‘I’m still crying…’ – Elham Shafaei
Iranian born artist Elham Shafaei has been living in Penang since 2010 and is completing her PhD in Fine Arts at USM School of Arts where she obtained her M.A in paper-making. The works featured within this exhibition are part of her ongoing studio component for her doctoral research about Melancholia and its relationship to aesthetics, which Elham is exploring within her art through quasi-autobiographical element.
“I like to cry. Not because I am depressed or emotionally dysfunctional. I cry because I want to feel my life coming out of my body. I cry because I want to see the stain of life on my body and on the world. I cry because I want to feel and see the absolute proof of my life.
Yet, since tear is a part of the body that leaves its container, it is a form of loss. Similarly, since art emerges in the same manner as tears does, that is from within, and art exists as a form of loss. Following this logic then, art is mournful and therefore art-making must involve a significant sense of melancholia. It is this relations or intertwining between art, loss and melancholia that I have been exploring in my art through various forms.
This show is the poem of my life, directing and acting out the melancholy and loneliness of my being.”