Somayye Keighobadi Lemjir has fallen in love with the art, culture and people of India and is exploring the intriguing world of Art History
She is the first member of her family who decided to study art. Somayye Keighobadi Lemjir made her way to India all the way from Iran to continue her rendezvous with arts. “Initially when I wanted to study Art in the High School, my family was a bit reluctant but then they saw my interest in Art and came around,” says Somayye who can’t stay without sketching something or the other at all times. While she realized quite early that Art was her calling, her interest in Art History developed when she was pursuing her undergraduate studies back in Iran. “I knew that India has a very rich history of Art. So, when I came to India, I decided to pursue a Masters in Art History at Chitrkala Parishath.”
When Somayye started off five years back in India, living in a different country was not exactly a cakewalk for her. “Initially it was very difficult. But, after that I have really fallen in love with this country. I have so many Indian friends today and I find them very friendly. And, the Indian culture is somehow very close to mine,” says Somayye. During her three years Somayye came across a number of miniature paintings at Chitrakala Parishath which triggered her interest in Mughal miniature paintings that were to later on become the basis of her research studies. “I am pursuing a study on ‘Carpet Designs in Mughal Miniature Paintings’ with the Cultural Studies Department at Jain University,” informs Somayye.
After finishing her Masters Somayye already knew about miniature paintings and Persian carpets. “I thought why not combine both?” There are a lot of works available on miniature paintings and their sources. But, Somayye felt that no one was looking at the carpets for the composition in these paintings. She is exploring two facets of the Mughal miniature paintings in her study. One is examining how the Mughal artists used carpet designs in the composition of Mughal miniature paintings and another one is whether the carpet designs in these paintings were taken from Indian sources or foreign sources such as Persia and Turkey. “I am examining the miniature paintings from the time of Babur to Aurangzeb. I wanted to know whether the existence of these carpets had any meaning.” Somayye points out that she was lucky to find a strong Cultural Studies department at Jain University. “Many students from Fine Arts background are today coming to Jain University to do their research. My friends told me about the Department and once I came here I was convinced that I should pursue my studies here.”
Coming to India has worked out in more than one ways for Somayye. She is pursuing her research studies and exhibiting her art as well. “We have a Persian group. Recently, we have had two exhibitions, one in Chitrakala Parishath and another one in Allianz Bhawan. The group has people from various areas of visual arts who are studying in India. Some are sculptors, others are into painting, corporate designing, graphic designing and so on.” After finishing her M.Phil. Somayye intends to take up further research studies in the same area during her PhD. Right now she is busy writing her thesis and ideas are exploding in her head. “I have got so many ideas. I am trying to catch hold of them and give direction to my thesis,” she signs off with a smile.