Watercolors portraying thirst of Sistan-Baluchestan at Tehran gallery  

February 21, 2022 - 18:38

TEHRAN – A gallery in Tehran is showcasing a collection of watercolors depicting the thirst of the Sistan-Baluchestan region as part of water bankruptcy in Iran.

Composed of 55 works, the collection has been created over three years by Ali Piran, who deems the exhibition, entitled “Image of Nimruz”, his tribute to his homeland. 

Most of the paintings depict rural landscapes in a region called Molke Nimruz, which is currently facing a severe drought due to the new dams built by Afghanistan to use the Helmand River, which used to flow into Iran in Sistan-Baluchestan Province. 

Piran has said that no special action has been taken by Iranian officials to recover the country’s share of water from the Helmand River.    

“In this collection, I have portrayed the Sistan of yesterday and today so as to perform my duty towards my birthplace and to tell that the region was prosperous once, and now, it is in bad condition due to a severe water shortage,” Piran said in a press release published by the Iranian Photographers Center, which is hosting the exhibition at its Gallery 1.

“By means of this showcase, I intend to be the voice of the oppressed people of Sistan urging Afghan officials to give their share of water [from the Helmand River],” he noted.

“By using the medium of watercolor, I can create more works at lower cost,” Piran said, announcing his plans to take his exhibition to other Iranian cities and several other countries.

“Due to the region’s harsh nature, there is no human element in the watercolors; houses are abandoned and ruined. In fact, I wanted to show the visitors the sad feeling of migration,” he said.

Using the Helmand River is also aggravating a decades-old dispute between Iran and Afghanistan, which earlier accused Tehran of helping the Taliban insurgency. This dispute in still running as the Taliban are currently ruling over Afghanistan. 

Piran’s exhibition has been organized with contributions from the Art Bureau of the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization.

The exhibit will run until February 28 at the gallery located on the western end of Somayyeh Street.

Photo: An art enthusiast visits the exhibition “Image of Nimruz” the Gallery 1 of the Iranian Photographers Center in Tehran on February 20, 2022. (Art Bureau/Reza Zakeri)

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