Ali Saei Yeganeh’s work draws its inspiration from one of the oldest Iranian art forms – Illumination (Tazhib). The word “Tazhib” (gilding) is an Arabic word derived from the root “zahab”, meaning “gold”. In ancient Persia the Iranian Illuminators used gold to adorn the margins of holy books and epic poems. Other colors like azure, blue, green, vermilion, and turquoise came into use later on and were more common after the advent of Islam.
Illumination has survived hundreds of years but is now at risk of extinction as patrons of the arts favor a more contemporary style over this traditional practice. Ali’s work presents us with a new and fresh perspective on this non-figurative illumination, characterized by geometric flourishes, decorations and intricate calligraphy. Ali places this art form in the center of his oeuvre, making it stand out in its own right. He uses bold colors and increases the sizing of the shapes as if they are an endangered species, relics of his identity and heritage.