Katayoun Amjadi

Artist Statement

My work as an artist is always at once personal, my “small piece of truth” and yet frequently seeks a kinship within otherness and difference. One of the questions that I carry through my work is the sufficiency of the story I tell, and why and how my identity is articulated in the work. My work thus carries my history as an Iranian-American, yet is never just that, nor always that. Identity explored in my work is neither fixed nor an erasure, but always an ongoing synthetic process of investigation and becoming. My work locates itself in the personal while seeking the threads that bind local to global, personal to universal; it listens for the humming just beneath the background of our everyday lives.

Through my practice I draw on multiple cultural histories in order to investigate broader global concerns including nationalism, identity, history, memory, borders, and the comfort and unpredictability of home and world. While much of my work is object-based in its inception and seeks new ways to speak beyond the original voice of the object, it also reaches into the affective modes of perception, and how our interactions are not simply cognitive and cerebral, but also deeply rooted in our emotive and physiological selves. Frequently this calls for the creation of larger scale multimedia installations in order to charge the work with a multiplicity of evocative possibilities. While object based work may speak with a singular voice or the messy chatter of the many, my aim is to develop a language of historical, spatial and temporal intersections, and to use this language to bridge difference and otherness.

-- Katayoun Amjadi


Katayoun Amjadi is an Iranian-born, Minneapolis-based artist, educator and independent curator. In her artworks, she often considers the social systems that continually construct the binaries which shape our perceptions of Self and Other, such as religion, gender, politics and nationalist ideologies. Katayoun is interested in blurring these boundaries and create a balanced hybrid style both in life and art. Her art is an attempt to understand the relationship between past and present, tradition and modernity, and individual versus collective identity, as well as to spur discussion about our understanding of time and the tangled roots of our histories. She holds an MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture from the University of Minnesota and currently teaches Visual Art courses at Normandale Community College. Her work has been exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including Minnesota Museum of American Arts, Rochester Art Center, Instinct Art Gallery, Weisman Art Museum, Soap Factory, Saint Thomas University, Public Functionary, Beijing Film Academy, Karlsruhe Art Academy and 7Samar Gallery in Tehran. Amjadi is the fiscal year2015 and 2019 recipient of the Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She was born in Tehran, Iran, and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and maintains a studio in the Q.arma building in NE Art District.