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Interview with Shirazeh Houshiary


Interview with Shirazeh Houshiary
Iranian artist Shirazeh Houshiary working in the STPI studio

Acclaimed Iranian installation artist and sculptor Shirazeh Houshiary was recently in Singapore to work on her residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI). The Artling had the chance to find out a bit more about her experience at STPI and the artist's practice. 


You’ve just spent some time at the STPI studio working on your residency. How did you find your experience? What do you think the importance is of residency programs such as STPI’s? 

I enjoyed the residency and feel we created a new body of works, produced after much experimentation. The residency such as STPI’s program can offer time and space and resources to develop challenging and experimental works. 

The artist's works-in-progress in the STPI studio

Your body of work is comprised largely of sculptural and installation works – how have you incorporated your practice into to the print and papermaking process while at STPI?

I have managed to incorporate both installation and sculptural discipline into print making, and  with the help of everyone at STPI we pushed the boundaries of how we could use paper and the process of printing. You will see the results in March 2016 at my show at STPI gallery.  


You are interested in the scientific, yet your works are incredibly abstract and are very open to the viewer’s own interpretation. How do you reconcile these two dichotomous aspects of your works? 

Typically my works are multi layered relating to human perception and all its processes. As a result my interest can encompass all human knowledge and feelings. 


The artist in action at the STPI studio

Language tends to feature in many of your works, but the value of the words is not in their meaning. What do you hope to convey through these words, if they are without their original function? 

The origin of words and language were passed through by oral tradition. So words have sound.  Yet once words became visual, words lose their vibration and sound. By distorting the visual dimension of the words I hope to reawaken these vibrations and sounds. 


You’ve mentioned that you spend a lot of time with your finished works before shipping them out, why is this?

I can plan the structure of the artwork yet by spending time with that work one is able to perceive many more depths which otherwise would remain unknown.

What are you working on in the next year? Any new projects coming up?

I am working on new glass sculptures and progressing new bodies of paintings and planning a new video for all my forthcoming exhibitions.



All images courtesy of the artist & STPI

Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.




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