Born in 1986 in Tehran (Iran), Hoda Kashiha lives and works in Tehran (Iran).
Hoda Kashiha studied painting at Tehran University in 2009 and at Boston University in the United States in 2014, which allowed her to win several scholarships in the United States until 2016. Her scholarships have earned her numerous awards including the MacDowell Colony Fellowship in Peterborough (USA) and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant from Vermont Studio Center (USA) in 2015, and the Esther B. and Albert S. Kahn Career Entry Award from Boston University College of Fine Arts (USA) in 2014. During these grants, her figurative art practice has shifted to a more conceptual and abstract approach by developing a disturbed narrative.
Hoda Kashiha addresses through her works culturally sensitive subjects in the complex socio-political climate of her country of origin such as identity, femininity and gender issues. From the daily manifestations of hostility, opposition and struggle that she observes, metaphorical works on canvas full of humor and poetry are born, sources of an insolent and fragmented imaginary constantly moving from the real to the fantasy, from figuration to abstraction.
The dynamism and tensions that animate her subjects find a formal echo in the artist's compositions and visual language. For this exhibition, Kashiha proposes a set of fifteen paintings with a non-linear narrative in which she fragments the traditional pictorial plane through the juxtaposition and accumulation of several levels of collages. This approach allows the artist to capture the antagonistic emotions of her fictional characters: love/hate, violence/peace, power/weakness, life/death.
Kashiha has the habit of making several preparatory sketches for a work, which allows her to capture the different facets of a subject, but also to introduce discontinuity in her narrative, which she can then transform at will. During this stage, the artist experiments with both traditional and digital techniques, in particular by combining paper cut-outs and collages made using digital painting tools.
Kashiha often uses humor to mask the harshness of the subjects she tackles, a defense mechanism well known to Iranians that allows them to endure the political and social situation in their country. To deal with the thorny subject of women's emancipation, she chooses to mischievously depict the female body, down to its smallest details. We see a woman proudly and freely showing off her armpit hair to a man pinching his nose. It is thanks to light and fanciful representations like this one that the artist encourages open discussion of many sensitive subjects.
Considered an emerging figure on the booming contemporary Iranian art scene, Hoda Kashiha develops in her work a reflection on the paradoxes underlying the political and social construction of her native country, elaborating a constant play between the visible and the invisible, between what is admitted and what must be concealed. She creates colorful and audacious paintings carrying a message of openness, freedom and hope.
Kashiha's work has been widely exhibited in Iran, the United States and Europe in major group shows such as City Prince / sses. Dhaka, Lagos, Manila, Mexico City and Tehran at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (France, 2019) and Condition humaine at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center (USA, 2016). In 2012, her work was presented in Belgium, for the first time, in Unexposed at Tour & Taxis in Brussels, a prestigious group exhibition highlighting the new generation of forty young female artists from Iran, where cultural life is increasingly witnessing the presence and influence of women in the social, cultural and artistic fields. In 2022, Hoda Kashiha had her first institutional monographic exhibition at the Centre d'art contemporain Passerelle in Brest (France).
Her work is part of the collections of the Commonwealth Hotel in Boston (USA) and the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center in Boston (USA). Hoda Kashiha has been represented by the Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels, since 2020.