EYES IN Magazine Editor-in-Chief Vivian Van Dijk attended the exhibition opening from artist Chayan Khoi in Paris. Vivian says, "While attending Chayan's gallery exhibition, I realized I got the real 'globetrotter feeling.' Chayan's work is mystical, strong, deep, and shows you reflections of his travels and 'mind zones' he has gone to and has been through.
"The use of many symbols in his work together with the combination of different materials makes you want to embrace his art; and at the same time it allows you to open your heart and curiosity to see more of it. His 'travel art books' are one-of-a-kind and each piece could even be framed as an artwork in itself.
"Next to his canvas- and art-book-work, Chayan is also a very accomplished photographer. His surrealistic photographs beautify the mind with all its dreams and colors. I'm really happy to follow up with an in-depth interview with Chayan for an upcoming EYES IN Magazine issue and show more about his inner inspiration and of his stunning art pieces."
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Chayan Khoi was born in 1963, in Teheran, where he was raised by his father, a writer, and his mother who was a teacher. He remained there until 1979, when he left his native Iran to study in Grenoble, France. He was sixteen at the time. He was out to succeed and would do everything it took to achieve it.
The artist is a born self-educator, a hands-on person, who, from photography to digital production, from photo-journalism to reporting, has learned everything on his own. In the nineteen eighties, he went into photography to pay for his architectural studies and very quickly developed a passion for the photographic medium. He then decided to come to Paris to further his university education in a design school, while continuing as fashion photographer.
A few years later, he became involved in reporting and executed numerous commissions for the specialized press, commissions through which he would hone his photographic techniques and forge and identity. Little by little, the amateur turned professional and, on the strength of his journalistic skills, would definitely abandon architecture and design to devote himself to works of a more personal nature. So began his career without borders as a photographer.
CHAYAN KHOI undertook the daunting task of preserving a memory for future generations by immortalizing, through imagery, everything that is wonderful on our blue planet: masterpieces which he feels are more than ever threatened by men, by war, by natural catastrophes, ecological cataclysms and hordes of devastating tourists. He would make numerous solitary expeditions and became photographically involved in the fight against all of the ills that are deteriorating this Earth which must be preserved and which he condemns without pity. During his wanderings, this inveterate globetrotter accumulated thousands of negatives within just a few years, before projecting himself into other fields of experimentation, this time influenced by the electronic revolution. As a precursor, the reporter showed interest in avant-garde technologies, rich in potential, with much to offer the artistic world – particularly in terms of image processing.
He would immediately grasp this new virtual realty, which was soon to transform the entire photographic world, and he hastily put himself to the task of digital production. After sorting, and then digitizing the entire silver image bank he had just constituted onto a gigantic computerized database, CHAYAN KHOI would begin his first electronic sketches – which he qualifies as Cyber-realistic. He now had the term, and was able to make Cyber-realism his medium.
Using his keyboard and mouse, he composed an initial series of photo-compositions entitled "Looking for Lost Cities" (1992-1996). A series that he would subsequently develop with the help of much more sophisticated computers, scanners and software under the name "Nomads Land" (1997-1999). He would finally complete the work with the help of the finest Parisian professional laboratories and their state-of-the-art equipment, with a series of images with christened “Lost Worlds” (2000-2001) and the book in 2002. A generic term that would enable him to federate all of the digital image themes he had created over the previous ten years, which themselves bear no titles, as the artist feels that each person should be free to interpret them in his own way and "poeticize" them with his own phrasing. Chayan is still working for the book "Cirque du Soleil." His landscape instantly becomes the speaker for his representations and is materialized by virtual panoramas, “surreal” views, which play on variations of architectures, nature, and cultures. Highly pictorial digital frescos, like mirages in which futuristic prophecy, vestiges of ancient civilizations and modern symbols overlap.
Buddha Bar partie 1 - Chayan Khoi Video
CHAYAN KHOI has become a specialist in trompe-l’oeil depictions on printed circuits, even if now, at the dawn of a new millennium, he intends to devote himself to other projects, particularly to people from distant lands which he has only touched upon until now; and which could indeed disappear like all the rest, if no one takes care. People whose inventory he dreams of exhausting, through an entire range of genre photo-compositions, collages of digital and tribal fractures – before it is too late.
A great artistic ambition is one of eternalizing through assemblies of hybrid representation, all of the clans, all of the tribes of the universe, from the most archaic to the most civilized. A blend of timeless characters and scenes, which, once sublimated by this shaman of imagery, will change into fictions, tales and fables about the universal wandering and movement of contemporary spheres. Chayan exposed in many places like the Garage in Geneva, the World Fair in Lisbonne, the Sotheby’s Gallery in Zurich (2008), the Art Contemporary Museum of Saumur (2009), Artcurial Paris (2009), The Art Contemporary Museum of Casablanca and Rabat (2009/2010), Pierre Bergé in Bruxelles (2010). In Parallel, CHAYAN KHOI is also working on the creation of mixed pieces that revolve around an entire series of multimedia developments, which his latest endeavors in artistic investigation have only begun to explore. In this way, and particularly through all of the new technologies available to him, he hopes to create substantial, entirely digitized installations by incorporating, among other elements, interactive systems linked to the latest audiovisual innovations, including 3D and unavoidably, the Internet. In 2008, Chayan was jury for the 33th Kodak’s price of the photographic criticism.
Finally, on a more lighthearted note, he has just tried his hand at producing small animations using worlds that are specific to each of the images whose high-tech staging and numerous allegoric scenarios are of unequalled “virtuality” and beauty. From the heights of his so aptly named Cyber-realism, CHAYAN KHOI evolves as the very archetype of the modern artist.
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Source: Vivian Van Dijk and Chayan Khoi