Widely revered as Iran's finest filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami was part the celebrated Iranian New Wave movement that started in the late 1960s. Screenings of his films, including documentaries and shorts have appeared at numerous international festivals and his awards and accolades include the Palme d'Or for Best Film for A Taste of Cherry, Cannes Film Festival, France; 1997 and the prestigious Glory to the Filmmaker Award, Venice Film Festival, 2008. His photographic work is held in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York, LACMA in Los Angeles, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Also a photographer, painter, illustrator, author and poet, Kiarostami studied painting at Tehran University, after which he worked as a graphic designer. He started taking photographs of Iranian landscapes in the late 1970s—an interest which was intensified during the 1979 revolution, a time that was also a period of personal crisis for him. Although he was best known for his filmmaking, Kiarostami believed photography to be a purer medium than film, as it was relieved of the burden of narrative or entertainment.
Kiarostami's work, including both film and photography, are characterised by a distinct personal style that combines contemplative, philosophical themes with lyrical translations of neo-realism in modernist terms. His oeuvre includes an extensive collection of images, including roads through rain-flecked windscreens, isolated trees, and vast snow plains. For him, these subjects never failed to spark his interest: 'Two topics have been always inviting for my photography - trees and roads.'
Abass Kiarostami passed away in Paris, at the age of 76, on the 14th of July 2016.