June 16 – August 20, 2023


Mohammad Tabesh

Canada, Iran


Untitled, Stoneware, 2023. Photo courtesy of the artist


At first glance, the works of Mohammad Tabesh and Jinming Li are quite dissimilar; however, there is a commonality linking them – they both reference the body, albeit in very different ways.  

Tabesh’s sculptures are evocative of sound – heard and unheard. There is the implication of voices crying aloud and voices silenced. 

Li’s work references architecture and spaces inhabited by people – most particularly, Brutalist architecture. He juxtaposes body adornment with a decidedly non-decorative form of architecture. 

The body has been a constant theme or point of departure within craft and design. Tabesh and Li continue to explore this theme through their material investigation and conceptual research. 

– Melanie Egan, Director Craft & Design, Harbourfront Centre

Peculiar Objects, Artist Statement

Growing up in Iran at the cusp of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, I remember mass arrests of political activists and executions with no fair trial. Under the Islamic regime, political opinions and activism are forcefully oppressed. The human body is at the center of all modes of censorship imposed by the Islamic government, traditional society, and one’s own family. 

This installation, “Peculiar Objects,” addresses these issues through a series of clay vessels surrounded by text. With their prominent open mouth, the six highly anthropomorphized vessels represent six decades of oppression (from the 1970s to the present). In addition, these bodies are surrounded by a list of political prisoners – from all walks of life – who had lost their lives in sham trials. 

In light of the recent women-led uprising in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of the so-called Morality Police, telling the stories of violence and trauma is relevant more than ever. 

About Mohammad Tabesh

Mohammad Tabesh (he/him) is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist whose work delves into the complexities of the human experience, resistance, and social change. Across various mediums, including writing, printmaking, multimedia, and sculpture, Tabesh strives to convey deeply human and universal stories. 

Tabesh’s work has been recognized with several Canada Council for the Arts grants and an Access Copyright Foundation grant. He earned his BFA from OCAD University and was honoured as the recipient of the university’s Sculpture and Installation Medal in 2020. In 2022, he was accepted as an Artist-in-Residence for ceramics at Harbourfront Centre. 

As an artist, Tabesh is committed to using his work as a vehicle for social change and encourages viewers to engage with his pieces personally and creatively. With a unique ability to blend the personal and political, Tabesh’s work offers a powerful commentary on the human condition. 

Dates & Times

June 16
6pm – Public Opening Reception


East Vitrines

A series of display cases located within the Craft & Design corridor


Wheelchair Accessible

235 Queens Quay W

Toronto ON M5J 2G8

Keywords Free EventPublic Art