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School of Visual Art and Design

  • Carry On exhibition

Nakisa Abdollahbeigi: Carry On

April 4 - 8, 2022

An MFA Thesis Exhibition

Artist Statement

When I look back at my arrival to the U.S. nearly four years ago, I remember feeling a sense of displacement because immigration to a new country seemed like entering an unknown world. I became pretty much disconnected from my family, which was the most challenging part for me. My new feelings of isolation and displacement were even more accentuated by my lack of ability to relate to the American culture and language.

After some time, I found making art is a way to maintain the connection with my background. Through this process, I found myself in a role of a storyteller who always loves using pictures to communicate with her audience. My stories use pictures based on a combination of artworks that even though, on the surface, seem to be showing ordinary people in their daily life, reflect on deep feelings that an immigrant develops because of living far away from her homeland. Each image will describe the emotions, intentions, and motivations that I have personally experienced during the process of immigration.

I will discuss distinct qualities through symbolic visual language to demonstrate how the theme of our dreams, needs, and senses like homesickness, isolation, and missing our loved ones are universal. These interactions and elements are all motivated by my personal experiences, emotions that have developed after immigrations, and my exposure to a new culture and environment. These emotions constitute the central theme in my artworks, primarily derived from my personal feelings associated with a sense of displacement, being an outsider, and living in isolation. My work is a constant attempt to inspire people to learn how to relate to feelings that immigrants experience and to gain a deeper understanding of what these people lose and gain through this change in their lives. Breaking down walls and building bridges between the immigrants and the native residents is the main goal that I hope to address in this project.

About Nakisa Abdollahbeigi

Nakisa Abdollahbeigi is an Iranian-born visual artist. Nakisa's work is deeply connected with her own personal and cultural experiences in her homeland country, Iran. Her work aims to probe these experiences by integrating historical motifs with imagery taken from popular culture and contemporary media. She uses elements of the relationship between individual stories and collective memory. In her practice, Nakisa explores the possibilities of representing Iranian art and culture using inspirations from her personal background.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.