Endjavi-Barbe was born in Iran and completed her studies in the USA, after which she lived in Paris, Tokyo, London, Geneva and now, Dubai.
Right in the beginning of her journey as an art aficionado and passionate collector – she began working with international artists in 1989 – she realised that Iranian art, though amazingly creative, also had the need to build bridges between itself and other cultures.
This single overriding impulse has informed her art journey, from once upon a time, to the present.
“This exhibition is the story of a journey from a place not so far from the home of Humanity,” she says. “Customs, traditions and familial values, as similar as they are unique, as universal as they are personal. They are echoed across cultures and time … and here, through the prisms of the artists’ eyes.”
Each work is a tale, each artist has a story to tell – hers, his, yours, ours, mine, theirs … And when you explore this exhibition, you will find that, through the world of universal symbols and private meanings, you would have read your own story between the lines and have become a character in our common stories.
In Once Upon A Time, you will wander from calligraphy to photography and hand-sewn textile installations; you will discover their codes, their signs, their persona and much else, as the visual storytellers narrate and share their contemporary vision of the world, installing us in a poetic living room with a salon-style reception.
Through their art, the artists transcend the self and celebrate Humanity. Their works resonate with their especial experiences of themselves and of each one of us, as artistic empathy celebrates Mankind. E pluribus unum – out of many, one.
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main … I am involved in mankind, the poet said. The collector narrates her journey from the provincial to the universal, and is now presenting the fruits of her pilgrimage. Bring your imagination and curiosity to Once Upon a Time and the art will do the rest.
Azra Aghigi, Robert Schabrel, Amir Farhad, Vahid jafarnejad, Leili Nazarian, Behrouz Zindashti, Elnaz javanai, Neda Zarfsaz, Habib Farajabadi, Maryam Ghanbarain, Samaneh Motalebi, Melodie Hojabar Sadat, Matin Abedi, Elnaz Javani, Negar Fadaei, Neda Zarfsaz, Elnaz Javani & Poorang Piraei