A Journey to South Korea with the Bicycle of Peace
The Persian Gulf’s peace bicycle was eventually published in South
Korea. Its publication was an excuse for me to write a complete report
of my trip to South Korea.
In the spring of 2010, I received a letter from Arco’s museum in Seoul
and was invited to participate in an environmental exhibition.
This exhibition was planned at the same time as the meeting of economic
and finance ministers of twenty leading countries called G20. One of
their main discussions was an everlasting environment and therefore
their meeting was organized at the same time as an environmental art
exhibition. Although my country Iran is not a member of these countries,
it was an honor for me to be one of the ten selected artists from all
over the world to participate in this exhibition.
This exhibition was capable of reminding the politicians of the
environmental dangers and threats of today’s’ world.
I left toward Seoul on Monday November 1st. On my way to one of the
eastern countries of the world, I observed the rivers.
I arrived in Seoul on an autumn day.
The first person that I met was Miss
Youngsil Lim who genuinely welcomed me. Throughout the six
months, more than hundreds of emails were exchanged to manage the
arrangement of my exhibition and installations of my works. I finally
arrived to the center and the Museum of Arco.
The Museum Exhibition Center of Arco is the host of these artists, which
usually exhibits the official exhibitions of the country of South Korea
in the realm of contemporary art.
Then I met Mr. Kim Chan Dong and Mrs. Se-Won Oh, who were directors and
had selected the artists.
In the Center of Arco, Jackie Lim introduced herself to me and said that
in her study and research of environmental art, she has come across my
work and has introduced it to the exhibition.
Sang-Gweon Park who was a friend of Jackie and was an art students of
Ms. Se-Won Oh, took me out to nature, and this gave me the ability to do
art in nature.
In the first invitation letter that was sent to me, the jurors of the
exhibition paid special attention to The Dream of Peace in the
Persian Gulf. They wanted to exhibit that piece in the exhibition
and to show its peaceful message. I welcomed their offer too.
After a few days the pictures were printed and lots of sand was
transported to the location of the exhibit.
In addition to the bicycle of peace, I submitted a collection of
photographs and installations to the exhibition.
The environmental exhibition of Greeting Green opened on Tuesday,
November 9th; along with the presence of professors, cultural
staff and Korean artists in the city of Seoul. This exhibition continued
until November 28th.
The presentation of the Bicycle of Peace, photographed by Seyfollah
There was a collection of twelve photographs of the Persian Gulf bicycle
and Mr. Seyfollah Samadian prepares one of those photographs.
In addition to the photographs of the Bicycle of Peace in the Persian
Gulf, two rubber wheels were prepared. During the days of the
exhibition, by pedaling in the gallery space we printed new writings on
the sand. On one of the wheels of this bicycle writings about war
opposition, terror, and bombings had been installed. On the other wheel
there was writings that insisted on a clean environment and freedom, and
On the day after the opening, they discussed my environmental works in a
meeting and it ended after a session of question and answer.
In a session with the media from different media channels, I explained
the inspiration of this bicycle this way.
It has been more than three decades that the people of
Iran and neighboring countries suffer from the disaster of war. War and
terror is now a worldwide threat, and is possible everywhere in the
world. As an artist, I pay attention to environmental issues, not only
these situations are connected to the environment, but as a result they
harm our culture.
Images of the bicycle had a good reflection in the media
and art magazines of South Korea.
Printed images by the bicycle, in the exhibition
The installation of The Bicycle of Peace
Two new cylinder seals and one recycled plastic seal were also presented
at the exhibition.
The installation of my fish in the exhibition
My other piece in the exhibition of South Korean environmental art was
the video installation with the title the Death of Fish, which
has an engaging quality and the audience can view different parts of it
the way they like. This video is prepared from the demolition of my work
in the village of Polour. Unfortunately in 2010 besides my works, a
historic castle was demolished in order to make a bottled water factory
and the Cultural Heritage of Mazandaran did not pay any attention. I
hope this voice can be heard some day and the personnel who pretend to
be asleep can understand that their carelessness will be more apparent
as time goes on.
For this exhibition that was presented in the Museum Center of Arco, ten
artists from Japan, United States, Germany, China, England, Argentina,
Holland, India, Iran and two artists from South Korea were invited.
One of the American artists had an installation of the wall residue of
previous exhibitions in Arco.
The participating artists were mostly taken to local traditional
The traditional ways of eating from around the world refers to the
culture of that place.
The traditional Iranian way of eating food was the way that a group ate
from a central tray.
In the Far East, small dishes are spread out on the table and the group
can take from that food.
Today we eat by surrounding our plates and considering it our own
This way houses that used to be shared are now transformed to individual
cells. It seems that individualism is becoming more common in eating,
residing, and of course in art.
During the time I was in Seoul, I carved many fish and a released them
in side rivers near the streets.
These are the rivers that pass through the city of Seoul. In this place
I released several large stones that I had made.
One day one of the artists, Se-Won Oh joined me and I gave some of my
pieces to the forests near Seoul.
That student took a photo of me.
Connecting the two separated cliffs by drawing a Goddess was a new
That day we ate at a traditional restaurant.
One day I painted on one the artists’ faces.
Sang-Gweon Park joined me one day and we went to the beach. I worked on
the cliffs there.
Pollution is everywhere, and environmental art is a worldwide necessity.
My purpose was to just expand the cultural domain of my Iranian
Every land I step on, I feel its rocks with my feet.
The footsteps are evidence of my presence there.
On the way back I saw Mount Damavand again, where at the beginning of my
childhood fish were born in its rivers.