Carpets with Impact

Iranian Designer Bijan Ghaseminejad

Born in Kerman, the south of Iran, Bijan Ghaseminejad, an artist represented by 'artclvb, moved around to areas such as Esfahan and Shiraz before settling in Tehran. Since the beginning of his childhood, Ghaseminejad has been fascinated by traditional and ancient artistry and craftsmanship. Drawn to the history and culture, Ghaseminejad studied at and earned his degree from the Iranian Calligraphers Association at the age of seventeen. Not only was he earning his degree, but he was  also teaching oriental design in his spare time.

Once graduated, Ghaseminejad’s creative approach to projects and activities saw him achieve the “National Diploma of Handicraft Originality”. He additionally received his Level four “Momtaz” from the Calligraphy Association in Iran. This is the highest level one can achieve.

Ghaseminejad has designed over one thousand five hundred carpets in a new modern style. It was his love for his environment, his culture and traditions that drew him towards his art. It’s a chance to sustain his culture and ancient traditions, to remind his audience of the beauty and craft that goes into each piece, not only for his art, but for the environment.

Repeating work or even an element is not an option for Ghaseminejad. For many years he spent countless hours studying traditional art, each piece unique. Iranian design specializes in crafts such as carpeting, tiling and weaving. It’s the base for many types of handicrafts learnt in Iran. Completing a Masters in this style teaches you how to draw, for example, a historical flower like a “Shah abbasi” or a geometrical design which is known as an "Islamic Pattern”.

Ghaseminejad uses carpet, not as a ready-made but as a found object. The carpet is a symbol of Iranian art. In the background, old Iranian photography from the Qajar dynasty has been used. This symbolizes the history and tradition Ghaseminejad has incorporated into more modern pieces.

All societies find comfort in sticking with the norm; they resist innovation and being different, we find this as a universal issue, but Ghaseminejad acknowledges this as being more prominent in traditional countries such as Iran. He uses symbolism as a way to portray the conflict and paradox of living and being an artist in Iran. This symbolism we can see in his collage work.

Living in a country that is governed by people with more traditional views is hard, especially for artists. On one hand, you live in a country that has a religious government, however, its people are more modern than the government, and because of this there are a lot more daily challenges that engage artists in more social ideas than artistic ones. “If you want to follow your (personal) ideas or statement, there is no support in my country, but only a group of people encourage you.”