The collection of fifteen huge posters created by Ali Vazirian features the tragedy of Ashura variously through letters, paintings, calligraphy and graphic designs.
“These posters are the outcome of at least ten years of activities. Inspired by Ziyarat Ashura, the base of the works are letters,” the artist told the Persian service of MNA.
“First, I began by concentrating on the nastaliq style of calligraphy and continued with combinations of decorative patterns and motifs. Abstract paintings followed by illustrations of Ashura events were added later,” he added.
He continued, “I later thought images were missing in my works so I decided to choose a type of Ashura uprisings illustrations in which the images can be portrayed with no difficulty and from there I arrived at teahouse painting.”
Teahouse paintings highlight Ashura uprisings with the depiction of the battle of Karbala, where Imam Hussein (AS) was martyred.
“Therefore, parts of teahouse paintings are also seen in my works in combination with typography,” he remarked.
Persian teahouses have served various functions in different eras of their 400-year history. They used to be places where men gathered to spend their leisure time listening to naqqals (Iranian traditional storytellers) reciting Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh.
The art of teahouse painting emerged from within such an environment. The craftsmen listened to the discussions and tales and used them as subjects for the paintings they drew on the walls, tiles and bricks.