FOCUS IRAN 2: Winners Announced!

December 7, 2016
Contact: Tannaz Guivi


Los Angeles - January 29 - May 7, 2017
Irvine - September 16, 2017 - October 13, 2017

Juried exhibition offers distinctive visions of Iran from inside and outside the country through photography and video works

false roots

False Roots, Sanaz Khosravi, digital photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

LOS ANGELES - The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) and Farhang Foundation present  Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video, the second biennial juried exhibition of contemporary photography and video works relating to Iranian culture or heritage. The exhibition features an international selection of emerging and mid-career artists from around the world who offer diverse perspectives of contemporary Iranian life. The group exhibition of thirty-six photographs and eight video works takes place at CAFAM from January 29 to May 7, 2017, with an opening fundraising reception to take place on January 27 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. The exhibition will continue on to the University of California, Irvine's Viewpoint Gallery from September 16 to October 13, 2017.

The international jury panel selected artists residing in countries such as Iran, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Focus Iran 2 democratizes the art form of image making by giving novices and professionals an equal opportunity to offer distinctive visions of Iran from both inside and outside the country. Offering a unique point of access and convergence, this juried Focus Iran 2 provides a rare collection of perspectives from citizen journalists, personal archivists, and vernacular storytellers who are connected to Iran either by heritage or deeply felt admiration.

The international jury panel consisted of Photo L.A. executive director Claudia James Bartlett, French-Iranian photojournalist Reza Deghati, also known as REZA, CAFAM exhibitions curator Holly Jerger, the J. Paul Getty Museum assistant curator of photography Arpad Kovacs, American photographer Steve McCurry, and Iranian visual artists Ali Akbar Sadeghi and Newsha Tavakolian.

iranian carpet amir amiri

Iranian Carpet, Amir Amiri, digital photograph, 2002. Courtesy of the artist.

The selected artists are Mehrdad Afsari, Sobia Ahmad, Oolduz Alaei Novin, Ebrahim Alipoor, Amir Amiri, Armin Amirian, Parna Baharali, Ahmad Belbasi, Saskia Boelsums, Asieh Dehghani, Parisa Ghaderi, Hasan Ghafari, Erfan Ghiasi, Mehdi Hawaii Sardehaii, Mohammadjavad Jahangir, Motahare Jalili, Saeedeh Keshavarzi, Ali Kheradyar, Sanaz Khosravi, Machine Studio, Emelie Mahdavian, Elham Masoudi, Mohammad Reza Masoumi, Ebrahim Mirmalek, Ali Mobasser, Madjid Mohammadi, Masoud Mohammadi, Siamak Nasiri Ziba, Labkhand Olfatmanesh, Maryam Rassapour, Susanne Roewer, Hossein Sadri, Mehdi Safari, Gazelle Samizay, Farid Sani, Omid Sariri Ajili, Stephanie Seguino, Javid Tafazoli, Ashkan Tirdad, Farkhondeh Torabi, Mohsen Zare, and a video collaboration between artists Elahe Moonesi, Maziar Moradi, and Farhood Yazdanpanah.

"It has been an immense pleasure to once again join forces with the visionary Craft & Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles to create a platform that will help showcase works of international artist exploring themes of Iranian heritage and culture," says Farhang Foundation Fine Arts Council Chair Amir Angha. "Focus Iran 2 has now developed into a well established biennial resulting in an inclusive and diverse body of work selected by a world renowned jury panel of experts. We are thrilled to be able to once again share these great works with the entire Southern California community."

"The Craft & Folk Art Museum has historically valued the promotion of cross-cultural understanding through our exhibitions and programs, and in an era where xenophobic rhetoric has taken center stage we feel that our partnership with the Farhang Foundation has taken on a new urgency," says CAFAM executive director Suzanne Isken.

Love omid Sariri

 Love, Omid Sariri Ajili, digital photograph, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.

An opening VIP reception for Focus Iran 2: Contemporary Photography and Video will take place at the Craft & Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., on Friday, January 27 from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.

This exhibition is made possible by the support of Farhang Foundation and other generous donors.


CAFAM will offer exhibition-related workshops and events in conjunction with the exhibition, including CraftLab family workshops on the second Sunday of each month from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.


A fully illustrated catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition. Catalogues will be available for purchase in the CAFAM Shop and online at

Farhang logo 

Farhang Foundation is a non-religious, non-political and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebration of Nowruz, Mehregan, and Shab-e Yalda, theater, dance performances, film screenings and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. For more info, please visit


CAFAM logo 

The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) is Los Angeles' only institution exclusively dedicated to exhibiting contemporary craft, design, and folk art. Located on the city's historic Museum Row since 1965, CAFAM's dynamic exhibitions feature established and emerging artists whose works create thoughtful and provocative visual exchanges between craft and contemporary art. CAFAM's regular programs and events provide opportuities for the public to participate in artmaking and engage with exhibiting and local artists. For more information, visit

Craft & Folk Art Museum
Location: 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Admission: FREE every Sunday, regularly: $7 for adults; $5 for students, teachers, seniors, and veterans; free for CAFAM members
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; closed Mondays. Every first Thursday of the month, extended hours 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.