Art Radar Asia

Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

  • Photobucket
  • About Art Radar Asia

    Art Radar Asia News conducts original research and scans global news sources to bring you selected topical stories about the taste-changing, news-making and the up and coming in Asian contemporary art.
  • Advertisements

Archive for the ‘Feminist art’ Category

First New York exhibition for celebrated Thai artist Pinaree Sanpitak

Posted by artradar on February 24, 2010


THAI FEMINIST ART

Pinaree Sanpitak, artistic chameleon and feminist artist, will hold her first New York exhibition, Quietly Floating, at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in March this year.

Quietly Floating Quietly Funny, 2008

Sanpitak is a prolific and celebrated Thai artist who takes her inspiration directly from the female form.

The exhibition will feature a series of large monochromatic paintings of breasts and cloud forms, a number of drawings on paper expressing the same imagery, and an installation of large aluminium mirrors.

Dark and Sweet, 2008

These works, created during a 2008 artist residency at the Montalvo Arts Center in California, USA, build on an earlier series of works titled Breasts and Clouds, started in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2006.

“The form of clouds came about in a hot studio in the summer months of Bangkok in 2006. Later a friend told me that there’s a word in Pali/Sanskrit called Pa-yo-ta-ra which means beholder of water and giver of milk.” (Pinaree Sanpitak, artist statement)

Over the Blue, Breasts and Clouds, 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok, 2007

A versatile and prolific artist, Sanpitak has worked in an abundance of mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, and performance. In 2005, she even delved into the culinary arts with her Breast Stupa Cookery series.

Breast Stupa Cookery

Sanpitak has been a powerful voice in Thai art since the 1980s, contributing a strong female presence to her local art scene.

Many critics and art writers contribute the formation of her artistic style to the birth of her son in 1993. However, it seems she has been working with abstracted female iconography since the late 1980s.

She has held solo exhibitions in Asia, America and Europe and has participated in major biennials in Australia, Italy, Japan and Korea.

Quietly Floating will show at New York gallery Tyler Rollins Fine Art from 4 March to 17 April this year. The gallery will host an artist talk on Saturday 13 March from 2 pm.

KN

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for more on Southeast Asian artists

Advertisements

Posted in Feminist art, Gallery shows, Illustration, New York, Painting, Sculpture, Thai, USA, Women power | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Iran Inside Out review round up – 56 artist survey show in New York described as mesmerising, a privilege

Posted by artradar on September 3, 2009


IRANIAN ART SURVEY

56 contemporary Iranian artists are presented in the attention-grabbing and timely  Iran Inside Out exhibition at Chelsea Art Museum in New York (June 26 – Sep 5 2009).

Surprisingly – or perhpas not – only 35 artists in the show reside inside Iran and the other 21 dispersed outside Iran. Together they contribute 210 works of painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation on themes such as gender, war, and politics. Complemented with forums and film screenings, theatre performances, music recitals, and panel discussions, Iran Inside Out is part of Chelsea Art Museum’s 2008-2009 “The East West Project”. 

In this round up, art experts and critics from the New York Times to the Huffington Post give their perspectives on this exhibition and report that they are enthralled, mesmerised and surprised.  In this rich and challenging show unexpected findings and themes abound. Be sure to scroll down and read Huffington Post’s Marina Bronchman who discovers a controversial new view of the veil and its effect on sexual and gender expression.

 

Pooneh Maghazehe, Hell's Puerto Rico Performance Still, Digital C-print 2008 copyright artist and courtesy Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery
Pooneh Maghazehe, Hell’s Puerto Rico Performance Still, Digital C-print 2008 copyright artist and courtesy Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery

 

 

Chelsea Art Museum: Curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath

The curators explain that Iran Inside Out defies the traditional perceptions of Iran and Iranian art:

An intimate look into the people, both inside and outside a country that is more complex than images of veiled women, worn out calligraphy and what a handful of other emblematic images would suggest…an examination of the means through which a young generation of artists is reconciling the daily implications of cultural and geographical distances with the search for individual artistic expression…offers an unexpected insight into the artistic energy of a culture that is constantly evolving as Iranians living both in and out of the country, come of age living and working in contentious societies.

(Art Radar editor note: the curators of Saatchi’s Middle Eastern show ‘Unveiled’ (in which Iranian art predominated) earlier in 2009 also claimed to go beyond the ‘worn out’ to present a more nuanced and alternative view of art from the Middle East – this was hotly contested by some reviewers who were surprised to find that, on the contrary, bloodshed, repression and gender inequality were ubiquitous and courageously expressed. See related posts section below for the review round up of  Saatchi’s show).

 

Yet there are differences between insiders and outsiders say the curators:

Ironically, contrary to one’s expectations, the artists living abroad often draw more on their cultural heritage, while those on the inside focus more on issues of everyday life without much regard to what ‘the outside’ views as specifically Iranian references. Yet, within these disparities, one element stands strong: the recurrent references, sometimes ambiguous, at times emotional, often nostalgic and on occasion satirical and even tragic to Iran the country, Iran the past, the Iran which has been lost and that which could be found.

New York Times: Holland Cotter

Holland Cotter elaborates on how Iranian cultural references run through the show in this 30th-anniversary year of the Iranian revolution. For this critic, whether inside or out, artists are in touch with their cultural history. 

Golnaz Fathi, who lives in Tehran, walks the line between calligraphy and abstraction in his paintings; so does Pouran Jinchi, who lives in New York. The heroic epic called “The Book of Kings” is given an action-hero update by Siamak Filizadeh of Tehran, but also in film stills by Sadegh Tirafkan, who spends part of his time in Toronto.

 

“Zaal arrives to help Rostam, ROSTAM 2 The Return” by Siamak Filizadeh(2008)
“Zaal arrives to help Rostam, ROSTAM 2 The Return” by Siamak Filizadeh(2008)

 

 

Female artists are  given the spotlight, too:

Alireza Dayani’s fantastical historical drawings; Newsha Tavakolian’s photographic study of a transsexual; Saghar Daeeri’s paintings of Tehran’s boutique shoppers; Shirin Fakhim’s sculptural salute to the city’s prostitutes. Abbas Kowsari documents cadet training for chador-clad female police officers in Tehran. Less interestingly, Shahram Entekhabi draws chadors in black Magic Marker on images of dating-service models.

However, not all of them advocate social causes. Some artists employ a less aggressive tone:

Ahmad Morshedloo’s tender paintings of sleepers, Reza Paydari’s portrait of school friends and the mysterious little films of Shoja Azari are in this category.

Nevertheless, ambiguity does not equate with absence of politics in these artwork: 

Repression both inside and outside Iran is under scrutiny in a piece by Mitra Tabrizian about the roles of both the West and Muslim clergy in Iran’s modern history. In photographs by Arash Hanaei, brutal scenes from the Iran-Iraq war and Abu Ghraib are played out by bound and gagged dolls.

Flavorpill New York: Leah Taylor 

 

Sara Rahbar, 'Flag #5', 2007. Textile/mixed media, 65x35 inches
Sara Rahbar, ‘Flag #5’, 2007. Textile/mixed media, 65×35 inches

 

Taylor praises Iran Inside Out as one of the timeliest exhibitions in history:

With violence and political unrest roiling in that country, this exhibit takes a closer look at its inherent contradictions, tradition, culture, identity, and struggle — especially as faced by its younger generation of artists. As gruesome descriptions and footage of the election-protest clampdown continue to slip through Iranian censors daily, having Iran Inside Out‘s creative insight into the country seems a privilege, indeed.

Huffington Post: Marissa Bronfman

Shocked and enthralled by the creative artwork at the exhibition, Bronfman comments: 

A sense of duality was apparent in all the various pieces I saw at the exhibit, and there is an interesting geographical duality influencing the artists as well. The artists still living in Iran must struggle with avoiding government censors while not compromising with self-censorship, and those living outside strive to assume an “unlabeled artist-status” within a West-centric contemporary art world. The museum reminds us of their important commonality, however, such that all 56 artists desire to “establish an individual artistic identity free from the stigma of “stereotype” and “locality.” 

She explains what draws her the most about the Tehran Shopping Malls by Saghar Daeeri:

 

Saghar Daeeri, Shopping Malls of Tehran - Acrylic (Aaron Gallery).
Saghar Daeeri, Shopping Malls of Tehran – Acrylic (Aaron Gallery).

The paintings came to life with a stunning palette of vibrant colors and women depicted in a grotesque, almost fantastical rendering. Heavily made up faces, lacquered nails and peroxide hair instantly made me think these Iranian women were influenced by typical American ideals of beauty. However, Hanna Azemati, who works at CAM and presided over the show, offered a wonderful perspective that I hadn’t originally considered. She told me that, “Because of the compulsory veil, women express their femininity through venues that are allowed in exaggerated ways. They resort to excessive make-up, overdone highlighted hair, thin eyebrows, long colored nails and even suggestive behavior.” This dualism that Iranian women must grapple with, between veiling and self-expression, was communicated with profound contradiction and was really quite mesmerizing.

Contributed by Wendy Ma

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for more reviews on Iranian art

Posted in Activist, Critic, Curators, Feminist art, Identity art, Iranian, Islamic art, Museum shows, New York, Political, Religious art, Reviews, Shows, Social, Surveys, USA, War, Women power | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pakistani contemporary miniature art – overview on video

Posted by artradar on June 4, 2009


PAKISTANI CONTEMPORARY MINIATURE ART

Aisha Khalid

Aisha Khalid

Keep hearing about contemporary Pakistani art and want to know a bit more? Here is a great little introductory video.

RTHK, a Hong Kong media organisation, has produced a brief but powerful  video which, in just 6 minutes, manages to  include:

  • a look at the historical development of the genre which has roots in the Mughal empire;
  • the tools – shell mixing pallettes and squirrel hair brushes so fine that only 2-3 hairs are used;
Imran Qureshi

Imran Qureshi

  • demonstration of artists at work;
  • interviews with 2 renowned artists, Imran Qureshi and Aisha Khalid, who talk about the sources of their inspiration: nuclear warheads and curtains in the Red Light District of Amsterdam;
  • a contextual interview with Professor Salimi Hashmi, a respected expert who explains that the development of this hallowed aesthetic into a contemporary form has spurred vigorous debate.

Watch the Pakistani contemporary art video here

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for overviews of Asian art

Posted in Classic/Contemporary, Feminist art, Interviews, Islamic art, Miniatures, Overviews, Painting, Pakistani, War | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review round up – Saatchi Middle East art show Unveiled – which artists are critic favourites?

Posted by artradar on February 26, 2009


Kader Attia, Ghost, Installation

Kader Attia, Ghost, Installation

 

 

SAATCHI MIDDLE EAST ART SHOW

Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, Saatchi Gallery, London to 6 May 2009

Advertising mogul and art patron Saatchi is a master at generating extensive high profile media coverage for his shows giving us an uncommon opportunity to synthesise the critics’ views of individual Middle Eastern artists and the show overall.  Here are the highlights:

  • critics were kind: Saatchi is “back on form” in a show which is “impressive” , “extraordinarily good”
  • Tala Madani received rave reviews: “I haven’t come across a young artist this original witty and talented in twenty years”
  • Kader Attia’s installation Ghost was the show stopper artwork for most critics
  • painting section of the show was weaker than works in other media
  • sculpture and installations garnered most critical attention receiving mixed reviews
  • varying views were expressed about the success of the organisers’  claim to overturn the cliched idea that the Middle East is synonymous with violence and intolerance   

Ranking of artists by number of  mentions (positive or neutral unless stated)

  1. Kader Attia – (5) – Independent, Reuters, Telegraph, Standard (thumbs down), Bloomberg
  2. Tala Madani – (5) – Time Out, Independent, Guardian/Observer, Telegraph, Standard
  3. Marwan Rechmaoui – (4) – Time Out, Independent, Guardian/Observer, Standard
  4. Sara Rahbar – (3) – Time Out, Independent, Reuters
  5. Rokni Haerizadeh – (3) – Reuters, LA Times, Standard
  6. Ramin Haerizadeh – (3) – Guardian/Observer, LA Times, Telegraph
  7. Wafa Hourani – (3) – Time Out, LA Times, Standard
  8. Ahmed Alsoudani – (3) – Time Out, Standard, Independent
  9. Halim al-Karim – (3) Reuters, Telegraph, Standard (thumbs down)
  10. Shirin Fakhim’s – (3) Reuters, Telegraph, Bloomberg
  11. Diana Al-Hadid – (2) Time Out, Telegraph
  12. Shadi Ghadirian – (1) Bloomberg
  13. Hayv Kahraman – (1) Independent

 

‘Unveiled: New Art From the Middle East’ at London’s Saatchi Gallery – LA Times – Henry Chu – Feb 11 2009

The usual Middle East-related topics of religion and war are not to be seen in this exhibition which is instead dominated by themes of sexuality, gender and religion says Chu. His story focuses on the struggles of the artists with censorship and the threat of officialbacklash. Despite this a thriving art scene is developing in some cities and – surprisingly – Tehran now has over 100 commercial galleries. Artists mentioned include the Haerizadeh brothers Rokni and Ramin (Men of Allah) and Palestinian Wafa Hourani’s whose  Qalandia 2067 is a ‘striking’ small-scale model of a refugee camp half a century in the future.

Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East at the Saatchi Gallery Telegraph– Richard Dorment – Feb 4 2009

Dorment pooh-poohs the ‘sunny’ assertion by Lisa Farjam in the exhibition catalogue that it is a cliche to associate the Middle East with political oppression, religious intolerance and terrorism. He ‘profoundly disagrees’ saying this show is replete with references to bombs, religious police and the denigration of women. The most ‘remarkable’ artists are Kader Attia, Halim Al-Karim (Hidden War)  and Diana Al-Hadid (Tower of Infinite Problems) because their work transcends the political. However Dorment finds himself most interested in some of the other artists. Ramin Haerizadeh’s strutting pouting Men of Allahis not the strongest work he says but one of the bravest and suggests the psychosexual motivation of fundamentalism. He mentions work by Shirin Fakhim and refers to Tala Madani (Tower Reflections) ” I haven’t come across a young artist this original witty or talented in 20 years”. Despite the weakness of the painted works, overall the show is much stronger for being ‘less slick and commercial’ than its predecessor, a show of Chinese art.

Unveiled: New Art From The Middle East – Time Out– Ossian Ward – Feb 3 2009

Saatchi has no truck with the high-minded concerns of the academics and curators which is a good thing says Ossian Ward. It means he does not try to provide an explanation  for his unapologetic grouping of artists who come from lands which are bewildering in their diversity. 

“The sculptural works shine but the paintings disappoint” as does some of the works which border on “gross-out territory” reminiscent of YBA (Young British Artists). Artists discussed include Marwan Rechmaoui (Spectre), Diana Al-Hadid, Wafa Hourani, Ahmed Alsoudani and Tala Madani. 

Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, Saatchi Gallery, LondonIndependent– Charles Darwent – Feb 1 2009

An ‘impressive’ and ‘extraordinarily good’ show says Darwent in which the united and divided cultures of the West and Middle East are laid bare. Rich with historical and art references, Darwent gives thoughtful reviews of works by Sara Rahbar, Hayv Kahraman, Ahmed Alsoudani, Tala Madani, Kader Attia, and Marwan Rechamoui. Sara Rahbar’s work  Flag #19 is singled out.

Noting the interplay of West and Middle East evident across the works, Darwent comments that thartists are Middle Eastern but ‘not quite’  and in fact only 11 of the 19 – and only 2 of the 7 women – artists now live  in the region.

The veil is lifted on hidden talent Guardian/Observer – Laura Cumming – Feb 1 2009

At its best says Cumming this ‘candid collection from the Islamic world is inventive and truly fearless’ though some of the work is a ‘shambolic hybrid of eastern content and western style’ which ‘plays hard to the international art fair and biennale market’. But no matter there are some independent minds: among them are Ramin Haerizadeh- whose satirical sexually-charged photo works are ‘gleefully savage’ – Marwan Rechmanoui and the ‘prodigiously gifted’ and ‘original’  Tala Madani (Holy Light, Elastic Pink). Overall says Cummings it is amazing how far into politics this art goes and points out that the publicity shot of TalaMadini has been treated to conceal her identity despite making her home in Amsterdam.

 Subversive Beauty in UnveiledStandard (This is London) – Ben Lewis – Jan 30 2009

London’s great art entrepreneur is back on form says Lewis and the works by artists from Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq are “thrillingly topical and often brilliantly executed”. There is an excitement in seeing politics through the language of contemporary art rather than the familiar TV images. Highlights are paintings by 3 artists Ahmed Alsoudani, Rokni Haerizadeh and Tala Madani. Marwan Richmaoui and Wafa Hourani are mentioned. Kader Attia is slammed for being “excessively shiny and large” and Halim Al-Karim is also given a thumbs down.

Saatchi show unveils vibrant Middle East art sceneReuters– Mike Collett-White – Jan 29 2009

This provocative show will test the tolerance of some says Collett-White in a rare opinion at the beginning of this facts-dominated piece covering the inspiration for the show. The recent unrecognised flourishing of artistic communities in Tehran and Beirut is the rationale for the show explains Rebecca Wilson head of development for Saatchi. Apart from French-Algerian Kader Attia and his ‘striking’ piece (Ghost), other artists mentioned include Rokni Haerizadeh (Typical Iranian Wedding, Beach at the Caspian), Halim al-Karim (Hidden Prisoner 1993), Shirin Fakhim’s work about prostitutes incorporating kitchen utensils and Sara Rahbar.

 Saatchi shows veiled women made of foil, Iran sex-worker dollsBloomberg– Martin Gayford – Jan 29 2009

Full of “brash, sometimes shocking Saatchi-type art” this is clearly a display of one man’s tastes and there is nothing wrong with that says Martin Gayford. Saatchi has a propensity for figurative art “though frankly none of it is that exciting” but it is the sculptures and installations that grab attention and Kadia Attia’s Ghost is a show-stopper. Other artists address women’s issues too and Gayford highlights Shirin Fakhim (Tehran Prositutes) and Shadi Ghadirian’s photographs (Like Everyday Series).

Related links: Saatchi website

Related categories: Middle Eastern art, Iranian art, gender in art, political art, reports from London

Related posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for news round ups of influential shows and important events

Posted in Collectors, Feminist art, Identity art, Iranian, Iraqi, Islamic art, Lebanese, London, Middle Eastern, Painting, Palestinian, Photography, Political, Prison, Religious art, Reviews, Saatchi, Sculpture, Shadi Ghadirian, Social, Syrian, UK, Women power | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

28 Iranian women artists in 3 decade survey Masques of Shahrazad in London

Posted by artradar on February 12, 2009


Shadi Gadhirian, Nil Nil, 2008

Shadi Ghadirian, Nil Nil, 2008

FEMALE IRANIAN ART

The Masques of Shahrazad to 9-14 March 2009 at Candlestar GalleryEvolution and Revolution of three generations of Iranian women artists

An exhibition featuring work by 28 Iranian women artists runs at The Mall Galleries, London, 9 – 14 March 2009. Opening on International Women’s Day and thirty years on from the upheavals of the Iranian Revolution, the Masques of Shahrazad is an opportunity to survey the Iranian artistic landscape of the last three decades. It is a moment to celebrate established artists and to uncover the new names that will bear the standard for women’s art in Iran for decades to come.

This exhibition takes its cue and inspiration from Shahrazad, or Sheherazade, as the heroine of A Thousand and One Nights is often called. Like the legendary storyteller, these artists have had to adopt feints and stratagems, beguiling, charming and evading authority to sustain their artistic endeavours.

The Masques of Shahrazad includes work by celebrated Iranian artists such as Pariyoush Ganji, Maryam Javaheri, and Mansoureh Hosseini as well as Farideh Lashai, Golnaz Fathi, and Farah Ossouli, alongside younger artists who are beginning to register on the international art scene, namely Samira Alikhanzadeh, Shadi Ghadirian and Tahereh Samadi Tari.

Samirah Alikhanzadeh, The Orange Raquet Team, 2008

Samirah Alikhanzadeh, The Orange Raquet Team, 2008

The exhibition illustrates themes that range from time, a constant yet fragmented notion as depicted here, to politics. Each generation of artists deals with these themes in very different ways, but there is a shared sense of identity and heritage, expressed through reinterpretations of the Iranian creative vernacular.

Golnaz Fathi, Untitled, 2008

Golnaz Fathi, Untitled, 2008

Fariba Farshad, Director of Candlestar and joint curator of the exhibition, says: ‘Gradually, Iran’s female artists have engineered a shift in the limitations and barriers that constrained their predecessors, and have cleverly turned their weaknesses into strengths. Each of the three generations of artists we have selected for this show have had to evolve their own strategy to circumvent authority and express themselves, overcoming their fears and showing things that other people are afraid of expressing. Their works are sharp, subtle and perhaps subversive, without appearing to be any of these things; this is the genius of the masque. And a strange thing has happened: the decision to be an artist is no longer frowned upon. Many of the parents of this new generation of artists know what Shahrazad knew – that in the making of art there lies a path to a kind of liberation.’

Shirin Neshat click to buy book

Shirin Neshat click to buy book

The exhibition is produced by Candlestar, in association with the Day Art Gallery, Tehran.

Source: Candlestar Gallery press release

Masques of Shahrazad Artists: Mania Akbari, Azadeh Akhlaghi, Samira Alikhanzadeh, NahidArian, Bahar Behbahni, Fataneh Dadkhah, FatemehEmdadian, Yasmine Esfandiary, Golnaz Fathi, Pariyoush Ganji, Shadi Ghadirian, Yassi Golshani, Shahla Habibi, Mansoureh Hosseini, Maryam Javaheri, Shila Kalamian, Delaram Kia, Farideh Lashai, Farah Ossouli, Raziyeh Poursalari, Azadeh Razaghdoost, Tahereh Samadi Tari, Zahra Shahamatpour, Delbar Shahbaz, Maryam Shirinlou, Shideh Tami, Gizella Varga Sinai, Maryam Zandi.

Related links: Candlestar Gallery

Related posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for news of important upcoming events

Posted in Feminist art, Gallery shows, Identity art, Iranian, Islamic art, London, Middle Eastern, Painting, Photography, Political, Surveys, UK | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What are latest trends in Chinese art, who are the top two emerging artists? Melissa Chiu video

Posted by artradar on February 1, 2009


CHINESE ART TRENDS

Australian curator and writer Melissa Chiu of the Asia Society New York discusses the newest trends from China in a video called Inside The Contemporary Art Scene.

She identifies several emerging changes:

  • young Chinese women are emerging as a force for the first time
  • new technology is being adopted and young artists are excelling at video and other new media
  • China’s experience as a world centre of manufacturing has influenced the scale and construction of art from China and beyond its borders, particularly evident in the activities is Zhang Huan
  • influence of artists in their fifties driven abroad by the Cultural Revolution and now returning to work in China
  • two emerging artists are singled out : Cao Fei for her work on Second Life and Yang Fudong for his videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhsCDqGb_LE

For more on Chinese art, emerging artistsfemale art,  new media,

Related

Subscribe to Art Radar to learn about the newest art trends from the people who count

Posted in Cao Fei, Chinese, Emerging artists, Fantasy art, Feminist art, Interviews, New Media, Overviews, Social, Surveys, Urban, Utopian art, Video, Zhang Huan | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Three Pakistani female artists in New York – review New York Times, Art Knowlege News

Posted by artradar on January 13, 2009


Farida Batool Nai Reesan Shehr Lahore Diyan

 

 

PAKISTANI CONTEMPORARY ART SHOW REVIEW

Indian contemporary art is hotter than ever, but globalization is also giving a lift to artists from neighboring Pakistan says the New York Times in its review of a show featuring three female artists at Aicon Gallery in New York which ended January 11 2009 .

Farida Batool, Tazeen Qayyum, and Adeela Suleman were presented in its recently relocated space on 35 Great Jones Street during a time of great political upheaval for the country. The three women’s artistic practices speak to the role of women and Pakistan’s tumultuous recent history.

 

Adeela Suleman Green Peacock Helmet

Adeela Suleman Green Peacock Helmet

Triggered by the  ‘Indian Highway’ currently on show at the Serpentine in London, reviewers there are declaring themselves ‘tired’  of the ‘obvious’ motifs evident in some of the art emanating from the Indian subcontinent. Bindis and the kind of steel hardware supplies favoured by Subodh Gupta are out. But in New York Adeela Suleman’s stainless steel kitchen equipment sculptures, which are described as  ‘exquisite’, are given a gentler reception.

Most eye catching are Adeela Suleman’s sculptures, in which stainless-steel hardware of the sort that might be found in nearby kitchen supply shops is convincingly and ingeniously transformed. In the exquisite “Green Peacock Helmet,” an upturned funnel with a painted-on fan of feathers becomes a headpiece fit for a Mongolian warrior.

Adeela Suleman has assembled household hardware such as drain covers, nails, showerheads and fasteners, into forms ranging from strange microorganisms to internal organs and sections of the human body. Despite the clunky and prosaic associations attached to these found objects, the finished artworks have a surprisingly ‘delicate quality’ says Art Knowledge News.

 While the domestic origins of her materials may provoke the viewer to label her work as feminist in its intent, Suleman prefers instead to view her works as sketches in three-dimensional form realized through the potential of combining these disparate elements.

Suleman received a Masters of Arts in International Relations from the University of Karachi in 1999, and continues to live and work in Karachi, Pakistan.

Tazeen Qayyum Test on a Small Area Before Use

Tazeen Qayyum Test on a Small Area Before Use

Delicate workmanship is a striking feature in many Pakistani works, a legacy of Pakistan’s tradition of miniature painting which dates back to the Mughal empire.  

Tazeen Qayyum renders cockroaches and other household pests with extraordinary delicacy. (Like the well-known contemporary artist Shahzia Sikander, Ms. Qayyum studied miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore.) The pins and small labels attached to several works mimic the conventions of entomology, but they also exude a minimalist vibe.

She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, with an emphasis in Indian Miniature Painting in 1996. She lives and works between Lahore, Pakistan and Toronto, Canada.

Farida Batool who received her MA in ) from the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales, Australia in 2003 and now lives and works in Lahore Pakistan, has created a series of lenticular prints (the image changes with the viewing angle) to portray complex political realies.

Batool prefers the medium to that of video, as the lenticular print allows the viewer to meditate upon a frozen series of moments within a single event, stop at any moment, and review again instantly.

Her print Nai Reesan Shehr Lahore Diyan (There is no Match of the City Lahore) depict acts of arson committed by religious extremists. Through the animation, Batool weighs the evils of both Eastern and Western extremism and finds the greater evil is difficult to identify.  

More posts about Pakistani art, reports from New York, gender in art, political art, sculpture, Pakistani miniature painting

Related posts

Subscribe to Art Radar for the latest trends and up and coming artists

 

 

 

Posted in Children, Feminist art, Gallery shows, New York, Pakistani, Photography, Political, Sculpture, Social, War | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Female Middle Eastern artists trendy thanks to Shirin Neshat – Time Out

Posted by artradar on December 22, 2008


Shirin Neshat Women Without Men

Shirin Neshat Women Without Men

MIDDLE EASTERN ART BEIJING

Shirin Neshat Women Without Men Faurschou Gallery Beijing to January 18 2009

As unlikely as it seems given the current political climate, many people in the art world are now asking: is contemporary Middle Eastern art the next big thing, reports Time Out Beijing.

The present boom is founded on the unprecedented exposure that Islamic culture has received since September 11, as well as the influx of cash from Arabian royal families and governments into new art fairs and museums. However, even trendier than contemporary Middle Eastern art are female Middle Eastern artists, and photographer Shirin Neshat is a big contributor to that.

Neshat has been a resident of the United States for over twenty years, but has returned to visit her family since the 1990s when political conditions improved. In these visits she has maintained a relationship with the Eastern world and witnessed her country change from the progressive political and social system imposed on her country to the present theocratic regime.

‘For me one of the principal challenges,’ Neshat says, ‘is to imagine how the artist who is an immigrant to another country and who is immersed in the characteristics of another culture, can create works that contribute to a broader and more tolerant dialogue.’

Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat

For her first exhibition in China at the Faurschou gallery, the 51-year-old will explore the themes of human passion and desire through the conditions of women and religious codes in contemporary Muslim society.  She will show her monumental film opus Women without Men consists of five video installations based on Shahrnush Parsipur’s banned book by the same name. The novel is set in 1953, the year when the democratically elected Iranian prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, attempted to avert a coup mounted by American and British forces who wanted to reinstate the Shah as an absolute ruler in order to avoid the nationalisation of the country’s oil industry.

The first thing that will strike you hopefully is a sigh of relief and then, perhaps, a cause for celebration as your faith in art is renewed. The standard at 798 will have been raised once again both in terms of the level that art can effect you and in terms of gallery presentation.

Time Out Beijing

In article in Time Magazine, she was quoted as saying that she seeks to “untangle the ideology of Islam through her art,” and this exhibition, the artist’s first in China, will present five films that reinterpret the lives of five Iranian women in 1953, the year the democratically elected prime minister was overthrown by an American-supported coup d’etat. More than a discussion of the events of this important year in Iranian history, the videos document the personal trials of women living within strict societal restrictions about religious, sexual and social behavior.

Redbox Review

Posted in Beijing, China, Feminist art, Gallery shows, Identity art, Iranian, Islamic art, Middle Eastern, Political, Religious art, Shirin Neshat, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Kuwaiti print maker Thuraya Al-Baqsami on identity, Kuwait art scene, writing – ART Interview

Posted by artradar on November 28, 2008


Thuraya Al-Baqsami

Thuraya Al-Baqsami

 

KUWAITI ARTIST INTERVIEW

This is an abridged version of ART Interview’s talk with Kuwaiti print maker Thurayama Al-Baqsami who is considered one of Kuwait’s most outspoken female artists. For over three and a half decades, Thuraya Al-Baqsami has remained steadfast in her commitment to use the arts as a vehicle for intellectual transformation and social change.

Brief bio

Thuraya Al-Baqsami was born 1951 in Kuwait City. She received her academic training in Cairo, Egypt at the “College of Fine Arts” during 1972 and 1973 before moving on in 1981 to earn her Masters Degree in book illustration and design from the “Art College of Surikov” in Moscow, Russia.Thuraya Al-Baqsami received the Golden Palm Leaf award from the GCC in 1989 and in 1992. Her work on the book on the International Declaration of Human Rights, Liberte 98, was praised by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. In 1987 and in 1992 she received the first prize award from the Kuwait National Museum.

Collectors of Thuraya Al-Baqsami

Her work can be found in public and private collections throughout Asia, the Middle East and the United States as well as in Europe. Some of the museums that have collected Al-Baqsami’s work include; the Kuwait National Museum, the Bahrain National Museum, Modern Art Museum in Escobia-Macedonia, Contemporary Islamic Art Museum in Amman-Jordan, The British Museum – London, Bayan Palace-Amiri Diwan in Kuwait and the Central University of Nationalities in Beijing, China.

Interview abridged

Art Interview: Is there an art-scene in Kuwait?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: We have an art association, of which I have been a member since 1968. There is also the National Council of Arts. It is part of the Department of Culture that belongs to the Ministry of Information. We have quite a few artists but they tend to be female rather than male. We have painters and sculptors but I think I am the only print maker. We also have video artists and computer artists now. I think the level of art in Kuwait is okay for such a young country. But since we don’t have art colleges it is developing more slowly than in Europe or America.

Art Interview: Are there modern art museums in Kuwait?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: Yes, yes, we have a museum of Kuwaiti art. You could call it modern because it’s only 30 or 40 years old.

Art Interview: Have you always done the type of art that you are doing now?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: No, I’ve changed. I try to discover myself through my art. I started making experimental art. I built upon this step by step. I like to change every 2-3 years, not dramatically, but step by step. When I work with a media or a subject and I feel that I can’t take it further then I move on. Sometimes to loosen up I’ll work abstractly but I like people and I want to see them in my work. So much of my work centers on portrait and figurative art.

Art Interview: How has your writing affected your art?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: I have six published novels, two books for children, a book of art criticism, a book of poetry, a book about my experiences in the war in Lebanon and another one with funny, satirical articles. Writing is part of my personality. It takes up much of my time. But people know me more as an artist than as a writer. Writing is a big challenge for me and I feel it will continue to be a wonderful part of my future. I am trying very hard to establish myself as a good writer. Writing is very important for me because I have things inside of me that I cannot put into paintings. Painting is different than writing. Writing means paper, information, and feeling to me. It means good language; you can do it in a corner, on the bus or sitting in the park. Painting, on the other hand, means technique and composition to me. Sometimes I mix the two together. If I have an image in my head I’ll often I write about it and sometimes I’ll do a painting based on my writing.

Thuraya Al-Baqsami

Thuraya Al-Baqsami

Art Interview: Would you consider them as illustration?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: Yes, they are illustrations of what I feel. Sometimes I feel that what I write down would be too difficult to tell in a painting. I live in peace with these two forms of expression: writing and painting.

Art Interview: Do you write in Arabic?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: Yes, I write in Arabic, in my own language. It is a difficult language and at the same time it is very, very rich. It is a wonderful language to write in.

Art Interview: Do you illustrate your poetry?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: Yes. I illustrated my poetry, my short stories and the children’s stories that I wrote. My poetry is about love and women and human relations in Arabic society, which are very complicated themes.

Art Interview: Is it possible to buy these books? Have they been translated into English?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: Yes. Yes. Arabic literature is very difficult to get in North America but Europeans can get some of my books translated into English over http://www.amazon.co.uk

Art Interview: Do you think that your choice to be an artist was a difficult choice or did it feel very easy and natural?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: Becoming an artist was very natural for me. Since I was a child I knew that I wanted to be an artist. This has made life easier. One of my daughters is also like this. Since she was a kid she also wanted to be an artist. These people don’t suffer the same as some people do because they know from the beginning on what they want to be. Some people even finish university and get a job and still they don’t know what they want to be. This was my decision from the beginning: I want to be an artist.

Art Interview: What about your identity in Kuwait? Is it typical that Arabic women artists have the opportunity to exhibit internationally as frequently as you do?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: No.

Art Interview: It is unique then?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: Yes, I’m unique.

Art Interview: What is it that drives you to do this? It’s a lot of work.

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: Yes, it is a lot of work but as I told you my husband plans my schedule for me since he is my manager and I usually agree with time frames.

Art Interview: Is the relationship between you and your husband atypical for the Arab world?

Thuraya Al-Baqsami: For an Arab man my husband is very unique. Usually Arabian men are very selfish and they don’t like having their wives in the spotlight. My husband is one of the rare men who shows his strength by allowing freedoms that others would not. For example, many people have the wrong idea and they ask him how he could let his wife stay alone in another country. But he trusts me and he trusts that I am doing something good for my future.

Subscribe to Art Radar for emerging art scenes and important artists

Posted in Feminist art, Human Body, Identity art, Illustration, Interviews, Kuwaiti, Middle Eastern, Museum collectors, Profiles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

First UK survey of Iranian women film, photography artists in London to January 2009

Posted by artradar on November 11, 2008


iran

Shadi Ghadirian Be Colourful

IRANIAN ART PHOTOGRAPHY FILM WOMEN 27 September 2008 – 10 January 2009

30 Years of Solitude is a survey show of photography and film by some of Iran’s most talented women artists and is the first exhibition in the UK featuring artists who all live and work in Iran.

Curated by architect Faryar Javaherian and artist Haleh Anvari the exhibition focuses on the feelings of anxiety, isolation and the sense of loss that Iranian society has experienced in the last 30 years.

Thirty Years of Solitude came about after the art critic Edward Lucie-Smith was struck by the quality of the work coming out of Iran, and persuaded the president of New Hall, Anne Lonsdale, to consider mounting an exhibition. New Hall, one of two all-women colleges in Cambridge, is a long-time supporter of women artists and displays the world’s second-largest collection of women’s art on its college walls.

Lonsdale then booked herself on an anonymous tourist holiday to Iran – “I didn’t want to get anyone into trouble” – to sound out Javaherian, a Harvard-educated architect, about the possibility and saw immediately that it would be worth doing. “These directors and photographers deserve to be better known,” she says. “Let’s hope this is part of an increasing dialogue between Britain and Iran.”

Maryam Kia

Maryam Kia

 

For younger artists, who cannot remember pre-revolutionary Iran, restrictions are simply a fact of life. Farzaneh Khademian is Iran’s leading woman photojournalist, whose work appears regularly in news magazines around the world. She has covered everything from battles in Beirut to sex-change operations and says “you can do almost everything you like, only sometimes you have to do it more quietly.”

Her photographs in the exhibition show veiled women kayaking and kick-boxing, although normally, she points out, the women would be doing this in sports clothes. “It was only because I was there, they had to put on their scarves.” She is aiming for a full set of sportswomen, from golfers to skiers, to show how fully Iranian women live their lives, but has given up for the moment because “you ask and ask for permission and nothing happens, and then you get tired, and you think you will just put it down for a year and go back to it later.”

Iranian women’s lives are full of contradictions. They do not have he same rights as men, and their testimony in a court of law is worth exactly half of a man’s. Yet they drive, travel and do jobs of all kinds. “People think that we are living like the Arabists (sic),” says Khademian, “but it is not like that. Women are far more active now than they ever were before the revolution. They are studying, working, doing everything they want to do.”

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia and keep up to date

Posted in Curators, Feminist art, Iranian, Islamic art, London, Middle Eastern, Museum shows, New Media, Photography, Surveys, Video, West Asian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »