The exhibition CLOAKED explores the relationship and perceptions between Iranians and the Western world. Vancouver-based artists Amir Aziz and Aileen Bahmanipour respond through a contemporary lens to a private collection of historical European costume prints depicting Persians. Also included in the collection is an antique Qajar mirror from mid-19th century Iran. These cultural objects and newly conceived artworks create a unique space and opportunity to reflect on themes of identity and culture. Both artists engage in a dialogue with past perceptions, while considering those that continue to exist in the present. Folded into the title of the show are layers of meaning which refer both to traditional Persian garb and how one’s identity can be cloaked and covered, and their true reflection hidden. Our perceptions of culture can remain veiled due to ignorance, while those belonging to certain cultures may feel the need to conceal their cultural identity in the face of judgment, censure or even danger.
About the artists