Monir Farmanfarmaian Talks Art


NEW YORK — Above the buzz of tool-wielding contractors installing two floors’ worth of her artwork at the Guggenheim Museum on Monday morning, even Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian had to ask, “Did I do that all?”

An understandable reaction considering the 91-year-old was taking in her first major U.S. museum show. When her “Infinite Possibility. Mirror Works and Drawings, 1974-2014” exhibition bows Wednesday, museumgoers will get a kaleidoscopic look at one of the more involved, yet untold stories in the modern art world.

When the outbreak of World War II derailed Farmanfarmaian’s plans to study in Paris, the artist wound up in New York — a decision by default that turned out to be a formative one. After studying at Parsons School of Design and Cornell University, she later worked as a Bonwit Teller fashion illustrator with her picnic-loving pal Andy Warhol and became ensconced in the influential New…

View original post 1,690 more words

Japan’s first ‘curry rice’ recipe?

Although it may not rank in gastronomic terms with such delicacies as sushi, sashimi or Kobe beef, “curry rice” (karē raisu カレーライス) is one of Japan’s most popular dishes and favourite comfort foods. Arguably it has more in common with the 19th century versions of curry served on Royal Navy ships than with original Indian cuisine, and the sauce has a thick, viscous consistency.1 Initially a foreign import, it has become an integral part of Japanese food culture and been adapted and developed in a typical example of Wayō setchū 和洋折衷 – the blending of Japanese and Western influences. Curry rice can be eaten in a wide variety of forms, among the most popular being katsu karē (curry with a breaded pork cutlet on top) and karē don (thickened curry sauce served on top of a bowl of rice). Nowadays in Japan, curry restaurants are found everywhere and a bewildering array of curry sauce mixes and pre-packed curries fill supermarket shelves.
– See more at:

Folios from the Jami’ al–Tavarikh (Compendium of Chronicles)

Ghazan Khan (r. 1295–1304) commissioned his vizier Rashid al-Din to write a history of the Mongols. During the reign of Öljeitü (r. 1304–16), this text was expanded into the Jamic al-tavarikh, or Compendium of Chronicles. The text initially comprised three volumes. The first, written for Ghazan, was an account of the Mongol rulers beginning with Genghis Khan. The second volume covered Öljeitü’s life up to the time of writing (1310) as well as the history of the Eurasian peoples. The third, a geography, has not survived. The text was written in Persian and translated into Arabic and perhaps also into Mongolian and Chaghatay Turkish in the atelier at the Rabc-i Rashidi (Rashid’s quarter) in the capital Tabriz. It was stipulated that two copies of the work, in Arabic and Persian, be transcribed every year and distributed in the kingdom.

the rest if the article:

The Malay Tale of the Wise Parrot

The Hikayat Bayan Budiman, ‘Tale of the Wise Parrot’, is an old work of Malay literature, probably composed in the 15th century or earlier. It is based on a Persian original, the Tuti-nama, and is the earliest example in Malay of a framed narrative: a literary work comprising a compilation of individual stories. And like the ‘Thousand and One Nights’, in the ‘Tale of the Wise Parrot’, the stories are designed to help the protagonists avoid a nasty fate.

In the Hikayat Bayan Budiman, Khoja Maimun is married to the beautiful Siti Zainab. One day he buys a rare parrot, which can speak and foretell the future, and a mynah bird. The wonderful stories the birds tell of far-away places lead Khoja Maimun to sail off to seek his fortune, leaving his wife in the care of the birds. While her husband is away Zainab falls in love with a prince, and in order to stop her committing adultery, the parrot begins to tell a story. Carried away by the narrative, Zainab forgets her assignment, and morning comes. The next evening the parrot commences another story, and in this way he keeps Zainab rooted to her house until her husband Maimun returns from his travels.

– See more at:

EXHIBITION ‘Light Bodies’ by Maïmouna Guerresi by Islamic Arts Magazine

Composed of photographic works, sculpture, installation and video, made in different periods, the exhibition ‘Light Bodies’ will be on view from March 5-8, 2015 at Volta NY and from March 20- May 1, 2015 at the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Seattle.

The work on the exhibition show Maïmouna’s artistic path and a journey to the different spiritual interpretations. At Volta visitors will be able to see: ‘White Rubber Tire – First Lesson’, 2014, ‘The Giants’, ‘Cosmo’ and ‘Supha’ and at the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Seattle: the photographic series of the Giants: ‘Moussa’, ‘Rhokaya’ and ‘Surprise’; the photo triptych ‘Table Red’ and ‘Blue Family’; the photographic installation ‘Cosmo’; the photos ‘Hats-Minarets’; and the video installation ‘Milky Light’.

M-Eating Series

‘White Rubber Tire – First Lesson’, 2014 is a part of the latest photographic series titled M-Eating. The seies presents images of African men, women, and children, in front of the same table, anticipating a banquet. But there is no food on the table, and just a few objects like a plate, a jug of water, or some remnants of war, that in this context lose the meaning of menace for a daily and decorative aspect. The scene in ‘First Lesson’ takes place around a red table with a teacher, children and a wheel on the table painted white and used as if it was an object of study. The scene has a psychological connotation as well as formal one. The colorful clothes, tablecloths, the bottoms of the walls painted by the artist, are part of this silent act of metaphysical suspension, something is going to happen, perhaps a dialogue or something else. This table encounter thus becomes an opportunity to reflect on contemporary man and his relationship to society.


Maïmouna Guerresi / M-Eating Series, Salt, 2013, Lambda print on aluminum, 70×246 cm – 110×387 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / M-Eating Series, White Cup, 2014, Lambda print on aluminum, 100×118 cm – 200×237 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / M-Eating Series, White Rubber Tires -First Lesson 2014, Lambda print on aluminum, 100×162 – 150×243 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

The Giants

In ‘The Giants’ series, the Maïmouna was inspired by the African Muslim mystics who appear in her photographs as large and imposing figure wearing the mantle, where only the hands and the face can be seen while the body is empty, a space that attracts new and unknown. The clothes are shaped in the architectural forms making metaphysical and surreal to become a whole with their body in the photograph.


Maïmouna Guerresi / Akbar, 2010, Lambda print on aluminum, 200×125 cm – 100×63 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / Rhokaya, 2010, Lambda print on aluminum, 200×125 cm -100×63 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / Surprise, 2010, Lambda print on aluminum, 200×125 cm -100×63 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


A large photographic installation ‘Cosmo’ is composed of circles in various sizes that give the effect of planets spinning around their orbit, representing a female figure dressed in black seen from the top, in various stages of counterclockwise rotation symbolizing the mystical dance of the Sufis.

imageMaïmouna Guerresi / Illumination 1, 2010 Lambda print on aluminum, 120×120 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / Illumination 3, 2010 Lambda print on aluminum, 100×53 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / Illumination 4, 2010 Lambda print on aluminum, 100×60 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


In these works Maimouna focused on the highest part of the body – the Head. She crowned them with a number of artifacts in the form of Hat-Minaret, created in traditional way with simple materials and pieces of cloth, collected, put together and then sewn as is the tradition for the Sufi Muslims Baifall Senegal. The architectural form of head pieces make men tall and narrow. The characters in the photographs hide their faces with a hand gesture, they are blindfolded or simply close their eyes, to get away from the world and to get in tune with the cosmic divine spirit. The form of the Hat-Minaret can also be seen as a castle, a fortress, which protects the head, the highest part of the body but is also an extension of the same body, the antenna, the canal leading and transmitting spiritual energy.

‘Milky Light’, video installation

The work ‘Milky Light’ (2013, 23 min) consists of three large bowls in white resin, filled with milk. In each bowl there is a projection video that represents the hands of different people continuously taking the milk, in almost hypnotic rhythm, without emptying the bowls, symbolizing the well of infinite light. The video is accompanied by an ancient Sufi music, the sound representation of the circles of water, produced by the sound of a lute. This music used to be played as a form of healing in the old Turkish hospitals.

Maïmouna Guerresi

Maïmouna Guerresi is a photographer, sculptor, and video installation artist. She lives between Italy and Senegal. Maïmouna’s universe is as much the result of chemistry between cultural and religious influences, as the fusion of different artistic languages. Linked both to Italy and Senegal, to Western culture and Sufi philosophy, her works reflect a dual culture and a dual belonging, and above all, the search for equilibrium between these two worlds.

Maïmouna Guerresi was invited to participate in the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1982-1986-2010 as well as Documenta K18 (1987) in Kassel, Germany. In 1991 Maïmouna travelled to various Muslim countries in Africa and converted to Islam whilst in Senegal.

Her work has been exhibited and collected all over the world.