Contrary to Tehran where the galleries are distributed evenly in a large rectangle accommodating the Middle and Higher class, in Istanbul the galleries are concentrated in a small area and you can have a tour of galleries on foot. Contrary to Tehran where the galleries are usually located in basements, in Istanbul some proper galleries are stocked on top of one another in a single building. In Istanbul, it is easy to see the similarities and differences with Tehran. Is it not bizarre how our reference points have always been London, Paris, New York and a few other western cities never comparing ourselves to those from whom we can learn most easily. Turkey was our gate to modernity during the Qajarid period. I have attended several lectures and workshops of German, French, Swiss and other European artists invited to Iran but cannot recall a single instance where I have seen something of the art scene in Pakistan or Egypt in Tehran. How many of us have ever seen anything of the Middle East ‘in Iran’? Do they have an art scene at all? This strange ignorance of ours towards our neighbours…