Tooraj Khamenehzadeh (b. 1977, Qazvin, Iran) started his artistic practice in theater and then shifted to photography. Today, photography, image-based projects, and sometimes the utilization of his theater background, comprise the main part of his works. Born and raised in the country and region where Eastern philosophy has been very significant, led him to study and research mysticism, which he incorporates in his artworks. Being an artist and creating artworks, as the way of life or the Tariqa for a mystic, has become a path toward self-discovery and heightened intuition, internal experience, and direct understanding.
As a result, essential concepts such as death, solitude, apprehension, forgetfulness, time, the reason for existence, and internal and external events facing the contemporary human and the issues of the present century, all push him to search beyond the realm of words. Khamenehzadeh searches both his surroundings and listens to an internal call. What is left of treading on this path is imprinted in his works: the works that are the result of the findings along the way, and that try to share various layers of different realities with the world of their audience.
Khamenehzadeh’s works have been presented in various international festivals, exhibitions, and biennials such as Iran Photo Biennial, Iran; Monnaie de Paris, France; Polyforme Festival, France; Chongqing Photo and Video Biennale, China; International Art Festival, Nepal. His works have also been published in different books and magazines such as African Textile Today, UK; PIX Magazine, India; Connaissance des Arts magazine, France; and Canvas magazine, UAE. He has also participated in several international workshops and artist residencies, including Theertha, Sri Lanka; Khoj, India; SaNsA, Ghana; Vasl, Pakistan; and Organhus, China. He received his BSc in Computer Engineering from the Qazvin Azad University and has recently enrolled in the MFA Photo, Video, and Related Media program at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
In addition to his activities as an artist, Khamenehzadeh has been on the curatorial and management teams of many art and cultural projects, including artist exchange programs, artist residencies, exhibitions, and international workshops. He is the co-founder and a board member of Rybon Art Center, an independent artist-led institute in Tehran; a board member of Res Artis in Amsterdam; as well as the program manager of Kooshk Residency in Tehran. He lives and works in New York and Tehran.