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Ali Sabouki

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Ali Sabouki, born in Shiraz (1985), currently lives and works in Tehran as an artist. Ali attended the University of Art and Architecture in Tehran to study Scenic Design. He has since worked across a variety of mediums in theatre, movies and visual arts. Over the last decade, his focus has increasingly gravitated towards photography, portraits in particular. His haunting portraiture explores identity and connectedness of the human spirit in isolation; taking stylistic cues from Old Masters while exploring the human condition in modern life.


Solo Exhibitions

- “Embraces” GRK Gallery, Paris, France 2019

- “Embraces” Etemad Gallery, Tehran, Iran 2018

- “Myselves” Seyhoun 2 Gallery, Tehran, Iran 2016


Group Exhibitions

- 1912 Gallery, Washington DC, USA, 2021

- Art Olympia, Toshima, Japan 2019

- Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan 2019

- Chester Art Fair, Chester, United Kingdom 2019



- Fine Art Photography Awards (Nominee)-FAPA

London, UK 2023

- Honorable Mention award-IPA

international photography award - California, USA 2022

- Fine Art Photography Awards (Nominee)-FAPA

London, UK 2022

- Honorable Mention award- IPA

international photography award - California, USA 2020

- Visual Art Open competition Winner

London, UK 2019

- Honorable Mention award-IPA

International photography award - California, USA 2019

- Outstanding performance award Art Olympia

(International open art competition) Tokyo, Japan 2019

- Fine Art Photography Awards (Nominee)-FAPA

London, UK 2017

- Biafarin Prestiges Award

11th International Arte Laguna Prize Venice, Italy 2017

- Shortlist - LICC

(London International Creative Competition)-London, UK 2016


- VENOART Auction, Washington, DC, USA 2021


Art Instructor

Photography Workshop

- Hamras Art Space, Tehran 2019

- Hunam Institute, Isfahan 2017

- Abrang Institute, Shiraz 2017

Photography Conceptual Portrait Course

- Inverse School of art and design, Tehran 2016-2018


Editorial, Fashion & Book Cover Photography

- The Tehran Times Magazine

“Innuendo” Editorial, Tehran, 2020

- Araz Fazaeli Collection

“Ornament is Crime, and I’m a Criminal”, Paris, 2019

“Disco Jalabiya”, Paris, 2019

- The Tehran Times Magazine

“set the trend, wear Iranian designers” Editorial, Teran, 2019

- Danial Zirak Safavid Alams collection-Jewelry

Tehran, 2019

- Pious Fashion: How Muslim Women Dress

cover photo, Harvard press, 2019

- The Tehran Times Magazine

“pulling the strings, a Marionette by Araz Fazaeli” Editorial, Tehran, 2018

“vintage and new age designs”, Tehran, 2017

"Embraces" Statement:

"The Embraces" is an opportunity to ruminate. Reminiscent of what human beings have lost and forgotten. A window to another window; one genuineness through another; A journey through depth to depth. Forgiveness of an abandoned man and a balm for his rejected soul. To discover the true self and become one, closely interwoven. "The Embraces," obliquely, is telling a hidden secret.  Risen hands seeking the truth. A step to go, a step to "The Return."

In this series, for which Sabouki won an Arte Laguna Prize in 2017, he deconstructs the very definition of portraiture by doing away with faces entirely. This also represents the culmination of his career-long interest in exploring the expressive power of human hands. The subjects are entirely shrouded except for their arms and hands. And yet, quite unexpectedly, the viewers find themselves making instantaneous emotional connections with these mysteriously veiled figures.

The absence of what we hold as paramount in human communication, the face, allows us to sink even more deeply into the intricacies of the only exposed part of the subject, the arms and the hands. Instead of being drawn to wrinkles on the forehead or dimples on the subject’s cheeks, one can only gauge the subject by the contrast of their arms and hands set against the veil that masks what we are used to looking at.


Embraces of the Soul: Illuminating Connections Through Captivating Photography>>>

Available Artworks

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