Shahpour Pouyan

Shahpour Pouyan (b.1979)  received his second MFA in Integrated Practices and New Forms at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, and has an MFA in Painting from the Tehran University of Art. He previously studied Neoplatonic Philosophy at the Iranian Institute of Philosophy and received Math and Physics diploma from Elmieh School, Tehran. Between 2007 and 2009, he taught art history and Persian Architecture at Science and Culture University, Tehran. He has had many lectures and workshops in American art schools, such as NYU, Pratt Institute, Sarah Lawrence College and Montclair State University.


While his work refers naturally to his homeland (Iran) in part, it is distinctly global and conceptual in outlook. Frequently drawing together references from across the globe in a single work, he explores the role of culture in supporting power. From architecture to munitions to armour, his early work is bound together by exploring the unique properties and uses of the dome. More recent performance, sculpture and installation draws variously on theology, propaganda, warfare, archaeology, and wartime rescue efforts, from France to Vietnam, from Baghdad to New York.


Pouyan has had numerous solo gallery shows, including Nathalie Obadia, Paris, Brussels; Copperfield, London; Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions around the world, including Pera Museum and The Elgiz Museum, Istanbul; Grey Art Gallery, NY; Yinchuan Biennale; Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; Mykonos Biennale; Greece; Lahore Biennale; Pakistan; Tower of London, UK; LACMA, Los Angles, Houston Fine Art Museum, Herbert Johnson Museum, USA; British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Tower of London, UK.


He has participated in several international residencies, including International Cite Des Arts, Paris, France; the Pegasus Art Foundation, Hyderabad, India; The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, NY, USA; Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Umbertide, Italy; ISCP, Brooklyn,USA and he is granted the fellowship at Kenneth Armitage Foundation, London, UK. Shahpour Pouyan currently lives and works between London, NY and Tehran.

Tsar Trauma

Known for his ceramic sculptures, Iranian artist Shahpour Pouyan’s dome-shaped sculptures look directly at the threats that hangs over human civilization – nuclear weapons. He has created six sculptures in clay whose size represents the energy released at detonation by six different atomic bombs. The biggest one symbolizes the Russian “Tsar Bomba” whereas the second smallest one symbolizes the “Little Boy” dropped on Hiroshima. In succinct visual language, the artist shows the terrifying threat represented by the present-day nuclear arsenal.  

渡英イラン人作家のシャプール・プーヤン(Shahpour Pouyan)は、ソ連が開発した史上最大の核爆弾「ツァーリ・ボンバ」や、はじめて水素爆弾が使用されたアメリカの「ファットマン」、長崎に投下された「リトルボーイ」といった、人類の文明史別にその悪名を轟かせた核爆弾をモチーフに、核出力別に大小6つの異なるセラミックスカルプチャーを出品。ドーム型のフォルムは核弾頭や核実験施設を彷彿とさせ、テクスチャ-は重厚感と滑らかさを兼ね備えており、そのなかでも最も小さなスカルプチャーは拡大鏡を使うことでしか視認できないほど小さく、それによって観る者を深く考えさせます。シャプールは最もシンプルなビジュアル言語で、核開発がもたらした脅威をあらわにし、物音を立てることのない抽象的なスカルプチャーをもって、人類に深い打撃と悲しみをもたらした核爆弾の再解釈を試みています。

Shahpour Pouyan, Tzar Trauma, 2014, glazed ceramic and acrylic, dimensions variable. Photo
Jameel Prize 4 - Shahpour Pouyan
Victoria and Albert Museum

Jameel Prize 4 - Shahpour Pouyan


Exhibition Publication

In collaboration with the curators, Tokyo Gallery will publish a trilingual book on the occasion of this exhibition with a series of interviews with artists.