Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar was born in 1962 in Tehran and became part of the Iranian diaspora in 1992. She lives and works in Offenbach (Germany). In 2017 she created a mural enitled 'Written Room' in the entrance hall of the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent (MSK).
The work of Parastou Forouhar has an autobiographical character and possesses a socio-political dimension. Her mother was an activist and her father a minister in the interim government of 1979. Both were killed in 1998 for their open criticism of the human rights violations by the Islamic Republic.
As an immigrant, Forouhar is concerned with the loss of Farsi, her mother tongue, which remains alive in her memory. She hopes that the Written Rooms, which she has been creating since 1995, ‘encourage viewers to question their perception of language and their orientation to it.
Parastou Forouhar created a mural in the museum’s entrance hall using the Persian alphabet in such combinations that, despite the illusion of legibility, the calligraphic script does not make sense.
What might be understood initially as a loss of meaning, can instead be interpreted simply as abstract visual language, as an environment that cultivates subjective experience. Despite her critical stance towards Iranian politics and Muslim fundamentalism, Forouhar’s oeuvre explores universal themes such as displacement, gender and cultural identity.