Interview with Sona Asemani

Hello, Sona! Tell us a little about yourself. How did you become an artist?


I started drawing and painting at a very young age, and since then, I've always focused on developing to carry over all my feelings, stories and wishes to the audience, my main aim. Therefore I have always used different techniques. I tried many methods for creating art, such as pastels, watercolours and acrylic. But I ended up with oil paintings and embroidery four years ago.
Becoming a professional artist has been my every night dream since I was a little kid. I love all aspects of being an artist, even when I am drowning in my thoughts and don't know what to portray, feeling lonely or encouraged by little successes made by this profession. It is fancy.
Sensitivity and fragility are my two constant companions in the creation process.


You started painting with pastels when you were only five. Then you received a bachelor's degree in Economics from Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, in early 2017. Why did you decide not to get an art education? Do you have plans to get it in future? Do you think an artist needs an education?


It was not my own decision. As a high school student, I excelled at mathematics, and my school and family advised me to study a scientific field at university. So I let them lead me towards economics. But I have never allowed economics to be my future identity because I couldn't even imagine myself as someone other than an artist.
I have heard many times, even from close friends, I need an art education and that this way, I will not have a bright future in art. I may not, but at least I have done whatever I loved the most; I fought for my career by staying in touch with studying the history of art, self-teaching and practising nonstop. So now I see the results, they see.
Studying art at university isn't a must to becoming an artist; however, the market sometimes expects you to have it done. In the end, both educated and non-educated artists become masters by practice, not reading the theories, and we all are aware of it.


There is a certain colour scheme in your works. Why did you choose these colours? Do you think these colours somehow affect the viewer and his perception of your works?


I think precisely the same. Colour is the most impressive point of expressing feelings in a painting and communicating with viewers. So I combine bright and catchy colours to make the subject strong, and the harmony between them focuses on connecting every specific event to another one during my lifetime.
I get inspiration from nature, contemporary landscape paintings, and even my old artworks to create the finest colour theme.

Your series of works is dedicated to women. Tell us the history of creating this image.


I am a woman, and I know women more than other creatures, so why not? I want to paint whatever I feel close to, something related to me in the past and present. I think femininity is growing inside me over time, and I appear to be more in love with my identity and sexuality recently.


Do you get an emotional response from people who watch your work? And does it coincide with your expectations?


I sometimes get responses about my work during an exhibition or even on social media. And I feel most of them are more encouraging than understanding or feeling sympathy for my art. That's quite sad because my paintings tend to be more expressionistic.
But I appreciate the comment both ways. They motivate me to work harder and stay creative.


Is there any message in your works? What thoughts should they evoke in the viewer's mind? What is the Sona Asemani artist trying to tell us in his works?


My art reflects my insane feelings and concerns about the people I meet or am in relation with. Women are its main character because I feel closer to them, and I am one of them.
Besides, my art emphasises women's social position rather than their beauty.
Women have always been forced to be pretty and have body shapes as models to be loved. Therefore, they are constantly judged based on their appearance. This is a massive manipulation because it distracts the whole society from seeing our fundamental skills and capabilities, which are as bold as our beauty.
I'd love to adore both sides of women's authority in my paintings because that's what we need nowadays.


Tell us about the creative plans for the future?


From the beginning of 2023, my focus was and going to be on large-scale paintings. I would love to challenge my skills to create the huge ones I ever did and plan my first solo exhibition.

Text by Lyubov Melnickowa @lumenicka