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Welcome to my blog! True to my name, Shiva the Spy, I will be your eyes and ears in Iran, bringing you detailed accounts of everyday life from my perspective. You'll have a window into the social, cultural, political, and historical aspects of the country. I will bring you the stuff that American media can't...or won't. So, check back regularly for stories, photos, commentary, and anything else your curiosity calls for.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Arash Hamidi

Meet Arash Hamidi, a university graduate holding a bachelor's degree in Persian rug handicrafts, who works in international business for a Tehran firm specializing in trade and commerce. In his free time, Arash attends to his hobby of producing photographic masterpieces, such as this picture of Damavand Mountain's peak:
(click on image to enlarge)

Most would agree that being able to capture this kind of splendor comes from years of training and experience that only the most seasoned photographer can possess. But Arash is only 23-years-old, and a newcomer to the photography community, dabbling in the art for about two years. He uses a method that encompasses his interests of “recording memorable moments, and seeing ordinary things from a novel perspective.”

Birjand City’s ancient main citadel:
(click on image to enlarge)

“My main goal is to combine these three elements in my work:
Delight + Art + Aestheticism.”

Arash doesn’t refer to himself as an artist, but rather as a student, even admitting, “I used to think my pictures weren’t any good; I was never satisfied with the outcome.”

But this supposed novice has a background that tells another tale, beginning at the tender age of eight, when Arash’s drawings would win first-place in school-wide contests, a trend that continued throughout his elementary education. The young artist expanded into sketching caricatures, later becoming one of the founding members of the Free Society of Iranian Cartoonists; he was nine.

“It was during this time that I began to display my artwork on a range of subjects, both within private and collective exhibitions.”

His creative capacity knew no limits when, at age 12, he began sculpting statues and face masks, eventually adding modeling and artistic molding to his growing repertoire. Arash’s range of talent extended even further when he started writing articles and film reviews for a number of magazines.

“I watched movies frequently, and formulated lengthy critiques on the newest ones. I would then send the critiques to the magazines, where they were promptly published. Never did I disclose my age, because no magazine would have published the article of a 14 to 15-year-old boy.”

During this time, Arash became proficient in computerized graphic design, using his skills to design and print posters, labels, logos, and other paraphernalia for a series of products. After this stint, he was accepted into his high school’s cinema program, but after one term, switched his course of study to literature and humanities. The change didn’t stop Arash from helping his friends create numerous short films, or providing them with additional support in scriptwriting and sound recording. He had done all this by age 15.

“At 17, I took up theatre directing and playwriting. Upon entering university, I chose Persian rug design as my major; later, when I was 20, I began designing web sites and creating software for artists. The next year, I taught both art and computer science at my university.”

Night shot of metropolitan Tehran:
(click on image to enlarge)

"I don’t see myself as an artist. My entire life, I’ve tried to remain a student of art. Anything I learn, I strive to teach to others because the day I don’t have any topic to present to others, will be the day I won’t have learned a new subject."

Even as an art student, it's obvious from Arash's history, and the material on his website (www.hamidi.ir) that this young virtuoso is a natural-born overachiever. I was not only impressed with his works, but also with his vast amount of experience in the arts.

For more of Arash Hamidi's work, check out the following links:
Arash Hamidi's main site

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