Hessam Samavatian

Hessam Samavatian (b. 1984 Tehran) studied photography at the University of Applied Arts Vienna under Gabriele Rothemann and graduated in 2017 with the extensive diploma ‘ ImSchatten Kein Schwarz’ (No black in the Shadows). In his mostly installative works, photography becomes an independent theme and motif and correspondingly, often assumes unusual forms. His work explores the optical-chemical properties of photograph, such as the light sensitivity of analogue materials, or the technical standards of image formats produced by large manufacturers. He is also concerned with the metaphorical readability of photography as shadow or vessel and the symbolism of terms such as ‘candela’ – or an interest in representations which diverge from the traditional ‘decisive moment’ of most photography.


Samavatian’s work has been exhibited widely internationally and is held in numerous private and public collections. Born in Iran and living in Vienna since 1998, Samavatian repeatedly finds himself confronted with the cultural differences between the European and Persian/Iranian conceptual worlds.