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A photographer for 30 years, Kazem Hakimi’s recent work creates a community portrait of Oxford. Fifty photographs make up this exhibition, selected from hundreds of images of individuals in the artist’s OX4 series. Hakimi’s skilled photographic portraits capture trust, warmth and compassion. The images invite us to share moments of connection between artist and subject, at ease in each other’s company.

Each portrait was shot on site at Hakimi’s popular fish and chip shop on the Iffley Road. The shop becomes an impromptu studio as Hakimi balances the running of his business with an artistic practice that combines the traditions of documentary and street photography.

Hakimi’s portraits offer an opportunity to appreciate the dignity of each individual in the diverse city of Oxford. In this collaboration between Modern Art Oxford and the Old Fire Station, we show Hakimi’s expansive body of work across the two art venues.

My customers are a cross-section of society and the photographs reveal an Oxford which is very different to the image of the city known to the outside world: one that is multi-ethnic and diverse. This series celebrates the range of characters who have made Oxford the city I love” – Kazem Hakimi

Portraits from a Chip Shop is presented over two venues: Modern Art Oxford, 30 Pembroke St, Oxford OX1 1BP, and Arts at the Old Fire Station, 40 George St, Oxford, OX1 2AQ.


Kazem Hakimi

Born in Shiraz, Iran in 1960, Hakimi moved to Oxford in the 1980s and studied Civil Engineering at Oxford Polytechnic, where he spent most of his time in the Photography department, mastering his art over the last 30 years. Hakimi has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Oxfordshire at The North Wall Arts Centre, OVADA, Art Jericho, The Jam Factory and Modern Art Oxford. In 2008, his work was published in the book An Eye for Iran: The Photographs of Kazem Hakimi.


"You really do very much need to go and see this. Warm, generous, inclusive, it is everything the wider world seems not to be right now"

— Mark Haddon, author

"I liked the portraits"

— Olivia, aged four

"... a vital encapsulation of diversity, rich in character and depth"

— Visitor, via Twitter

"Overwhelmed by the beauty of Kazem Hakimi's OX4 series... a true testament to the diversity of our community"

— Visitor, via Twitter

"Great portraits made with equal measures skill and love"

— Carole Souter, St Cross College, Oxford

"Majestic and compassionate"

— Visitor comment