Saya Behnam, born in Tehran, Iran, works intersects between three artistic movements: Western Abstract Expressionism, Chinese ‘Literari’, and Persian Calligraphy. Reinventing the traditional approach to these historical art movements, she reveals a part of herself while creating a distinctly unique aesthetic. Conveying strong emotional and expressive content, Behnam’s work blurs the lines between these three unique and vastly different cultures. Even without speaking Persian (Farsi) the viewer’s eyes stay active, stretching across the paper immersed in the harmony and balance of the curves that highlight the languages tendency toward natural forms. Lyrical and artistic in their own right, Behnam repeats the Farsi calligraphy of Hasti (“To be”) and Hastam (“I am”). These conjugations of “being” visually connect to the other elements in Behnam’s work. Combined with the Chinese ‘literari’ aesthetic, which scholars in Japan and China employ the application of ink to express their personal feelings rather than demonstrate professional skill, Behnam captures the exaggerated elements of Chinese composition and brushwork, with the combination of organic qualities of the Persian language.By simplifying each stroke she extracts the energy and nature of the brush; transcending them into a visual language. Using unconventional materials, the pigments are extracted from natural flowers and spices such as borage, saffron, tea, etc. While iconic to the middle east landscape and culture this creates a deepening of the organic nature of her work. These ‘natural’ colors are prepared and behave differently than synthetic paints. These organic elements create different shades of color based on how long they are allowed to be absorbed in the water, thus adding to the complexity of her work. The dripping colors, natural shapes and layered transparency in her work allow the complexity of each of these cultures to shine.With over 25 years of experience, Saya Behnam’s work explores the multi-faceted approach to exploring Eastern and Western cultures combined. Her works have been featured in the Iran Contemporary Museum of Modern Art and she has participated in programs at the Corcoran School of Art in DC.