CROSSING BOUNDARIES
Featuring Ceramics, Food, Calligraphy, Performance, Installation and Storytelling that Explores Cultural Exchanges

In order to directly support the work of innovative and emerging local artists, the 2018 “Calligraphies in Conversation” has developed a new component. We are proud to initiate an Artist Residency Program with 2 local award-winning artists, Arash Shirinbab and Forrest Lesch-Middelton who are creating a new provoking calligraphy-ceramics body of work.

For the past 5 years these 2 artists have been collaborating and utilizing ceramics and calligraphy to give voice to deep concerns regarding community, diversity, loss, resilience and the beauty of the human spirit. They juxtapose classic Persian-Sufi poetry with contemporary social-political statements and stories curated from media landscape specially Twitter and Facebook on ceramic pieces.

Meet the Artists

Arash Shirinbab: Arash Shirinbab has managed to be a successful blend of an award winning artist, calligrapher, and designer, as well as art administrator, art curator, and entrepreneur for the past ten years. He engaged in serious study of classical calligraphy in 2008 under masters from the Iranian Calligraphists Association, Hosseini Garakani and Mousavi Jazayeri.

Forrest Lesch-Middelton: He invented a technique for transferring Islamic starbursts, scrolls and flowers to the surfaces of his pots while they are still wet and at the wheel, requiring him to shape the vessels from the inside, so as to not disturb the pattern. In 2013 Ceramics Monthly Magazine chose him as ‘The Ceramic Artist of the Year.’

The Collaboration: For the past 5 years, Arash and Forrest have been collaborating and creating ceramic pieces, vessels, and tiles. Their work is meant to bring people of different communities with diverse ideas, cultures, and languages together through calligraphy, ceramics, and cuisine.

These two artists have called their collaboration "Contain and Serve" and first Diversity Dinner was presented by Hanif in November 2017 at the gallery of ICCNC near Lake Merrit Oakland.

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Meet the Guest Chefs

Taste of Persia

Taste of Malaysia

Chef Hanif Sadr: Hanif Sadr is a chef and co-founder at Komaaj. Hanif focuses on food, drinks, and flavors from all regions of Northern Iran. He is committed to showcasing the plenty of fresh produce, herbs, spices and products available in the Bay Area, and combination of those with traditional yet specific Persian ingredients. Dishes are performed in a manner that honors Northern Iran gastronomic traditions.

Chef Azalina Eusope: Azalina Eusope uses her family’s unique recipes and methods of roasting spices to get the complex, deep flavors that shape each of her product’s character, then adds fresh California ingredients and culinary style to produce authentic Malaysian dishes with a distinctive Azalina flair. Eusope, a fifth-generation street food vendor from Malaysia, is now a San Francisco local. She believes in creating “the kind of food that reminds me of my culture, my family, and my memories” for others to savor and share.

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Taste of Korea

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Chef Justin Park: Born and raised under immigrant parents from Korea, Justin has been heavily influenced by his mother and grandmother's home-cooking.

Influenced in the Bay Area, one of the biggest metropolitan melting-pots, Justin has also been influenced through other cuisines working in popular restaurants in SF like Le Colonial, Town Hall and Roy's.

This combination has allowed Justin to create an unique taste in his dishes. Inspired by his passions, Justin has traveled to ___ different countries where he gains motivation and an appreciation which can be found in his cooking.

AT THE VENUE:

Multicultural Cuisines Served on the Original Ceramic Artworks

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Calligraphic Arts from Around the World in our Calligraphies in Conversation Exhibition

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