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.

Posts Tagged ‘Pakistani art’

Rashid Rana show proof of Musée Guimet new contemporary acquisition policy – interview with curators

Posted by artradar on August 5, 2010


INTERVIEW ASIAN ART MUSEUM CONTEMPORARY ART PAKISTANI ARTISTS

Revolutions come far and few in between in the museum world. This season promises to be different. The Musée Guimet, France’s leading ancient Asian art museum, has opened its doors to contemporary Asian art for the first time since its inception in 1898. Leading the transition from the museum’s rich history of antique collections to a contemporary view of art is a show called “Perpetual Paradox”, featuring works by Pakistani artist Rashid Rana.

The director of Musée Guimet Jacques Gies, who is also one of the curators of the show, says of this move,

The museum is much more than a safety-deposit box for antiques. In view of the value of the Asian dynamic in our modern-day world – where Asian cultures are for the first time in Western history making a place for themselves that grows larger every day – the time has come, we believe, to reflect on and reconsider our notion of the museum.

Rashid Rana. Red Carpet. 2007

Rashid Rana, 'Red Carpet', 2007.

Art Radar Asia spoke with Jacques Gies and Caroline Arhuero, curators of “Perpetual Paradox” at the Musée Guimet about, among other things, what the move means for the Musée Guimet and the museum world in general.

Since 1945, Musée Guimet has been home to a prestigious, one of a kind collection of ancient Asian art. With “Perpetual Paradox”, the museum exhibits contemporary art for the first time. What prompts this foray into contemporary Asian art? Does the museum have plans to build a contemporary Asian art collection?

This policy of the ‘Contemporary Factory of Art’ will to be the spearhead of a new acquisition policy, in resonance with the collection. This is in order to extend the historical competency of the museum until the contemporary time and also towards the future.

How did the curators zero down on Rashid Rana?

We heard of the artist’s name from the president of Sotheby’s France, Mr. Guillaume Cerutti, and then we conducted the research and here we are today.

Tell us about the experience of working with Rashid Rana on “Perpetual Paradox”?

With the artist, a very positive working relationship … hearing each other out. So, we were able to well place his works, with his agreement, within the permanent collections of the museum.

How does this experience compare with other shows you have organised?

Last year, at the first ever exhibition of the “contemporary art factory”, with the living artists Hung-Chih Peng and Chu Teh-Chun, we experienced the same great interest for this difficult exercise. Moreover, these artists [are] very aware of the quality of the ancient works [currently in the museum], even showed some concern about this challenge. Only the greatest [contemporary artists] have this modesty.

What challenges have you faced? What have you enjoyed the most? What has surprised you the most as the curator of “Perpetual Paradox”?

They were numerous, as this exhibition by principle requests a tricky solution to avoid “over interpretation”. [We needed to] create dialog between the works, those of Rashid Rana and the historical collection, without over interpretation [and] find the secret link that can give each his dimensions. The greatest satisfaction is that this setting was rewarding because it was just. My surprise was to see the first works by R. Rana – especially the “sculptures” – integrated particularly well [into the museum’s collection]…

The exhibition, “Perpetual Paradox”, places Rana’s “paradoxical” pieces amongst ancient Asian art pieces.  This opens up several dialogs between the past and the present. How have the curators and the artist envisioned this?

The cross-historical dialog is precisely what we want to give [and] to see … integrate the work of a contemporary artist, that with this stimulus somehow our audience may feel the contemporary dimension of the works from the past … the museum can be this link crossing all times. Aren’t we [the viewer] the contemporary of all creations of art, as we receive them in the present, from the paintings [at] Lascaux to contemporary pictures?

Can you name some of the works in “Perpetual Paradox”? How did the curators narrow down on the works?

The selection of the works was made in consultation with the artist. It can be looked at it [in] fives ways: (1) “The Idea of abstract”; (2) “Transcending Tradition”; (3) “Real Time, Other Spaces”, (4) “Between Flesh and Blood”; and (5) “Self in other”.

Rana’s work is truly contemporary in the way he uses technology. His content is driven in some ways by the presence of technology in our lives. But at the same time, his free use of traditional motifs sets him apart from a lot of artists. How would you place this contradiction within Rana’s work? What is it that you think makes him an important artist today?

Here is precisely the paradox! But there is no contradiction between the use of a process, a very modern technology, and the ancient subjects. This is precisely because he assumes both…

This is the second showing of Rana’s work in France, after the first at a group show in 2006. How have the viewers responded to Rana’s work?

It seems this is the first exhibition of this scale in France, certainly for a monographic exhibition. The first ever reactions, including [those] from the staff of the museum, are extremely positive. They see a new step in the policy of the Musée Guimet.

Museum shows are stepping stones in an artist’s career. This is Rana’s eighth museum show in nine years. “Perpetual Paradox” is also his first solo in France. What do you foresee for this prolific artist?

We are convinced of the large stature of the artist R.Rana. It is clear that his name will shine; that he will be an artist contributing to a refocus of the international artistic scene in Asia.

What would you say about the growing interest in Asian contemporary art? Do you see a substantial change in the last, say ten to fifteen years?

Definitely. This is a question we could not imagine five years ago.

Are there more contemporary shows in the pipeline at the Musée Guimet?

Of course. We underline it, a coherent policy with the title “Contemporary Factory of Art in Asia”.

Interview ends.

About Rashid Rana and “Perpetual Paradox”

Trained as a painter, Rana is well known for using a variety of media like photography, video and installations, but dislikes being called a photographer, video-artist or sculptor.

Rashid Rana. Sites_1-C Print+ DIASEC. 60.96cm* 91.44cm. 2009

Rashid Rana, 'Sites_1-C Print+ DIASEC', 60.96cm x 91.44cm, 2009.

In “Perpetual Paradox”, Rana’s work in digital imaging allows him to associate opposing elements in the same piece by inlaying micro-photographic details and creating pixellated images. By associating the seen with the unseen, the artist highlights the hostility between cultures, holding responsible those who create today’s images and therefore play a role in the construction of tomorrow’s traditions. Rana says of his work,

In this age of uncertainty we have lost the privilege of having one world view. Now every image, idea and truth encompasses its opposite within itself.

Rana made his mark on the Asian art circuit with his first-ever international show in 2004 at New Delhi’s Nature Morte art gallery run by Peter Nagy. Thematically, Rana’s work express a solid affiliation with the miniature arts tradition but his fascination seems to be with the idea of “gestalt” – that the whole is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.

For instance, in a 2005 show called “Beyond Borders: Art of Pakistan” at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Rana’s Creating Identity showed the human body as the sum of a thousand fragmented pieces which were put together in a way such that one could see visible cracks between each fragment. Viewed from afar, the digital print showed people with their gaze affixed at the sky during a National Day Parade. On closer view, it became apparent that the bodies were made up of miniature images of scenes from Bollywood films, an obsession shared by people across the India-Pakistan border.

Similarly in a 2010 show called “Hanging Fire” at Asia Society, New York, showcasing Rana’s “Red Carpet” series, the carpet works as a euphemism for buyable cultural memories and heirlooms.

Rana’s images work to undo the intricate beauty and cultural historicism of the carpet and create a new layer of meaning by appropriating gory, actual photo-images comprising thousands of tiny images, “pixels”, depicting the slaughter of goats as prescribed by Halal law. Rana’s works impact through a series of additions, subtractions, cultural associations and interpretations, all the while challenging one’s “one world view”.

AM/KN

Related Topics : museum collectors, Pakistani artists, museum shows

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for more stories on breakthroughs in museum shows

Bookmark  and Share

Advertisements

Posted in Acquisitions, Art spaces, Asia expands, Caroline Arhuero, Carpet art, Collectors, Computer animation software, Curators, Events, France, From Art Radar, Installation, Interviews, Islamic art, Jacques Gies, Museum collectors, Museum shows, Museums, New Media, Pakistani, Photography, Professionals, Rashid Rana, Sculpture, Venues, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shahzia Sikander questions authority with new video art medium at Para/Site in Hong Kong

Posted by artradar on September 23, 2009


PAKISTANI CONTEMPORARY VIDEO ART

SpiNN (2003) by Shahzia Sikander, still image of video

SpiNN (2003) by Shahzia Sikander, still image of video

Art Radar talks to Pakistani miniaturist and video-maker Shahzia Sikander on the occasion of her debut show in China.
The internationally acclaimed Shahzia Sikander spent 2003-2008 performing an in-depth study of the moving image and the fruits of her analysis are on display at “Authority as Approximation,” her first solo exhibition in China at the Para/Site Art Space in Hong Kong.
Curated by Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, the 5 works on display are video art pieces that challenge authority and question existing stereotypes of Pakistani culture.

The exhibition is unique as it stands as her first show comprising only moving images, and continues her practice of critically deconstructing traditional imagery of India and Pakistan.

For this event the venue is transformed into a black-box screening gallery, allowing viewers to appreciate Shahzia Sikander’s treatment of the video medium, which represents a departure from her seminal miniature drawings, and highlights her approach to new media.

The show displays her past video work ‘SpiNN’ (2003), which was shown in the Venice Biennial Arsenale exhibition, and emphasizes her latest film, the video-essay ‘Bending the Barrels’ (2008), which debuted in New York early in 2009. The subject of Sikander’s ‘Bending the Barrels’ is a Pakistani Army military brass band performing in formation, which is examined as a politcal device. On the meaning of this film, cultural critic Aditya Dev Sood explains:

“In her choice of Pakistani Army Bands as a subject for visual capture and representation, Sikander triggers deep resonances from within the tradition of Indo-Islamic miniature painting. The corporeal language, rhythm, space-making and compositional effects that she discovers and creates in film appear rooted in courtly spectacles as well as in their painterly representation, in various Mughal and later Company and British Imperial styles.”

Bending the Barrels (2008), by Shahzia Sikander, still image of video.

Bending the Barrels (2008), by Shahzia Sikander, still image of video.

It’s all about the drawings

Sikander specializes in drawing, and all of her art is conceived in this way and then evolves into various mediums.

As an artist she wears many hats: she also programs animation and operates the camera when shooting film. She creates animations from scanned drawings using the applications Photoshop and Fireworks.

For her film work, she was permitted to operate the camera at the Pakistani military facility herself. However, regarding what medium she chooses, she remarks “the idea dictates the medium.” Unconcerned with medium, she has no preference whether an image is moving or not, and instead chooses what best facilitates communication. However, despite the medium of a work, it will eventually be reflected in Shahzia’s 2D drawings. She comments “Even during filming, it was all research or fodder for drawing.”

Unprecedented Access

Perhaps most surprising about this exhibit is that Sikander, who lives in New York City and is married to an American, was able to gain access into a Pakistani military facility to film original footage of the army’s brass band. Sikander explains that she was allowed inside and permitted to film because she won a military medal in 2003 as an honored Pakistani artist, and was thus granted entry. However, she added that “I find when a project is approached with intent and clarity, I have always been granted access and goodwill has been reciprocated.” Her American husband was also allowed inside the facility to film with her.

Video art: “It’s always been there”

Sikander’s exploration into the moving image reinforces the rising trend of video art. However, Shahzia sees video art as far more than a trend, saying “It’s always been there at the forefront of contemporary expression.” She suggests video art will only become more pervasive, commenting “It’s easier to send a disc, and its immediacy allows for a larger audience… [With Youtube] Everyone now has the freedom to become a videographer.”

The exhibition runs from Sept 2-Sept 30, 2009, at the Para/Site Art Space in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

-contributed by Erin Wooters

Related Posts

Related Links

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for the latest show reviews and contemporary art trends


Bookmark and Share

Posted in Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya, Art and internet, Asia expands, Biennials, Connecting Asia to itself, Hong Kong, Islamic art, Miniatures, New Media, Pakistani, Shahzia Sikander, Sound, Sound art, Video, War, Women power | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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 »

Two emerging Pakistani miniature artists on show in US for first time

Posted by artradar on March 17, 2009


PAKISTANI MINIATURE PAINTING

Mudassar Manzoor and Attiya Shaukat: Contemporary Miniature Paintings to March 29 2009

Frey Norris Gallery, San Francisco with Gandhara Gallery, Pakistan

In the 1980s the National College of the Arts in Lahore, Pakistan revived the ancient traditional styles of painting from the Mughal, Deccani, Pahari, Rajput and Persian schools. In keeping with these traditions, artists are trained in a precise, exquisitely detailed style of painting that begins with the meticulous crushing and preparing of pigments and other materials, such as hand made paper and hand threaded brushes.

Madassar Manzoor and Attiya Shaukat are two up and coming artists from this school, both working with contemporary and often deeply conflicted themes. Together, the artists will contribute a total of fifteen new miniature paintings.

This exhibition marks their first showing in the United States.

 

Attiya Shaukat, Red Bull

Attiya Shaukat, Red Bull

Attiya Shaukat

 

Shaukat’s work often features a single image placed carefully on patterned or gridded paper. The imagery tends towards hard angled geometries while conjuring associations such as a twisted spine, wheelchair or some other imagery that relates to a crippling accident she suffered while an art student. This accident and its subsequent influence on her art have garnered comparisons to the life and career of Frida Kahlo.

 

Mudassar Manzoor

Mudassar Manzoor

Mudassar Manzoor

 

Manzoor’s themes are often more subtle, revealing themselves once time and place add context. For example, his most recent body of work presents deep hues of rich, green and yellow organic forms. Upon closer inspection and after viewing an accompanying timeline the viewer discovers that the entire body of work is an outpouring of turbid emotions following the assassination of Pakistan’s slain leader Benazir Bhutto.

Buy catalogue at Frey Norris website

Related categories: Pakistani art

Related posts: 

 

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for news of ground-breaking shows by emerging Asian artists

Posted in Emerging artists, Gallery shows, Miniatures, Painting, Pakistani, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Middle Eastern, Indian, Pakistani artists show seminal works in 3-city exhibition: Lines of Control

Posted by artradar on February 23, 2009


Anita Dube, River Disease, 1999

Anita Dube, River Disease, 1999

MIDDLE EAST SOUTH ASIA ART

Two influential art enterprises, Green Cardamom and Middle Eastern gallery The Third Line co-present Lines of Control, a fascinating series of exhibitions in Dubai, Karachi and London comprising both seminal and new works by 18 artists. Arguably this is a show of some of the most respected artists from the Middle East and South Asia working in contemporary art today.

The series which was initiated by the  Green Cardamom in 2007, the 60th anniversary of the partition of the subcontinent, explores both the chaos and the productive capacity of partitions through the practice of visual art.

The Third Line, Dubai: 15th January – 8th February 2009
VM Gallery, Karachi: 28th January – 28th February 2009
Green Cardamom, London: 18th February – 27th March 2009

Theme of the show: Partition

These last two years – 2007 and 2008 – mark the 60th anniversaries of two groups of nations that were ‘made’ through partitions: firstly, the independence of India and the creation of Pakistan (itself partitioned 24 years later to form another new nation – Bangladesh), and secondly, the creation of Israel from British-controlled Palestine. Both partitions have cast long shadows in world history and had an unprecedented impact. The 1947 fracture of India led to over 15 million people being displaced, and an estimated one million deaths over a few brutal weeks. The aftermath of Israel’s creation remains arguably the leading cause for global geo-political instability.

Art can be a means to explore areas of life where words fail us, and partitions and their aftermath are ripe for such exploration. Lines of Control is not only about commemorating the past, but about current lives in partitioned times: South Ossetia, Baghdad’s Green Zone/Red Zone, Israel’s ‘security barrier’, Kosovo, the Kurdish population in Iraq and Turkey, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Pakistan’s tribal areas, India’s minority provinces – are all testimony to the seductive simplicity of drawing lines as a substitute for learning how to live with each other. Living these lines is a messy, bloody business but also offers a productive space where new nations, identities, languages and relationships are forged.

Interview with curator Hammad Nasser

Art Radar: How have the artists differed in the way they approached the subject?

Identity, nation, memory, history, borders


HN: The subject is vast – covering notions of identity and nation, as well as memory, history and borders.

In researching the topic and the works of artists that have addressed it, we were keen to include works that have become seminal, as well as encourage the production of new works.

Rashid Rana, All Eyes Skyward at the Annual Parade, 2004

Rashid Rana, All Eyes Skyward at the Annual Parade, 2004

Seminal works: Pakistani artist Rashid Rana

So among the 18 artists who participated in Lines of Control, nearly half showed existing works, in many cases borrowed from private collections. Rashid Rana’s large scale composite image, All Eyes Skywards at the Annual Parade, of a crowd waving Pakistani flags as it admires a fly-past is composed of thousands of stills from Bollywood films. A poignant commentary on Pakistani identity, despite best efforts, being defined by the other.

New works: Naeem Mohaiemen


Among the new works created I will pick out a wonderful set of digital prints and an accompanying stack of stamps bearing the portrait of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the Bengali poet who resisted Partition before losing his ability to speak.

In these companion works, the Dhaka and New York based-artist Naeem Mohaiemen excavates history to show how the governments of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan all tried to project their own political fantasies on the mute figure of the revered poet. By isolating Kazi’s eyes in public photographs, Mohaiemen argues that his eyes register their silent protest at these political machinations.

Nalini Malani, Iftikhar Dadi, Bloodlines 2008

Nalini Malani, Iftikhar Dadi, Bloodlines 2008

Collaborative work, embroidery: Indian artist Nalini Malani and Pakistani Iftikhar Dadi

Bloodlines, a collaboration between the Indian artist Nalini Malani and the Pakistani Iftikhar Dadi, is both old and new. The work was conceived by the artists, and made by embroiderers in Karachi initially in 1997. It is perhaps the first collaborative work between artists from both countries. For Lines of Control it has been realized again by Mr. Abdul Khaliq and his team in Karachi.

The individual panels, with their flat panels of coloured sequins, mimic the mapping process that defines borders, supposedly with detached objectivity. However, the red border lines, drawn by the Radcliffe commission as part of the de-colonization process, run across this field of gold as arbitrary lines of blood. The artists describe the dense golden sequins as “enacting an allegory of the individual, affirming its uniqueness and their diversity, yet also suggesting that their coming together illuminates and enriches the entire region without limit”.
AR: Have there been any unusual, unexpected or interesting responses from viewers, critics?

The exhibitions have been very well received in Dubai and Karachi, by audiences who have lived through the Partition, by students who know of it only through history books and by critics.

Perhaps the most touching reaction was by an audience member with tears in her eyes as she listened to and observed the Home project by Sophie Ernst: video clips of artists talking to their parents and grandparents about the homes they left behind at the time of Partition, projected on to small scale architectural models of the places described.

AR: Why were these 3 cities chosen? Are different responses expected in the different cities?

HN: Lines of Control is an ongoing project, and after the initial focus on India’s partition, we start looking at Palestine and other partitions in the Middle East. Thus it was important that we involve multiple geographies and engage people around histories that are not their own but have many similarities. With South Ossettia, Kosovo, Baghdad, Cyprus — even Belgium for goodness sake — all in the news in recent months; we have to learn how to live in peace with our partitioned selves.

AR: Do you think travelling art shows can play a part in healing partitions, rifts?

HN: I am not sure I believe that art can change the world. But I do believe that art has a role to play in helping us understand phenomenon where words fail us. Artists, by reaching us outside language, allow us to find new avenues of enquiry and reflection. Healing comes with understanding, and art can certainly help us understand in a way that is not didactic.

AR: What is different about a travelling art show compared with a static one confined to one country?


HN: Its a hell of a lot harder work! But less flippantly, putting together exhibitions is also a learning process. And by working in this way where we have worked with three locations, three very different spaces and three different contexts, it gives us a chance to develop a much more nuanced understanding of what we are dealing with. Speaking personally, I am learning more about each work and some of the notions they explore through every interaction I have with them. Hopefully we will be able to use this in taking the project forward.

Artists

The exhibitions include works by Bani Abidi, Roohi Ahmed, Farida Batool, Rana Begum, Iftikhar Dadi and Nalini Malini, Anita Dube, Sophie Ernst, Ahsan Jamal, Amar Kanwar, Tariq Khalil, Ahmed Ali Manganhar, Naeem Mohaiemen, Raqs Media Collective, Rashid Rana, Seher Shah, Abdullah Syed, Hajra Waheed and Muhammad Zeeshan.

Reviews and writing

Chinar Tree Jan 2009 – Strong informative review of the Dubai show, well worth reading. Concludes that this edition of the on-going show ‘lacks coherence to some extent’. However commends and discusses in detail artwork from the following artists : Anita Dube, Naeem Mohaiemen, Rashid Rana. Interesting quotes:

On comparison of Indian partition with the Holocaust: “Hammad feels that despite this being the case, little thought or attention is paid to the scars or after-effects left by the division of a country and its people. “If you compare the Holocaust in Europe to the partition of India, one has almost spawned a commemorative industry whereas there’s almost no trace of India’s partition. Why are there no memorials or museums commemorating this?” “

On future plans for the exhibition: “Next year we’ll look at partitions in the Middle-East, Palestine, Lebanon and possibly the Kurdish question in Iraq and Turkey, if we find the art. The longer-term plan is to look at this as a global issue, to include international artists and take this to museums around the world.” Hammad Nasser, curator

Anita Dube, River Disease 1999, detail

Anita Dube, River Disease 1999, detail

Art Asia Pacific: A useful background article by Hammad Nasser curator. Discusses the meaning of the exhibition title Lines of Control: a reference to ‘the messy legacy of colonisation’ and to the lenticular print of Farida Batool entitled Line of Control (see article for image).

On partition art’s growth in last decade: “In Partition’s immediate aftermath, most Indian artists were unable, or more probably unwilling, to address its smouldering embers. And in Pakistan, the idea of critically examining Partition opened up the uncomfortable prospect of national existential crisis. Since Partition’s 50th anniversary a decade ago, however, a rich seam of artistic production engaging the topic has emerged.”

Artists’ works discussed in depth: Shilpa Gupta’s Aar Baar, Farida Batool’s Line of Control, Anita Dube’s River/Disease

Farida Batool Line of Control 2004 lenticular print

Farida Batool Line of Control 2004 lenticular print

Related links:

Related categories: Political art, Identity art, Handicraft art, Middle Eastern art,  Indian art, Israeli art, Pakistani art

Related posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia for news of significant shows

Posted in Activist, Anita Dube, Collaborative, Collage, Curators, Gallery shows, Handicraft art, Identity art, Indian, Interviews, Middle Eastern, Migration, Nationalism, New Media, Overviews, Pakistani, Photography, Political, Professionals, Rashid Rana, Religious art, Shilpa Gupta, Social, Thread, War | 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 »

Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander at Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum New York to August 2009

Posted by artradar on December 15, 2008


ex_sikander

PAKISTANI ARTIST MUSEUM SHOW

Shahzia Sikander Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection
On view March 20-August 31, 2009
Internationally acclaimed artist Shahzia Sikander will serve as the ninth guest curator of the “Selects” exhibition series devoted to showing the museum’s permanent collection.

Sikander will mine and interpret the museum’s collection and produce an installation of selected work. This exhibition will include a new work created by Sikander, inspired by Cooper-Hewitt’s collection. Trained as a miniaturist at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, Sikander merges the traditional South Asian art of miniature painting with contemporary forms and styles. Her work explores the relationship between the present and the past and the richness of multicultural identities.

Works on view will include:

friedrich_eduard_bilz_book_2

  • More than 20 Jacquard-woven portraits of notable figures throughout history and George Augustus Sala’s “Panorama from the World’s Fair,” which explore the line between portraiture and caricature and the effects of time on the nature of satire and humor.
  • Richly illustrated early 20th-century German medical illustrations by Friedrich Eduard Bilz, which unfold in multiple layers to allow further investigation of the human anatomy.
  • Drawings and prints showing the grotesque and the hybrid nature of the human body, including an etching by Francisco Goya, “A Way of Flying.”

Highlight new work by Sikander

A highlight of the exhibition will be a new work by Sikander. Using the collections of Cooper-Hewitt and the Freer and Sackler galleries as inspiration, the artist will create two works on paper, which will be bound in the middle to imply an open book. The piece will combine drawing and printmaking and will include direct references from exhibition objects, further establishing connections between seemingly disparate works and providing new ways of looking at the collection.

Biography of Shahzia Sikander

Following her undergraduate training, Sikander received a master’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and served as a fellow of the Glassell School of Art’s Core Program in Houston and an artist-in-residence at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She is a 2006 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “Young Global Leader” award. Her work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions at such national and international venues as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Canada; the Venice Biennale 2005; and, the Museum of Modern Art, Paris.

Visit the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Recent posts on events now, events coming, Pakistani artists, art in New York

If you enjoyed this post and would like to receive email updates direct to you inbox, subscribe to Art Radar Asia

Posted in Museum shows, New York, Pakistani, Shahzia Sikander, USA | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pakistani artist Huma Bhabha Receives Aldrich Museum’s 2008 Emerging Artist Award

Posted by artradar on August 8, 2008


 

Bhabha Bronze Feet

Bhabha Bronze Feet

 

 

PAKISTANI SCULPTOR RECEIVES EMERGING ARTIST AWARD

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum has announced the selection of Huma Bhabha as the recipient of the museum’s 2008 Emerging Artist Award, notes e-flux.

Bhabha will debut an exhibition of new work at the museum this fall.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Bhabha earned her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from Columbia University. She now lives and works in Poughkeepsie, New York, and is represented by Salon 94 and ATM Gallery, New York.

The Aldrich Emerging Artist Award is administered and the recipient selected by the curatorial staff of the museum, which includes exhibitions director Richard Klein and director Harry Philbrick.

Beneficiaries of the award, which has been presented by the museum since 1997, receive a cash prize of five thousand dollars and the opportunity to exhibit at the Aldrich. Applications are not accepted for this award. Last year’s award recipient was Marti Cormand.

See (in new window)

Subscribe to Art Radar Asia now

Posted in Emerging artists, Pakistani, Prizes, Sculpture, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Best of Pakistani art in show Bradford, UK to July 2008

Posted by artradar on July 18, 2008


Ali Akbar, Accepted Religion

Ali Akbar, Accepted Religion

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Yorkshire Post

PAKISTANI ART to July 25th 2008. Pakistani art has a champion at Bradford University. Curator Alison Darnbrough has brought some of the country’s most important artists to England.
Alison Darnbrough readily admits that she was surprised by what she found in Pakistan’s art world.

Until a couple of years ago, the curator of Bradford University’s Gallery II had little knowledge of the Muslim country’s vast cultural wealth. However, her eyes were opened after she seized an opportunity to travel with Imran Khan, the legendary cricketer-turned-politician and now university vice chancellor, back to his homeland.

“I went there for the opening of Imran Khan’s new college,” says Darnbrough. “Because there is little tourism and people seem somehow scared or nervous about going there, I didn’t know what to expect, but I fell in love with the country.

“Arts life in Pakistan buzzing”

“If you travel around, and particularly if you go to Karachi, you find the arts and the cultural life of the country is buzzing.

“There are whole communities of artists working together – and the press is incredibly supportive of the arts, with dedicated publications covering all of the art which is exploding around the country.”

Art renaissance in Pakistan: First National Art Gallery opens 2007

Darnbrough was in the country just in time to catch the crest of the wave of an undeniable art renaissance happening in Pakistan. In August 2007 Islamabad, the capital, saw a long wait come to an end with the opening of the country’s first National Art Gallery.

Decades of political turbulence was finally overcome with the opening of the four-storey gallery in the heart of the capital city. It was a symbol of the country’s progress and a recognition of the existence of its many artistic communities.

When the gallery first opened, it featured the work of more than 100 Pakistani artists and inspired the latest collection being displayed by Gallery II at Bradford University.

Seven artists show calligraphy and miniatures

Sacred Marks, Sacred Space runs until July 25 2008 and features the work of seven Pakistani artists. Like most of the work chosen to launch the country’s first national museum, the exhibition is made up of calligraphy and miniatures. Darnbrough says: “In the Islamic world, calligraphy had always been both an art and an occupation and the pen of a calligrapher has been referred to as the ambassador of intelligence, the messenger of the thought, interpreter of mind and sometimes referred to as ‘music for the eyes’.

“The skill, control, focus and devotion of the artist gives calligraphy an unusually sacred and meditative feel where both the surface (space) and the image (marks) attain sublimity due to its often spiritual content.”

While calligraphy was praised in the Islamic world, paintings were less so. This is because the religion forbids depictions not only of Allah and Mohammed, but of human figures.

Revival of miniatures in 1980s

Darnbrough says: “While calligraphy was always practiced by artists, miniature on the other hand, which borrowed from many central Asian and Chinese sources, was gradually pushed to the periphery during the British Raj, so much so that it was practiced by only three or four important artists until its revival in the 1980s led primarily by miniature maestro Professor Bashir Ahmed. I met him through Marjorie Hussain, a British journalist who lives in Pakistan. When I saw the paintings he was producing, I knew I wanted to bring it to Bradford.” Ahmed’s work featured in an exhibition at the gallery in December and he has supplied a number of the artists from his college for the latest exhibition Sacred Marks, Sacred Space.

“The links we have built with Pakistan through Imran Khan have been fantastic, and to be able to bring the art work being produced in the country to Bradford, really is quite special,” says Darnbrough. “Before I went to the country, I thought that Islamic art was very traditional and that work being produced in Pakistan probably would not be all that exciting.

Contemporary themes: Japanese anime to child abuse

“The artists we are bringing here have produced some incredibly exciting work. Amna Hashmi is an artist who tells stories of mythical Pakistani heroes, but uses a style which is very inspired by Japanese anime.

“Another artist, Aisha Rahim, has produced paintings using hair, handprints and footprints and her work looks at the incredibly controversial and challenging subject of sexual abuse of children. This work is brave, important and fascinating art.”

Sacred Marks, Sacred Space runs at Gallery II, Bradford University, to July 25 2008.  For information on both call 01274 233137.

Related posts (in new window):

If you enjoyed this post and would like to receive email updates direct to your inbox, subscribe to Art Radar Asia

Posted in Pakistani | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »