Farzad Kohan is a community based artist from Glendale, California recently revered for his "River
of Life" exhibition as well as his stick men figurine series. A self made artist inspired by his life
experiences, music and cultural schism, Kohan's message of peace, unity and humanity shines
through all his works. Hailing from a family of talented individuals, his early interest in music and
keyboard eventually evolved into the visual art realm.
From young to old, Kohan's exhibitions have attracted toddlers and the elderly as well as audiences
at large. When asked what propelled him to create his "River of Life" he humbly replies that it started
off with being provided a large exhibition space that he wanted to fill with life. The Brand Art Library
and Gallery which is a historic spot in Los Angeles catered this special display along with many
other of Farzad's works including free standing sculptures, black boxes, bas-relief, coffee drawings
and mixed media drawings in a show titled "The Human Element" along with 2 other artists.
"I had a wide range of people from 3 years old to 82 years old, From a homeless teen to Post Ph.D
Research Scientists." says Kohan.
An International Collaboration
When I asked whether he had made each one of the paper boats displayed in his "River", to my
surprise I discovered that every one of the 2000 + paper boats ranging in size were handmade from
contributors around the world ! From kindergarten children to friends and strangers, the 90 feet long
and 25 feet wide display was a genuine international collaboration spanning from all corners of
America to Germany , Holland, Italy, the UK and all the way from Iran itself.
Farzad Kohan - Iranian-American artist, sculptor and humanist
by: Amir Nadimi
An Exercise in Humanity
Being part of the diaspora like so many hundreds of thousands of other displaced Iranians, Farzad Kohan's life story is one that is similar to
many other artists of Middle East decent. Displaced by War, domestic turmoil and America's continued but failed foreign policy towards nations
such as Kohan's native Iran have shaped his outlook on life. It is a vision of compassion and understanding. Celebrating our common human
heritage rather than the divisive present day misunderstandings about one another. "Here we can all exist together as ONE, despite our
differences of race, culture, personal beliefs and anything else that we use to judge each other" Kohan adds.
A "River of Love"
It took Kohan four months to collect al the paper boats that were continuously mailed in
from around the world. Some of them decorated and others just a s simple as one
would make them back in elementary school. The diversity and creativity in each
paperboat is reflective of each maker.
Kohan's river exemplifies human existence and truly reverberates themes of unity and
'oneness'. Humanity essentially is part of the same bloodstream and how better to
display this but in the "River of Life". We are short, we are fat and we are tall and thin. We
have small and nimble to sausage sized fingers, we cry when we are hurt and rejoice
when we are happy. In the end we are all part of the same flow of existence. We are the
River of Life !
Farzad Kohan interviewed by Pars Times during a 2006