ImaginAsia, Nowruz

ImaginAsia: Celebrating Stories from the Persian Book of Kings

 

Meet Sophie Benini Pietromarchi, a French Italian illustrator and author of The Book Book (published by Tarabooks). On the days leading up to this year’s celebration of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, she organized two workshops at the Freer|Sackler. Attendees produced illustrated folios of the stories of Rustam and the Simurgh from the Persian national epic: the Shahnama.

In the video, Benini gives her unique perspective on what it means to create art and what she feels is the role of museums in modern society. She begins by sharing how it dawned upon her to create a bookmaking guide for children and how the same themes of curiosity and artistic exploration inspired her to organize her collage-based workshops. Describing her own process of creating illustrations for La legión perdida (published by Thule), she notes that she drew upon mosaic art she directly observed in museums.

Benini also notes that one of the main ideas of her workshop was not only to celebrate Persian culture, but to help draw out the innate curiosity of children and demonstrate to them they have the power to create. She credits her friend Azar Nafisi, with whom she collaborated to produce the book Bibi e la voce verde (published by Adelphi), for her interest in Persian culture.

Arguing that the museum is one of the few institutions in contemporary society that cares for preserving human culture, Benini reminds us that museums like the Freer|Sackler have a significant role to play in providing sources of inspiration for us all.

Benini’s workshops¬†were generously supported by the Foundation for Iranian Studies.

Alex Hu

Alex Hu

Alex is a senior and International Baccalaureate diploma candidate at Richard Montgomery High School. He currently works in the Public Programs Department at the Freer|Sackler as a Richard Louie Memorial Intern. Alex has a keen interest in Asian history and culture and likes to read for quiz bowl in his free time.
About Alex Hu

Alex is a senior and International Baccalaureate diploma candidate at Richard Montgomery High School. He currently works in the Public Programs Department at the Freer|Sackler as a Richard Louie Memorial Intern. Alex has a keen interest in Asian history and culture and likes to read for quiz bowl in his free time.

3 thoughts on “ImaginAsia: Celebrating Stories from the Persian Book of Kings

  1. Beauty
    #

    It was an amazing read. The beauty of world is in diversity.

    Reply
  2. Shikha
    #

    Idea of telling and sharing the information is great. Peoples interest in historic things should be there.

    Reply
  3. Anand
    #

    This article is really informative. and i got a lots of information about the artist. It describes the modern persepctive of thought.

    Reply

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