a project by Elham Nejati

category collectible design town Teheran

Jari - Flow: It is like a mountain in form, which is smooth and polished on three sides, and on one side, the fractures stand out like a natural rock. Flowing is restrained with brass rods and an area is arranged where the fruits are placed. Flowing in meaning is fluid, loose, unconfined

Khiz - Leap: the roots protrude from the pot and are visible like trees in nature, the roots are complex and intertwined and cover the pot. The literal meaning is to jump up, to rise. 

Mahar - Restraint: The broken pieces of the stone are restraint in the triangular frame, and the flower stems are restrained in the middle of the stone vase and are visible in the broken part. It means to control - to dominate - to possess - to tame.

Majal - Opportunity: means Patience,  - opportunity – ability.

Najva - Whisper: A piece of stone that is broken in half and an iron rod is holding the two pieces together. Meaning: Whispering – secret.

Panah - Sanctuary: a stone leaning obliquely on a triangular structure and taking shelter on it. Meaning: safety - support - - protection

Saghi - Cup bearer: with the compliment form, he has two plates that he offers a gift. Cupbearers are usually beautiful, meaning cup holder - one who pours wine into a cup and gives it to someone else

Shogh - Enthusiasm: great desire. Desire of the seeker to collect, inclination toward a lover, impulse, yearning. Shogh - Passion: desire to reach the beloved after acquaintance and brief communication and before consummation.

Shour - Sensation: The short and long rods have been raised from the heart of the stone and have been released towards the sky, and they have a sensation of commotion, while at the same time they have placed the fruits in them, and have destroyed the usual and normal definition of the fruit container. It means shouting excitement. ecstasy. Shour - Enthusiasm: a state of infatuation that reaches the seeker after hearing the truth or an enlightening expression.

Tohi - Void: Two stones that are connected by two steel rods and created in the broken space between the empty space, which breaks the void when arranging flowers in them. Void means: empty – null – oblivion

Vaghar - Dignity: in Farsi means grandeur, modesty, magnanimity, position, beauty, calmness


Elham Nejati is an Iranian designer based in Tehran. Her sculptural objects transcend function to become monuments to the eternal contrast between emptiness and fullness. In the balance between the work of nature and the work of man, between the impermanence of experience and the eternity of stone, the poetic word becomes solid matter.

If you had to define your practice in one word, what would it be? What describes your artistic world?

One step beyond what we call normal.

In your creations, poetry flows from both the balancing of elements and the use of words: each object is named, with its name, in the Persian language. These unfamiliar and exotic names create a feeling of wonder and estrangement in the viewer. What do the names of your objects mean, and how do they connect to them, how do they define their identity?

I love the poems of Iranian poet Maulana. The names of the works are inspired by Rumi's poems. In fact, names are considered mystical terms. Rumi is one of the greatest figures in history who created awareness for centuries and will continue to create awareness for centuries to come. The names that I have chosen are rarely used in the contemporary Persian language and are more poetic, and I have chosen for each object based to the appearance, form and feeling that the object arouses when seeing it.

Your objects seem to deviate a lot from the imagery we have of the Persian art and craft tradition-is this just a perception, or is it a deliberate choice? How do you position yourself in relation to your country's cultural and visual heritage?

I choose stone as the material and cutting it, because it is the most durable and oldest material - sanctuaries, temples, urban sculptures, roads and bridges are made of stone.

Working with stone has been one of the oldest and most ancient occupations in human history in nature. Every piece of stone has a sculpture inside it, and it is the duty of the sculptor to discover it. The most famous stonework in the history of Persepolis (Takht Jamshid) dates back to 2500 BC

Also, the use of geometric forms has always been seen in Islamic architecture and art, and I have used these forms abundantly in my work.

Marble and steel. What do these two elements mean to you?

Since I have a good relationship with nature, this innate taste inspired me in my designs from the forms, colors, shapes, and simple and complex events of splendid nature. However, my intention of choosing stone as the main texture of my work was one thing: stones are a world of an infinite variety of colors, textures, lines, and shapes! These features made the works created interesting and not boring. Many patterns are repeated in a work, but they will never become boring and repetitive! I wanted to challenge my audience’s mind regarding the use of each product, so I switched to bronze and then steel alongside the stones. The combination of these two together creates an eye-catching arrangement and helps the heavy stone appear free and suspended in space.

You exhibited Tohi during the 2022 edition of 5VIE Design Week, as part of the group exhibition curated by us: ‘Surfing the Surface’. What is the value of participating in a big event like Fuorisalone? Do you perceive a difference in sensibility in the Eastern versus European audiences?

Yes, my works were exhibited at Milan Design Week 2022, which was one of my dreams come true, to be seen and my works exhibited at the international level. Yes, I had very interesting feedbacks, many designers and artists visited my work and expressed their interest either in person or through social media. Because we in Iran have a lot of limitations to be seen at the international level.

And finally they contacted me and after that I was able to work with international galleries in the world to sell my works.

The salon's business system and style really impressed me that the exhibition is held in different locations in the city and the visitor walks in the beautiful city of Milan and enters by seeing the flag and sign of the exhibition, and every time in a different place that can even be a shop window or a university and... one can observe special and beautiful works that bring this diversity and sense of aliveness and interaction in the city and it is very attractive in my opinion.

Elham Nejati

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Elham Nejati


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