Hoda Zarbaf

Hoda Zarbaf is a Toronto-based artist, practicing multidisciplinary art. She was born in Tehran, Iran and received a B.F.A. in Painting from the University of Tehran. In 2008 she relocated to Canada and completed an M.F.A. 

Zarbaf has used a variety of materials, techniques and literature, commenting on intimacy and the complexity of womanhood. She hand stitches worn textiles with toys and furniture in her works, embedding them with a sense of intimacy and memory. Through exploring processes such as childbirth, menstruation, and expressions of pain, joy, and ecstasy, Zarbaf represents the female of release. 

Composed, reshaped and hand-stitched, Zarbaf’s compositions and sculptures are made up of recycled knick-knacks, pre-owned clothing, abandoned furniture and orphan dolls collecting the abandoned pieces of clothing or house items, which have at some point been intimately in touch with the human body, is rather a try to reconnect with the pasts and bring back the lost past.

Zarbaf takes her narrative to a new dimension by embedding time-based media such as video, sound and lights in her sculptures. At her 2016 Tehran exhibition, she writes a letter to a friend (as art statement) and expresses, that she thinks these days we are more the travellers of time than of space. She, therefore, leads the so-called floral materials from the past and passes them through the time. To further communicate these passages, Zarbaf interweaves different mediums into each other to further: industrial wheels carrying a box with stuffed dolls on them; or soft oozing forms which are stitched around old monitors while exposing human hair or cast limbs.

The artist uses pre-owned or vintage textiles– along with the traditional folk practice of stitching and patching– to reconnect with the pasts and bring back the lost intimacy. Hoda’s work borrow their identity, both in form and concept, from the unity of the dichotomies. In her making, the artist marries contrary concepts to achieve the optimum: soft and concrete, dispensable and invaluable, humorous and tedious or old and new.

Selected Exhibitions:

2017     upcoming, solo exhibition, Aaran Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2017     upcoming, solo exhibition, Campbell River Art Gallery, Vancouver Island, Canada

2017     upcoming, Tanawo Festival, Affenfaust Gallery, Hamburg, Germany
2017     upcoming, Strange Worlds,  curated by Nicoletta Torcelli, Kunstraum Waschhaus, Potsdam, Germany

2017     Hot Dog Car Wash:, group exhibition curated by Julia Prudhomme, Campbell River Art                                             gallery, Vancouver Island, Canada
2017     Patterns, group exhibition curated by Iberina Raquel Villhena, Walnut Contemporary, Toronto, Canada

2017     Pair, Knack Gallery, group exhibition curated by Neda Darzi, Tehran, Iran
2016     Bedlam and Balance, Art Yard, group exhibition curated by Magda Gonzales. New Jersey, USA
2016     Visage / Image of Self, group exhibition: curated by Fereydoon Ave. Lajevardi  Foundation, Tehran, Iran
2016     Sew+Zan, group exhibition: curated by Saghar Daeeri, Azad Gallery, Iran
2016     Iran x Cuba: Beyond the Headlines, group exhibition: curated by Roya Khadjavi Heidari ,

             Rouge Space, Chelsea, New York, USA

2016     Floral Compositions, Travellers of Time, Aaran Gallery, Tehran, Iran 

2015     Recall, group exhibition: curated by Iberina Raquel Vilhena, Walnut Contemporary, Toronto, Canada
2015     The International Festival of Authors, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada
2015     Visual Arts Exhibitions Fall 2015”, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada
2015    The Word on the Street Festival, installation commissioned by the festival

2015    Transmutation, Governors Island Art Fair, New York, USA

2015    Materialize, group exhibition: curated by Deborah Wang and Greg Sims, COT, Toronto, Canada
2015    Dressing Room Project, Fashion & Art Toronto: Toronto, Canada

2015    Soft Souls, Walnut Contemporary, Toronto, Canada

2015    installation zone, Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair, Toronto, Canada
2014    On the Wild Side, group exhibition curated by Mary Dyja, Gallery 1313: Toronto, Canada
2014    Equinox 14, group exhibition, Makeworks: Toronto, Canada
2010    Horizon, group exhibition, Stat Gallery, Detroit, USA

2010    [un]veiling, Art LeBel Gallery, Windsor, Canada
2010    MFA group show, group exhibition, Art Lebel Gallery: Windsor, Canada
2010    I Get More Frightened When I See How Scared You Are, group exhibition, AGW, Windsor, Canada
2009    Broken Phone, group exhibition, Artcite Gallery, Windsor, Canada

2005     Before Birth Project, University of Tehran, Iran





Vaginal Rapture, 2014
Perpetual Discharge of The Heart
Down-time, 2014
Tangible Release, 2014
An Awkward Birth, 2014
The Mistress, Her Baby...,  2014
White Destined
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