Art Projects International

Ctrl+P Journal of Contemporary ArtMarch 1, 2008

Lost in Transliteration – Pouran Jinchi


Looking at text markings in a different culture is Pouran Jinchi, an Iranian-American artist living in New York. She trained in calligraphy in childhood, but after completing her studies in civil engineering, she turned to painting, influenced by the abstract expressionists. Her works involve the subtraction of text from identified and identifiable sections that retains context. She states, “In Farsi and Arabic, the punctuation markings are hardly used any more. The Koran is the perfect example of retaining and emphasizing the diacritical markings like the, tasheed, saken, and hamzeh. People who are familiar with the Koran, even from different cultures, like African and Chinese Muslims, can recognize the Koran in my paintings even when the text is removed because of these markings. They are like mathematical notations. To me, mathematical equations looked like art, like vocalizations. Visually they look the same to me.”

– Kóan Jeff Baysa

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