Ali Esmaeilipour, The Voice Of The ‘Immigrant’.

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A solo exhibition featuring the works of Iranian artist Ali Esmaeilipour called Immigrant will run at the Miaja Gallery until July 8. It will feature mixed-media work based on the theme of ‘Immigration’ focusing on the shifting and fluid nature of meaning and being rooted in a world overtaken by globalization. All of it comes from various scraps of newspapers and magazines that Ali gathered over the past 15 years in Singapore, ever since he arrived here in 1999.

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Some of the ‘immigrations’ that plaster Ali’s canvas involve the appropriation and transformation of old into new – like the form of Rodin’s famous Thinker isolated among a host of brand names and other contemporary motifs. Ali manipulates the space and his materials to give the feeling of everything washed over by a variety of rough muddy hues with bursts of color and form here and there. This opens up existential vistas where human forms are swallowed up/intermingle with signs and symbols, struggling for a ‘voice’.

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The feeling of chaotic improvisation across the works comes from the fact that many of the objects were chosen less for aesthetic reasons or harmonious composition and more for expressing the artist’s interests and internal state. These are mementos drawn up over time, with depths of experience that the viewer may glimpse into, here and there, but never fully grasp.

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Ali studied at the renowned Zangar Art Institute under the tutelage of Professor Aydin Aghashlou – one of Iran’s most respected artists. He triumphed at the prestigious 4th Biennale at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran in 1997, and established himself as an artist in residence at the Opera Gallery Singapore after he moved here. You can find out more on the exhibit at Miaja Gallery’s website.

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