Iranian artist says tearoom paintings attract foreign tourists

TEHRAN – Iranian artist Narges Eshqi said foreign tourists find Iranian teahouse paintings more attractive than his compatriots.

As one of the few Iranian artists to have adopted this style, she presented her latest paintings at Phi Café in Tehran in an exhibition that ended on Sunday.

“Due to the unstable place of this style of painting in the country and, consequently, the lack of public access to works of art created in this style, foreign tourists, collectors and lovers of this style are the target audience for Iranian tea room paintings, ”she said. said in a statement released on Sunday.

Eshqi said the one-dimensional views of tea room painters caused a contempt for this style and added, “Tea room paintings have the potential to be combined with other styles. to be a very positive event.

“Teahouses have been places of daily gathering of people, and the paintings in the teahouses have supported their cultural needs in different circumstances, especially during mourning ceremonies and religious events,” she noted. and added, “Painting in tea rooms is the art of the people, which was formed with contributions from authentic Iranian religious art and culture.

The exhibition entitled “Ashura Teahouse Paintings” was organized in collaboration with the Iranian Institute for Research in Philosophy.

“For years, religious beliefs have been promulgated by praise, naqqals [traditional storytellers] and Muslim clerics in hosseiniehs, tekyehs [places for seasonal Islamic ceremonies] and tea rooms, ”the institute said.

“Each of these people used to share their beliefs with art and emotion with the people who eagerly gathered in these places,” he added.

“In these places too, there were painters from tea rooms who listened to the stories, reflected on them and then represented them on canvases,” explained the institute.

“The tea room painting has recently been restored based on the legacy of the past by a number of young artists, including Narges Eshqi,” he noted.

The tea room has had various functions at different times during its 400-year history in Iran. Teahouses were once places where people gathered to spend their free time listening to a naqqal, a traditional Iranian storyteller, telling stories from the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. People were talking and exchanging, and with the lutis, wise and generous people, who helped the poor.

Painters of tea rooms emerged in such an atmosphere. They listened to the discussions and the tales, using them as subjects for the paintings they drew on the walls, tiles, stones and canvases. Sometimes the tea house owners commissioned painters to draw the stories.

With their own unique perspective not used in other styles, tea room painters drew designs entirely based on their imaginations. The themes of these paintings are epics, traditions and religion.

Stories about the uprising of Imam Hussein (AS) and his companions against the oppressive Umayyad dynasty in 680 CE are more appreciated by painters in the tea rooms.

Photo: A tea room painting by Mohammad Farahani is on display in an exhibition at the Iranian Artists Forum in Tehran.

MMS / YAW


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