Born in Shiraz, Iran, in 1971, Farhad Ahrarnia currently lives and works between Shiraz and Shefflied, UK. He holds a degree in Experimental and Documentary Film Theory and Practice from the Northern Media School, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
Since 2004, Ahrarnia has held several solo shows in the UAE and the UK, including, at Lawrie Shabibi gallery: Something for the Touts, the Nuns, the Grocery Clerks and You (2017), A Dish Fit for the Gods (2015), and with Rose Issa Projects: Stage on Fire (2014), Canary in the Coal Mine (2012) and Stitched (2008).
He has taken part in numerous group shows in the UAE, Italy, Iran, Monaco, the UK, Austria, Uzbekistan, Beirut, and the Netherlands, and has exhibited at international art fairs like Dallas Art Fair (2016, 2017) in Texas, Art Dubai Contemporary (2017), Abu Dhabi Art (2016) and Art Basel Hong Kong (2016). His work was also exhibited at Documenta XII (2007) in Kassel, Germany and at the Sheffield Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007).
Ahrarnia’s practice spans across different media, with a special focus on traditional techniques used in his hometown, Shiraz, such as embroidery, khatam-kari, and metalwork. His meticulous and highly detailed work raises questions of ideological narratives, national identity and intercultural exchange, exploring the traditional division between Islamic mores and Western society’s progressive standpoint.
In 2019, his first solo exhibition in Beirut takes place with Galerie Janine Rubeiz in collaboration with Rose Issa Projects, who will also be presenting his work at Beirut Art Fair 2019.