MOA is temporarily closed until June 2024 for seismic upgrades Learn more →

UBC Home

The Collections


Curatorial + Design

Library + Archives

Collections + Research Stories See all

Collections + Research Stories


Contemporary Works By Arab, Iranian and Turkish Artists

Look Closer


Contemporary Works By Arab, Iranian and Turkish Artists

Look Closer


Contemporary Works By Arab, Iranian and Turkish Artists


April 20, 2013 – September 15, 2013

Safar/Voyage is the first major exhibition of contemporary art from these regions to be shown in Vancouver.  It is constructed as a journey in the company of 16 artists, each of whom is neither fixed inside the territories of the Middle East nor permanently diasporic. These artists define themselves and the world according to their own creative representations, often informed by culturally specific conditions.

Wrapping the globe, their diverse artworks speak to the universal theme of voyage (a translation of the Persian safar), from the external and geographical to the internal, emotional, and existential. They acknowledge the realities of political turmoil and revolution, and how politics frames both trauma and desire, whether individual or collective. Voyage is seen to take many forms. Expressed in media ranging from painting, sculpture, and video installation to performance and a carpet, it is as innocuous as tourism (with a twist), as disturbing as war—the violent crossing of borders—and as philosophical as the transience of life. The artists of Safar/Voyage are positioned as our guides, their visions mined for reflections on some of the most urgent issues of our time.

The artists featured are Adel Abidin, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Nazgol Ansarinia, Kutlug Ataman, Ayman Baalbaki, Ali BanisadrTaysir BatnijiMona Hatoum, Susan Hefuna,Raafat IshakY.Z. KamiFarhad MoshiriYoussef Nabil, Hamed Sahihi, Mitra Tabrizian and Parviz Tanavoli.

The exhibition features a wide range of public programs including curator and artist talks, musical performances, as well as the Hassan and Nezhat Khosrowshahi Distinguished Lecture Series featuring talks by noted architects and scholars Nader Ardalan, Daniel Roehr, Hossein Amanat, and Abbas Amanat.

For more information, visit the Safar/Voyage exhibition website.

Safar/Voyage is made possible through the generous support of:

Presenting Sponsor: Deloitte; Publication Sponsor: UBS Bank (Canada); Lead Media Sponsors: CBC & The Vancouver Sun; Other Sponsors: Wesbild Holdings, Canvas Magazine, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, HUB International Insurance Brokers, The Canada Council for the Arts, SDV Logistiques (Canada) Inc., Lamar Transit Advertising, the Consulat général de France à Vancouver, and Robert McInnis.

We would also like to thank the Safar/Voyage Exhibition Volunteer Committee for their exceptional work to make this exhibition possible: Mrs. Nezhat Khosrowshahi, Chair; Mrs. Rosalie Stronck, Vice Chair; Mrs. Maymanat Bakhtiar; Mr. Hank Bull; Mrs. Fiona Entwistle; Mrs. Yulanda Faris; Mrs. Shawne MacIntyre; Mrs. Marjan Navabi; Mr. Sohrab Saeb; Mr. Parviz Tanavoli; and Mrs. Lisa Turner.

Image credits L-R: Mona Hatoum, Hot Spot. Ali Banisadr, The Merchant. Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Untitled 2.