Born in Iran in 1978, Mehrdad Naraghi is a graduate of metallurgy engineering from Sharif University of Technology.  His enthusiasm for photography motivated him to apply and complete courses in the subject and shift his focus from engineering.  As a fine art photographer, his main concern is to manipulate and alter reality in his own aesthetic style of an imaginary realm from a story or poem.

He exhibits regularly in Tehran and has taken part in many group exhibitions internationally, including Unseen Photo Fair 2015 (presented by Ag Galerie, Amsterdam), Crisis of History #3 (Framer Framed, Amsterdam), Grand Prix de la Decouverte 2013 (Le Salon de la Photo, Paris), 165 Years of Iranian Photography 2009 (Musée du Quai Branly, Paris) and That Shimmering Beast (The Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubai, UAE).

His project, “Japanese Gardens”, was the recipient of 2014 PHOTOQUAI Residencies Award supported by Musée du Quai Branly in Paris and he gained invaluable experience photographing the series for a period of four months in Japan.

His works have been published in several magazines and books, including Different Sames: New Perspectives in Iranian Contemporary Art, Connaissance des Arts (No 21) and La photographie iranienne, (Un regard sur la creation contemporaine en Iran).  

His works are part of major collections such as Musée du Quai Branly and Bibliotheque National de France.

He is currently represented by Ag Galerie ( in Tehran.

Exhibitions & Art Events


  • 2015: The City, Ag Galerie, Tehran, Iran
  • 2012: The Fairyland, Silk Road Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
  • 2009: The House, Silk Road Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
  • 2007: Cars, Silk Road Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran


  • 2015: Crisis of History #3 – Beyond History, curated by Robert Kluiver and Elham Puryamehr, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2014: Contemporary Iranian Photography, The Fine Arts Gallery of California State University, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2010: That Shimmering Beast, The Empty Quarter Gallery, Dubai, UAE
  • 2009: 165 Years of Iranian Photography, Musée du quai Branly, Paris, France
  • 2005: Photography Exhibition, Silk Road Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran


  • 2015: Unseen Photo Fair, Ag Galerie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2014: Daily Farm (Video Art Exhibition on the new silk road), Xinjiang, China
  • 2014: FORMAT International Photography Festival, Present Perfect, Derby, England
  • 2010: Abu Dhabi Art, 2010, UAE
  • 2010: The House: Outdoor projection, Renegade Group, Art in Open Spaces, Gorizia & Trieste, Italy

Awards & Fellowships


  • 2014-2015: Resident of Muse de quai Branly, Paris Photography Project: Japanese Garden, Tokyo-Kyoto
  • 2013-2014: Resident of Rybon Art Exchange Program, Iran-China, Tehran-Chongqing, Rybon Art CenterOrgan Hause Art Space of China
  • 2013: Finalist, International Fine Art Photography Award, Grand Prix de la Decouverte 2013, Paris, France
  • 2011: Finalist, Galley Huite Photography Open Salon 2011, Arles, France
  • 2009: 3rd place prize, Human Habitation, Young Artists’ Competition, on the occasion of the World Habitat Day, London, England
  • 2007: Finalist, 1st Photo Quai The Biennial of the Images of the World, Musée du quai Branly, Paris,France
  • 2004: Finalist, Majdanek 2004, VII International Art Triennial, Lublin, Poland


  • 2013: Bibliotheque National de France, Paris

The City

My city is one ravaged by the storms, an unrecognizable city, with undefined inhabitants concealed within its greyness. Dazed and confused, with gaping mouths amd struggling to breathe. Uncorned but for a smile at anothher’s misery. Neither breaths sighed return to be breahted nor are desires fulfilled; greyness overwhelms. My city is the endless rule of grey.

Mehrdad Naraghi, Tehran, 2014

شهر من

شهر من،شهريست طوفان زده; شهری از شکل افتاده، با شهرنشینانی محو در زمینه خاکستری.  گيج و گنگ و پريشان احوال، دهان ها نيمه بازند و تنفس تا مرز تعطيل، مشكل. با نگاهي بي تفاوت و لبخندي به سيه روزي ديگرى. 
نه نفس‌های جامانده به ریه‌ها باز مي گردند، نه رویاهای ناتمام کامل مي شوند و خاکستری بر همه چیز حاکم است. شهر من، حکومتِ بی‌پایان خاکستری است.


The Fairyland

The fairyland calls upon us, 
Among the trees that stand still 
Only to be viewed as symbols. 
At a place where everything and anything is possible to be seen 
A miracle raised from a dazzling light 
Peeping through the amorphous leaves. 
Inside a mysterious gloom where no decoding is expected 

In this land,
In this fairyland 
Far beyond the bitter logic of time, 
Far beyond our unchosen land of birth, 
Far beyond the past grieves and future anxieties, 
Safe from the games that life ceaselessly plays upon us, 
Every minute, every second… 
A reflection of our childhood stories 
A return to them 
No! Not the hapless ones 
Not those that drown us in pain… 

We then gladly enter the gate of this fairyland. 
If only our feet is not too glued to this earth. 
We will then either be puzzled, gazing and waiting for a magic that has long been expected… 
Or sleep in the meadows 
A step toward eternal peace, 
An eternal rest. 

Mehrdad Naraghi, 2012


سرزمین پریان

سرزمین پریان ما را به میان خود می خواند؛
میان درختانی که شمایی از درخت بودن دارند؛
مکانی که وقوع هر اتفاقی را ممکن می سازد.
امکان معجزه ای که از خیرگی نوری بر می آید؛
در تاریکی رازآلودی که انتظار هیچ رمز گشایی را ندارد.

در سرزمینی ورای منطق سرد زمانه؛ آنسوی جغرافیای تحمیلی تولد؛
فارغ از غصه های گذشته و نگرانی آینده ؛ امن از بازی هر روزه ی زندگی.
بازگشت به قصه های کودکی پاک؛ نه قصه روزمره ی آرزوکش.

به سرزمین پریان وارد می شویم اگر پا سفت بر زمین نگذاشته باشیم.
به انتظار معجزه ای به نوری خیره می شویم؛ معجزه ای که سالیان سال آنرا به انتظار نشسته ایم.
یا در میان چمنزارها به خواب می رویم؛ وسوسه خوابی ابدی. 



The House

The sense of emptiness of a house whose occupants have departed is somehow striking for me. There is a profound feeling -somewhat- strange about the abandoned houses. Most of the time there is a sad story behind it; forced immigration, need for money, grown children who have left or even death. 

We can feel it through the remains which occupy a place here and there. The things that have been forgotten or ignored to be taken along seem useless now. In addition there are objects with memories which were left intentionally untouched so as to be forgotten or maybe left to be part of a history.

Time plays the main role for this abandonment. The pictures of large gatherings, child’s birthdays, wedding parties and … are covered with dust and left on the drawer. Yes these are all reminders that time is passing.

Live memories of moments have continued their life and have led us to an essential question. Which one is more real, a person who was sitting on the arm chair and has been recorded in my mind or the empty chair?

It’s left for me to believe that its typical characteristic of human existence which we can feel, hear and smell even in absence.

Mehrdad Naraghi, 2009



خالی بودن خانه هایی که توسط صاحبانشان رها شده اند زیبا هستند و برای من عجیب.
گذشته از اینها اما معمولا داستانی تاثرانگیز در هر خانه ی خالی جاری است.
مهاجرت اجباری، فروش خانه به خاطر فشارهای مالی، بزرگ شدن بچه ها، پراکنده شدن
خانواده و مرگ صاحبخانه یا آخرین باقی مانده از خانواده های عظیم. 

این احوالات چون روح در فضای خالی خانه سرگردان اند. اشیایی که فراموش شده اند،
وسائلی از کار افتاده که خاصیتشان را از دست داده اند و اشیائی که بخت یارشان نبوده و
چون یاد آور خاطره های تلخ بوده اند به عمد جا گذاشته شده اند تا فراموش شوند.
زمان، دلیل اصلی این متروک بودن است .وعکس هایی از مهمانی های خانوادگی، تولدها ،
جشن های عروسی که روی گنجه جا مانده اند گذر زمان را یاداوری می کنند. 
گذری که از شلوغی به سکوت منتهی شده است.
ولی این سکوت ، سکونی مرگ آور نیست.

لحظات زنده به حیات خود ادامه می دهند. و ما را به پرسشی رهنمون می شوند:
کدام حقیقی تر است؟ فردی در ذهن ما که روی صندلی نشسته است یا صندلی خالی؟
این ویژگی منحصر به فرد آدمی است که حتی وقتی جسمش حاضر نیست ،
حضورش حس می شود. حضوری که می توانیم آنرا احساس کنیم، بشنویم و ببوییم.






Ag Galerie