Iran’s capital remains a place where art thrives

In every corner of Iran, one is reminded that artists were once the bloodline of towns and cities. This was a land where art permeated the everyday – in dishes, on walls, in the delicate Eslimi (Arabesque) carvings on copper bowls used to pour water over one’s head in a public bath.

What is left of it all today? True, Tehran remains a city where art thrives – in a tiny auditorium where tribal Arabs from Khuzestan have come to sing, in patterned displays of flowers beside highways, on stages where performers bring new stories to life.

In everyday objects however – dishes, shirts, shoes – such excellence has long been lost. The consumer economy is one in which the handmade demands high prices and is not thrown around in a public bath, which anyway is no longer there.

The bowls and textiles that once adorned the most humble homes, all bearing the mark of artists, are now museum pieces, replaced by cheap goods from China, India, Bangladesh. The pottery workshops of Meybod, Yazd province, once known as one of Iran’s primary pottery centres, are in a dire state. Cheap pots from Turkey have sent their business into sharp decline.

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Original published on Business Insider

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