The Immigrants features an accumulation of hand-made porcelain birds decorated in culturally specific designs displayed alongside found blue & white porcelain birds that the artist collected at souvenir shops and flea markets during her travels. The birds evoke the movement of culture from one place to another by both immigrants and tourists. In considering these objects the artist invites viewers to question the complexities inherent in the dissemination of culture, and the potential for misrepresentation and appropriation in the wake of globalization and the mass production of similarly disposable artifacts.
Photography: Scott Lee
Soheila Esfahani grew up in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Canada in 1992. She is an award-winning visual artist and recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ontario Arts Council, and Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. She is a recipient of 2016 Waterloo Region Arts Awards and was nominated for the 2015 Jameel Prize at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, UK. She has exhibited across Canada and her work is in the permanent collection of public and private institutions, including the Canada Council’s Art Bank. Currently, she is a lecturer at the University of Waterloo and member of the Red Head Gallery, Toronto.