Timelapse: 'A Sleeping Dragon' Uncoils in New York

Video: Mohsen Vaziri-Moqaddam's Untitled (Forms in Movement) (1970) installed (2 min., 38 sec.)

Iran Modern
Asia Society Museum's landmark exhibition Iran Modern, which runs through January 5, 2014, in New York, focuses on Iranian art created during the three decades leading up to the revolution of 1979. Learn more

Folded up, it resembles a pod with intricate detailing along its edges. But as Mohsen Vaziri-Moqaddam's 1970 sculpture Untitled (Forms in Movement) unfolds, you start to see the myriad shapes and forms it can assume.

Born in Tehran in 1924, Vaziri-Moqaddam received a Diploma of Fine Arts Academy from the University of Tehran at the age of 22. He moved to Italy in 1955 and attended the Accademia di Belle Arti of Rome where he received a Diploma of Fine Arts three years later. When he returned to Tehran in 1964, he became a Professor at his alma mater. Painter, sculptor, teacher and art critic, Vaziri-Moqaddam played an important role in Iran's contemporary art movement.

Made of wood and metal, Untitled is the largest of all the sculpture pieces in Asia Society Museum's current exhibition, Iran Modern, on view through January 5, 2014.

"It's like a sleeping dragon," said Vaziri when asked about Untitled during an interview at Asia Society. "When it opens its mouth and hands, it will capture everywhere..."

The beauty of the piece lies in the various ways in which it can be opened — and interpreted. In the video above, Asia Society Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Michelle Yun works with a team of art handlers to install the sculpture.

About the Author

Profile picture for user Tahiat Mahboob
Tahiat Mahboob is Asia Society's Senior Multimedia Producer. She grew up in Bangladesh, worked at New York Fashion Week and taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.