Naeemeh Naeemaei : JAAN - Presence in Nature

May 17 - June 24, 2023
Artist Reception for Naeemeh on Saturday, May 20th

Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1984, Naeemeh Naeemael received her BFA B from Tehran Art University in 2006, majoring in sculpture. After graduation, she participated in numerous individual and group shows in Tehran, both in sculpture and painting, including the 5th Tehran Contemporary Sculpture Biennial at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2009, she began a series of paintings about endangered species, which led to her first solo exhibition, Dreams Before Extinction, at the Henna Gallery in Tehran in 2011. In 2013, the series was reproduced in a bilingual (English and Farsi) book of the same title, published by Perceval Press, and shown at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon, in 2019Prior to moving to Oregon in 2017, Naeemaei was active in Iran's environmental movement and involved with several organizations that seek to raise awareness about endangered species and other environmental issues. She has also illustrated children's books, including Mr. Samad and the Little Black Fish, a modern classic in contemporary Iranian culture. In 2016, Naeemael was the category winner in the Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition, sponsored by the David Shepherd Foundation in London. In 2018, she served on the Twelfth Glenn Gould Award Jury, given every second year to a living individual in recognition of his/her contributions to music and communication. Her works have been featured in renowned international journals and magazines such as Orion, Leonardo, and Feminist Formation.




My life got to a point where I felt that I couldn't define myself as an individual human being anymore. All the concerns about environment, social characteristics, religions, and politics looked very relative and fragile. The Jaan series was shaped in that dilemma. The encountering of human and nature in its narration can be categorized in three stages The first stage is "to feel," which is a starting point for the relationship between me/human and nature/environment. It is basically about observing nature, not only to discover but to understand it. In that stage, I seek perception and comprehension. The second stage is to heal," in which I try to get closer to nature to play the role of a healer, getting into cracks and wounds and being a bandage over broken bodies. The final stage is "to be," in which there would be no distance, nor distinction between me and nature. It's about unifying with nature, camouflage, intimation, and finally, dissolving in nature. By the end of that stage, there would be no body and soon no trace. I narrate the story by my red scarf to avoid giving a conventional self- portrait. Jaan is a Persian word meaning soul, life, and also dearest. Nature is "Jaan."


From The Presence of Nature, book published by Schneider Museum of Art in conjunction with the special exhibition of the same title. 

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