WEEK 12 – ARTIST OF THE WEEK – MAHSA SOROUDI

         Mahsa Soroudi is a modern Iranian artist. Born in Tehran, Iran, Soroudi has lived around the world moving from Iran to Malaysia to Fairfield, IA and finally landing here in Southern California in Newport Beach. She is a photographer that has experience with commercial photography within the jewelry and fashion industry. She describes her photography technique on her blog as “one of my most challenging photography experiences. Since most jewelry items was highly polished and reflective surfaces, I used Macro photography techniques such as perspective control and pinpoint lighting into play.” After moving to Southern California, Soroudi was able to turn her focus onto enabling a thriving environment for her succulents and eventually herself. In her interview with Professor Zucman at California State University Long beach, she humbly introduces the viewers to her vast collection of new and impressive succulents gar. In detail, she describes her journey of growth with these plants. As they suffered, she did, and as they flourished, Soroudi did too. I feel like I can directly relate to this piece in a similar way. I chose to move away for college and go to school at California State University Long Beach. I had no family out here, no friends, my first time seeing the school was for orientation. It was a wild card and had never even been to Long Beach until I was enrolled. Needless to say, I feel like I went through a slight culture shock moving out here from Little Rock, Arkansas. Me, just like Soroudi, felt home sick often during my first year. I would spend a lot of time doing nothing out side of school. My relationships felt genuine and fake. Eventually, you build ties to your school and community and am now, 4 years later, happy to call Long Beach my second home. I feel like the thriving succulents that Soroudi in her backyard that were hanging from the pot. Yes, they had to bend a stretch and grow in a new direction with more opportunity to get sun and nutrients.Mahsa continues her ties with Iran through another online project she is still actively working on called “7500 Miles”. Mahsa says this piece “is an ongoing art project that shows a group of emerging female Iranian artists, who are born after the 1979 Revolution, and have developed a language to visualize their intimate life stories”. Their purpose of this piece is to bring attention to modern day female Iranian artist such as herself. She uses sources such as Facebook and a website (http://www.7500miles.org/) to unite women from all over the world. The goal is to gain enough support and money to one day have a live exhibit highlighting these female Iranian artists. As an Iranian American myself, I think work like
this is extremely valuable and impactful to Iranian women and the over all Iranian culture. Unlike the rigid religious government in Iran, Soroudi work is empowering women to not be afraid. This project is also representing what real Iranian women are like rather than assumed stereotypes many of us believe today. Soroudi, like many other Iranian women today, is strong, independent, artistic and empowering and continues to spread her influence through her genuine art.


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