Ziba Rajabi (b.1988, Tehran, Iran) an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas. She is the recipient of student artist grant for the Artist 360 Grant, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. Her work has been included in a number of exhibitions and institutions, nationally and internationally, such as CICA Museum, South Korea; Pensacola Museum, Florida; Aran Gallery, Iran; Millersville University, Indiana University, and Mim Gallery, Los Angeles.
As an Iranian female artist based in Arkansas, my work revolves around the desire to reconcile my relationship with two distinctive spaces: Tehran (my native land) and Arkansas (where I reside now). In my paintings and installations, I re-create intimate moments culled from my home and neighborhood in Iran. Due to a situation where I am far away from my homeland and not allowed to return without being forced to remain in Iran, I can feel my memories of home fading away . By utilizing memories from my past, I take aspects of images that are no longer recognizable and, therefore, are abstracted into shapes that allude to elements found in my homeland. Consequently, aspects of everyday life such as architecture, furniture, gardens, or a specific time of a day become the basis for my work. My desire is to create a situation where the viewer looks at abstract paintings or installations and feels a familiarity, but can’t quite place what it is or why they sense a kinship. By creating this kind of scenario, I can show that regardless of nationality, religion, or gender there are commonalities for all individuals.