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Nadalian: River Art

An interview by John K. GRANDE

Nadalian is an Iranian sculptor whose life's work involves engendering respect for living creatures and the natural environment. To achieve this, besides living with nature himself, he established sculpture grounds in a peaceful environment in natural surroundings. Water is a living element that contributes to his sculptures, and many of the symbols he engraves and sculpts are derived from ancient mythology and the rituals of pre-Islamic civilizations. more

 

Nadalian in Green Museum

By carving simple fish shapes and other forms onto small stones and river rocks, artist Ahmad Nadalian seeks to repopulate the spirit of neglected streams and rivers in his native Iran and around the world and share these treasures with future generations.  more

 

Utne Magazine May-June 2006  USA

Ahmad Nadalian
[Iran]

A human who loves stones and water, Ahmad Nadalian moves like a fish transgressing international borders.   More

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By Professor  Robert C. Morgan
 

"I was so impressed with your concept, working at low tide in the early mornings to carve signs that during the day would be concealed.  It calls into question so much about time, history, language, meaning, and sculpture." More

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By : Edward Lucie-Smith
 

In Iran, Ahmad Nadalian (b.1963) is in the process of creating an immense River Art installation along the banks and amidst the waters of the Haraz River, near Mount DamavendMore

 



Art Tomorrow

 

Works by Nadalian in USA

 

Hidden Treasures

Works in Other Countries

 

Works by Nadalian in Bangladesh

 

Works by Nadalian in Uzbekistan

 

Collaboration with Children

 

Works in Paris

 

Works In Arangeh

 

L'Eau Partagee: Work in South of France )

 

Hidden Treasures: An Art Exhibition for next Millenniums  Persian

 

L'Eau Partagee: Work in South of France )

Artists at Paradise International Center

 

Travel to France : Exhibition & Works by Nadalian in Ramatuelle- Golfe de Saint Tropez in France  (From Escalet to Pampelonne)

 

Works In Italy

 

Works In Germany

 

The International Center for Creation and exhibition of  Art in Nature

 

Nadalian: River Art

An interview by John K. GRANDE

Nadalian is an Iranian sculptor whose life's work involves engendering respect for living creatures and the natural environment. To achieve this, besides living with nature himself, he established sculpture grounds in a peaceful environment in natural surroundings. Water is a living element that contributes to his sculptures, and many of the symbols he engraves and sculpts are derived from ancient mythology and the rituals of pre-Islamic civilizations. more

 

Nadalian in Green Museum

By carving simple fish shapes and other forms onto small stones and river rocks, artist Ahmad Nadalian seeks to repopulate the spirit of neglected streams and rivers in his native Iran and around the world and share these treasures with future generations.  more

 

Utne Magazine May-June 2006  USA

Ahmad Nadalian
[Iran]

A human who loves stones and water, Ahmad Nadalian moves like a fish transgressing international borders.   More

 

 

Works in Rock Creek River- Washington DC

 

Works in Tajikistan

 

The image has significant meaning for Native Americans – in that it is a vessel for the spirit and holiness of peoples and place.  A constant reminder also that "No one should harm or disrespect their sacred burial ground".

 

Red People - Kansas City Missouri

 

Carved Stones in New York

 

 

 

 

 

 
Mythological Treasures or Contemporary Art


The story of "Hidden Treasures" began when the people in Polour started to excavate the place where I carved several images and texts on the local rocks.  They hoped to find treasures there.  According to a tradition in the north of Iran, the images of fish or a snake on the rocks can be a sign of treasure. I never ignored that my works are perhaps an indication of treasure when I heard this story. 

 

 

I used this “accident” to produce a new collection of works. I have started to bury many of my carved stones in the earth. I place my carving in the bottom of a hole and then cover it with earth.  The people who excavate the place are confused as to why I cover the hole.  They often believe that there might be a treasure hidden at the site and that I do not want other people to locate it.  During the past ten years I have wondered whether my personality is considered to be very unusual by many local people. They know that I am trying to achieve a valuable thing, but they do not know exactly know what it is. History will witness that I take nothing from nature, but that I hide my thoughts and intentions in nature and hope to produce treasures for the next generations.

 

 

 

 

In the autumn of 2006, Gottfried Junker, a German photographer who takes photos of contemporary artists, came to Iran and Polour.  He wanted to take photos of me while I was working in nature.  During our visit we noticed that the people who search for treasures excavated one of the sites where I had hid my carvings. They dug the ground to about four meters depth.  They not only had taken my carving that depicted a goat but had also excavated the site further to find more buried archaeological works. 

 

 

After I realized this, I carved a fish and buried it in the bottom of hole, covering it again with earth. This entire process was documented by Gottfried Junker.

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, I visited this site and realized that once again the treasure hunters had excavated this same place again, and this time the hidden fish had been removed. They even made a tunnel under a huge rock that depicts an image of a snake.

 

 

 

 

 

The evidence shows that all these events take place at night, as I have discovered at the site the remains of some batteries for light!   According to the law of Iran, such excavation is illegal.  Nevertheless we continue to have many illegal excavations. Currently the local people believe that” the treasure” has been stolen, but in this instance the treasure was simply the works of a contemporary artist.  As a result of the interest of Western collectors and museums that collect ancient Iranian art and artifacts, many people who are not skilled professionals excavate and damage these valuable archeological sites.  They usually take their finds with them out of Iran and sell them to western collectors. In this instance I would say that no one should be “the owner” of these works. They all belong to humanity, and they should be taken back to their original sites and rightful places under the earth.  There are many more of my works widespread over sixty countries across the globe. 

Now I am producing more carved stones and hiding them in the tunnel created by the people who search for treasure.  This time I carved inscription of “0100101011” and the address of my web site: (www.RiverArt.net). These recent inscriptions are a metaphor for the current global language and media that define contemporary civilization.  I hope that the dealers of antiquities learn more about contemporary art.

 

 

 

In many instances, we, people living now, are consumers of the art of the past.  What sort of message do we send to the people of future generations?   What is our heritage for them?  The ugliest objects left in earth belong to contemporary man.

The above story has now changed my understanding of our earth. For me the earth and the museum are one in the same. Earth has always been the cradle of civilizations and cultures. The objects and pieces that can be found in and from the earth show the beliefs, life, and perhaps most importantly, the beauty of the mind of people’s past.

To me, treasure is not based on material value, but rather on immortal value, which can conveyed by art. I believe there is an eternal and timeless meaning beyond the physical aspects of nature.

If there are any audiences in the future, my work will tell them the story of life and of humanity. I wish to achieve a type of art that can be infinite in its medium and concept. I leave my carvings under the earth as seeds and deep-rooted hopes that the future will provide growth of a new culture. We should all cultivate these ideas and work to make our earth richer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Map shows the locations of  Nadalian's Works around the glob.  The blue points show the place where he carved on the rocks and orange points show the countries in which his carvings were buried. people and different travelers carried out and buried his carvings in the earth. This project named "Hidden Treasures"