed and it is regarded as the first high-quality restoration and revival of Kashan’s historical construction.  Silk-weaving, velvet-weaving, and brocade-weaving workshops are of valuable measures of this complex for the purpose of reviving valuable arts of this region being well-known worldwide a long time age.  Rare beautiful weaves of these workshops are supplied in the complex store beside hand-made productions of other Iranian artists for creating job opportunity for weaver artists and also introducing this national heritage to national and international visitors.

Manouchehri House celebrates tenth anniversary of their activity concurrent with 10th Persbook and this concurrence is the reason for this choice. By choosing, rebuilding, and reviving historical construction of Kashan and attempting to attract the public attention to Iranian traditional architecture qualities, their environmental advantages, and their climate, Manouchehri House is a prominent case in line with Persbook concerns and strategies for reviving national heritage.

Event-holding Process:

10th Persbook is held in a curatorial way and the invited artists are asked to arrange and present their works on live performance on the proposal basis during 3 days in determined places. The determined place is Saheb House in Kashan i.e. one of prominent architecture cases with various areas and separate spaces, offering a special context for interaction and creation of contemporary artistic works. The invited artists are as follows: Ali Etebar, Arezoo Baq Sheikhi, Morteza basravi, Mona Joola, mahshid Roshantabar, Farideh Shahsavarani, Abolfazl Shahi, Omid Shalmani, Mehdi Shirahmadi, Negar Farajiani, Fatemeh Fazael Ardakakni, Narges Hashemi, and Mehdi Vafaeenejad. By curatorship of Neda Darzi, the participative-part works have been commenced since quarantine in studio-house of artists before Persbook Event and are installed in Saheb House yard for the purpose of interaction and cooperation.

Partcipative-part artists are Hoda Akhlaghi, Mansoureh Baqgaraee, Fariba Boroufar, Elham Rahimian, Farzaneh Shahri, Farideh Ebadi, Mitra Maquee, Narges Mohamadian, and Toktam Hemati.

By visiting the location or observing photos, maps, and documents, the artists offer their plan for this site and install and perform the works in determined areas during annual performance.


v Impact of crafts upon Iranian Postmodernism and New Media, Kianoush Motaqedi, 8:00 PM, October 18;

v Wrong Route: Designer/artist as a producer, Reza Babajani, 7:00 PM, October 19;

Film Show

vThe World, Farideh Shahsavarani, 8:00 PM, October 18;

v Determined Destination, Kashan, 256 Kilometers, Negar Farajiani, time: 6:14 minutes, 8:00 PM, October 18;

v Shadow of Light, Minoo Iranpoor, Time: 12 minutes, 20:20 PM, October 18;

v Reweaving Project: 8th Persbook of Yazd, a documentary of Matin Rokn, Time: 28 minutes, 8:00 PM, October 19;


v Face-to-face Workshop of Tapestry, teacher: Hoda Akhlaghi, October 19, 9 Am-16 PM;

v Online Workshop of Print-making on Fabric, Teacher: Elahe Moghadami , 0ctober 22-october 23, 9:00 AM-14:00 PM

Exercutive Team of 10th Persbook:

v Curator: Neda Darzi

v Research : Helya Darabi, Kianoush Motaghedi

v Public Relations: Maryam Amousa

v Documentary Film: Matin Rokn

v Graphic: Reza Babajani

v Graphic Motion: Bita Ameli

v Website: Davood Arsooni

Persbook 2020