Hozan Zangana

Gold Kisal
Gold leaf on MDF
32 x 17 x 20 cm

A kisal (tortoise) is a stool made of wood. In ancient Mesopotamia, the tortoise was a symbol of strength and stillness during great chaos. A smaller version covered in gold-leaf was made as a symbolic gift representing the resilience of Kurdistan.

Haft Sin Collection
8 porcelain items up to 45 cm diameter

One of the rituals performed during Nowruz is the setting up of a Sofraye Haft Sin. This is a table or dining cloth prepared with seven or more items starting with the letter ‘s’. Each of the items has a symbolic meaning, strongly rooted in the culture of the Persians and the Medes. This ancient tradition is presented in a modern way – inspired by Nastaleeq calligraphy, the items are reduced to the bare essentials. Without the classical ornaments, the focus goes to the ingredients, which are the spirit of Haft Sin. Every piece is crafted to symbolize its traditional meaning.

Artist’s biography

Hozan Zangana was born in 1983 in Kirkuk. In 1998, at the age of fifteen, he fled Kurdistan and applied for asylum in The Netherlands. There, he studied at the esteemed art and design universities Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and the Design Academy in Eindhoven. After his graduation, Zangana was awarded a grant for Talent Development Creative Industries (Stimuleringsfonds).This allowed him to create his first collection of abstract objects inspired by the 7th century Kufic script. The collection, called ‘Shaping from Intuition’, was shown in Dubai, Milan
and New York.

The Haft Sin collection was acquired by the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) in 2015. Consequently, Zangana was nominated for the Wallpaper Next Generation Designer of the Year award in 2017.

His most recent work, called Arbela, was conceived to reflect Zangana’s heritage-based design back to his own people and culture, and to transfer his knowledge to a new generation of Middle Eastern artists. Inspired by the ancient Citadel of Erbil, once called Arbela (from the Assyrian Arba-Ila ‘four gods’, referring to the four gates to the original citadel), the objects in this collection carry with them the memory of a cultural history that goes back 7000 years.