What is Khor?

"Khor" (pronounced /xor/ or /kɔː/) is an inlet, a small gulf. It is a delicate tidal area with its own ecosystem. This native word for Middle Eastern estuaries is a symbol of middle eastern art, especially Iran, which represents a unique and highly influential if not vast cultural-geological range in the world.

Khor Art Initiative was born amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran in May 2020. The timing of this project was not a  mere coincidence but rather a calculated initiative. Despite all the challenges and our lack of experience, we were determined to organize an event with major objectives in mind, at a time when we thought it could prove most helpful for our art community. Fortunately, we were able to achieve this goal at a quality higher than we expected. On rather short notice, not only we succeeded in bringing together a group of elite international jurors but also were met with a warm welcome by artists from all across Iran. The jury process resulted in the selection and online exhibition of works from 54 mostly emerging artists. For more than half of our jurors - who represent a wide range of roles in the world of art - this was the first chance to be exposed to works of art from our region but everyone was at the same time pleased and surprised at the level of quality and variety in the works. Eventually, one artist was chosen among the selected artists as the winner of Khor Art Initiative 2020 and joined the roster of gifted artists represented by SARADIPOUR Art Gallery.

This year we are back with the second Khor Art Initiative. Khor 2021 still follows the same goals and vision that initially formed the base and driving force behind this initiative. However, based on the experiences gained from our first event and considering the changes in the conditions surrounding this year's event, the process will see a number of changes. What remains the same is Khor's long-term goals as well as our constant efforts for presenting this event as best as possible, adhering to the highest standards. And so, we are eagerly looking forward to seeing new works and meeting new talents.


Goals and Features:

  • Khor Art Initiative is a free open call for paintings and drawings. All Iranian artists - living inside or outside of Iran - are welcome to apply.

  • Presenting Iran's contemporary art at regional and international levels has always been SARADIPOUR Art Gallery's core vision, and we intend to achieve this by discovering capable, talented, and hard-working Iranian artists and presenting their work on various international platforms. Designed to accomplish our main objective, Khor Art Initiative aims to discover local talents to introduce them beyond the borders.

  • In line with our core objective, Khor Art Initiative 2021 jurors, like last year, will be comprised of a group of highly accomplished regional and international components of contemporary visual arts.

  • Due to the persistence of pandemic conditions, the entire process of Khor 2021, from submitting applications to review and eventually exhibition of selected works will take place online.

  • The selection process will be done in one phase by the jury board.

  • In this year's event, five artists will be selected and their works will be shown on Artsy and SARADIPOUR Art Gallery website.

  • The first winner will receive a cash prize of IRR 300,000,000.

  • At least one artwork from each of the five winners will be acquired by the gallery at a maximum price of IRR 100,000,000.

  • As with last year's Khor, one of the five winners will be chosen to join the artists represented by SARADIPOUR Art Gallery.