Ochre Art Magazine / A Short Interview

Sogol Kashani was interviewed by Ochremag (Iranian online art magazine) about her works and sources of inspiration.

Can you explain the significance of “writings” in your works?
Writing has not been used in most of my works. There were a few from the “Foxes and Wolves” collection (2016) and two artist’s books that I created in 2020 and 2021 that were displayed in the 3rd and 4th version of Bongah Bookfair by Inja gallery. But in answer to your question, I believe that language is a powerful tool for creation. In each book, an overall concept is expressed between the writings and the images. Throughout history, many artists have used writings, texts, words, letters, and numbers as an aesthetical and solid foundation for the expression of their feelings. From the writings on the illuminated manuscripts on the margins of paintings of the Middle Ages to Barbara Kruger’s “I shop therefore I am.” (1987) and many other examples in contemporary art, how text and art are entangled shows the deep impact language (and script) can have when used in the artworks.

Is there a connection between the forms and symbols of Persian paintings and your works?
Since I work on different subjects and concepts in each of my collections, Persian art forms and elements are not necessarily seen in all my works. Only in the “What ever happened to Cypress?” collection that was exhibited at Inja gallery in 2020 the atmosphere of my works was inspired by Persian miniatures. As the main form, the cypress was placed in a geometric space inspired by the architecture in miniature paintings. I have used the layouts of ancient Iranian illustrated books and Farsi script in my artist books as well.

Have you been inspired by any artist?
My sources of inspiration are not limited to one artist or one artwork or one art movement. I have certainly been inspired by many artists and important artworks in different mediums of art along the way and I have surely learned a lot from them.

How are the main concepts of your works usually conceived?
Whatever indulges my emotions or elicits a drive in me can be my newest idea. Having a drive and excitement is necessary for my work. Exploring concepts that the contemporary human experiences in connection with the society one lives in, is interesting to me.

Do aspects of modern life have an impact on your works?

Yes. Living in whatever world (time-space) cannot be without taking affect from its characteristics. Although modern elements have changed the face of my city and its citizens and have superficially modernized Tehran, traditional beliefs are still strongly standing against modern thinking, and in fact more than being affected by the modern life in my works I am under the influence of the harms caused by a massive transformation.

Could you please tell us about your future works?
I’m currently working on a new collection but I prefer not to talk about it before it’s done.

Who is your favorite artist?
As I mentioned before, there are many painters and artists whose work and practice I admire.