The paper porcelain of Dutch-based artist and designer Siba Sahabi intrigues me. Sahabi uses her Persian-German background in her storytelling works to link between history and presence, emphasizing the ongoing importance of cultural melting pots in which successful fuses between two or more cultures have lead to innovation and cultural wealth.
“I have a Persian name, but speak Dutch with a German accent. As the daughter of a Persian father and a German mother, the connection of two cultures in my work plays a central role. I create tableware made of paper – teapots, carafes, cups and pots – inspired by the history of Eastern and Western dishes. I focus on tableware, because these objects reflect everyday habits and values of its culture.”
Working along the border between art and design, Sahabi’s paper sculptures act as storytellers who dish up anecdotes from the past. The functionality of her sculptures is not her prior goal; rather, her main aim is to tell stories that refer to historical fragments, stories about how the Middle East has influenced European culture.
Paper conveys such vulnerability and transiency; it is evident that Sahabi is fascinated by the fact that this flat material allows her to create fascinating three dimensional objects.
Driven by strong aesthetics and a feel for quality, Sahabi has developed her own craft technique that consists of cutting, rolling and gluing strips of wallpaper, cleverly shaping them into sculptures and endowing them with the dignity and beauty of ancient ceramic vessels.
In 2010, while working with Frank Visser on an installation for Inside Design in Amsterdam, their sponsor turned out to be a wallpaper producer. So Sahabi spontaneously invented this certain technique and has been perfecting it ever since. To my eyes, Sahabi has brought with her technique a complete unique, exquisite feel to the world of paper arts.
Sahabi’s favorite art project, and definitely also mine, so far is Between Two Rivers/Pallas Athena because it represents an interdisciplinary collaboration of sculpture, film and photography. It is gorgeous and definitely worth to have a look at!
If you happen to be in Amsterdam, you can’t miss out on visiting Gallery Ra, which is currently showcasing various storytelling paper-porcelain. In addition, Sahabi’s works of felt are shown at the Bijbels Museum in Amsterdam. In September 2013, more of this unique artist’s felt works will be represented by Gallery Bensimon.
Please share this post with someone you think will be intrigued with these beautiful pieces of paper art, and thanks again for being part of my paper loving art world!