Step Across this Line
Contemporary Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Art
Curated by Deeksha Nath
10th - 22nd October 2011
Asia House is proud to present Step Across this Line: Contemporary Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Art, curated by Deeksha Nath. This exhibitionfeatures the work of cutting-edge young contemporary artists from these three nations whose works cover various media including video and installation art.
The title of the exhibition is tongue-in-cheek, considering the regions intertwined histories, cultures and communities and thus inherent knowledge of one another. 'Step across this Line' is also the name of Salman Rushdie's book which is a collection of essays in which he talks about the critical political issues of this era. However, this exhibition asks a larger question: Can we consider what we ourselves mean to each other? Do we love or hate? Do we love and hate? Can we be friends and enemies and most importantly how can we be simultaneously context-specific, proud and post-national.
The three neighboring countries have had a fractious past and whilst the tensions are very much alive politically and religiously the young artists share a common ground with mutual ideas and visions. The boundaries of the previous generations are being dismantled as the younger generation of these three countries have more in common than not. They do not share the memories of stories of colonial rule or the horrific memories of partition of their grandparents.
The artists participating in this exhibition are Naeem Mohaiemen, Wakil Rahman, Saira Ansari, Mehreen Murtaza, Abishek Hazra, Ayaz Jokhio, Priya Sen, Hasan Elahi, Unum Babar, Firoz Mahmud , Malik Sajad, Gauri Gill, CAMP (Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran) and Asim Waqif.The curator will function both as an insider and outsider (she have never visited Pakistan or Bangladesh but has lived and studied in London and now resides in New Delhi).
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Deeksha Nath [b. 1976] is a New Delhi-based independent critic and curator. She has curated numerous successful exhibitions in India and abroad. She is also a Desk Editor, Art AsiaPacific (New York) and ArtEast (Kolkata). She has published widely in exhibition catalogues, national and international magazines and journals. Deeksha's previous assignments have been with the Tate Modern, London and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. She has been visiting faculty to several fine arts, design and visual culture programmes in India. Deeksha is a Charles Wallace scholar and has trained at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Vadodara (B.F.A. Art History), City University, London (M.A. Arts Policy) and Goldsmiths College, London (M.A. Contemporary Art Theory).
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Exhibition opening times: Mon - Fri, 10.00 - 18.00
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Abhishek Hazra is a visual artist based in Bangalore. His work explores the intersections between technology and culture through the narrative device of a 'visual fable'. He is interested in the social history of scientific practices, and his current, ongoing project attempts to explore the history of science research in colonial India. Abhishek works with animated shorts and digital slideshows that often integrate textual fragments drawn from fictional scenarios. He is also interested in the way in which the languages of science journalism and information visualisation participate in the complex dynamics of 'knowledge dissemination' and 'translation'.
Delhi-based Asim Waqif studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, where he currently teaches as Visiting Faculty. After initially working as an art-director for film and television he later started making independent video and documentaries before moving into a dedicated art-practice.
His recent projects have attempted a crossover between architecture, art and design, with a strong contextual reference to contemporary urban-design and the politics of occupying/intervening/using public spaces. Some of his projects have developed within abandoned and derelict buildings in the city that act like hidden activity-spaces for marginalized people.
Ayaz Jokhio was born in Mehrabpur-Sindh, Pakistan on 27th April 1978. He received his Bachelors in Fine Arts - Painting (with distinction)from the National College of Arts Lahore, Pakistan in 2001.He has had various exhibition in Pakistan and abroad. He has also been a faculty member of Beacon House National University - School of Visual Arts and Design, Lahore since 2006.
CAMP (Shaina Anand AND Ashok Sukumaran)
CAMP is based in Mumbai, India and was founded in November 2007 by Shaina Anand, Sanjay Bhangar and Ashok Sukumaran as a collaboration with Khoj International Artists Association, New Delhi. CAMP attempts to create a new format for collaborative production, beyond the traditional or historic role of artists and their collectives. It began from a will to work collectively in areas around technology, art, archives, the public sphere, and contemporary life. Working with many media forms and platforms: radio, video, films, books, software, hardware and other assemblies or mixes, CAMP seeks to create structures of support and enquiry, and formats of production, distribution and exhibition.
Firoz Mahmud was born in Khulna, Bangladesh. Based in Dhaka & Tokyo. Did his BFA & MFA from Dhaka University(2001), MFA from Tama Art University(2007) and PhD (2010) Tokyo University of the Arts. Attended Residency at Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten (2003-04), Amsterdam, Ozu Culture Center (2009), Italy and ISCP/ International Studio and Curatorial Program (2011) in New York. His work also exhibited at the Metropolitan Art Museum in Tokyo, Fuchu Art Museum, Ota Fine Arts, University Art Museum, Mori Art Museum (Center Gallery), The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (2010) in Japan, kunsthaus Tacheles in Berlin, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, New York and Sovereign Art Foundation and many more.
Gauri Gill was born in Chandigarh, India in 1970. She received BFAs at the Delhi College of Art, New Delhi (1992) and at the Parsons School of Design, New York (1994); and an MFA in Art at Stanford University, California (2002). She works mainly in Photographs. Her work has been exhibited widely in India and across the world. Solo exhibitions include: 'What Remains', Green Cardamom Gallery, London (2011); 'Notes from the Desert', Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi; Matthieu Foss Gallery, Mumbai; Focus Gallery, Chennai; Urmul Setu, Lunkaransar (2010-11) and 'The Americans', Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi; Thomas Welton Art Gallery, Stanford University; the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago; Bose Pacia Gallery, Kolkata and New York; Mississauga Central Library, Mississauga (2008-2011). Group exhibitions include: 'The Matter Within: New Contemporary Art of India', Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, California (2011); 'Generation in Transition', Zacheta National Gallery of Art and various others.
Hasan Elahi is an interdisciplinary artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, simulated time, transport systems, borders and frontiers. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sundance Film Festival, Kassel Kulturbahnhof, The Hermitage, and at the Venice Biennale. Elahi was recently invited to speak about his work at the Tate Modern, Einstein Forum, the American Association of Artificial Intelligence, and at TED Global. His awards include grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, Art Matters, a Ford Foundation/Phillip Morris National Fellowship, and an artist grant from the Asociacion Artetik Berrikuntzara in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain. His work is frequently in the media and has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, Al Jazeera, Fox, and has appeared on The Colbert Report. Hasan Elahi is Associate Professor of Art at the University of Maryland where he is Director of Digital Cultures and Creativity in the Honors College. He was a 2010 Alpert/MacDowell Fellow and in 2009, he was Resident Faculty and Nancy G. MacGrath Endowed Chair at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He currently lives outside of Washington, DC roughly equidistant from the CIA, FBI, and NSA headquarters.
Malik Sajad was born in Kashmir and now studies in London. He was deeply affected by the brutal war that devastated his homeland. At an early age he discovered cartoons as a way to cope with the daily tragedy and suffering that was around him. Humor, irony and metaphor became tools of his expression. He has also found graphic novels to be a powerful tool in his expression. The sharp rupture in Kashmiri life due to the war has inspired him to capture the lost heritage of Kashmir in colorful paintings and installations
Mehreen Murtaza was born in Riyadh, KSA; received a Honors in BFA from Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, 2008. She was accepted for the Gasworks Residency funded by The Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust - Rangoonwalla Foundation Award, UK, 2010 and has exhibited frequently in the UAE, UK, Germany, India and Pakistan. Murtaza's works have also been acquired by collections such as the Museum of Monaco, DMZ Bank, Frankfurt, Cartwright Hall: Bradford City Art Gallery and Museum, UK and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi.
As an allegory of human life, Murtaza's emphatic theatricality suggests an idealized landscape suspect for the misguided illusions of the Absolute - the ultimate promise of technological prowess to find the Truth for us. In spite of her politically-charged imagery, Murtaza is less interested in political events per se; she is more concerned with exploring the process of mediating the essence of an event through images. Her narratives are based on what she calls "factions" - an idiosyncratic fusion of fact and fiction.
Priya Sen's work as a filmmaker has been shown at festivals including the Berlinale; Black Lily Music and Film festival, Philadelphia; 'VideoMix India' La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Exis Experimental Film & Video festival, Seoul; and has been traveling with 'Indian Highway'since 2009. She has had solo exhibitions this year, at Khoj Studios in New Delhi, and Project 88 in Mumbai, and was part of 'Something I Have Been Meaning to Tell You', curated by Sunil Gupta and Vidya Shivadas at the Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi. She received the Charles Wallace fellowship in 2010 for a residency at Gasworks in London, followed by a residency at Nottingham Contemporary in Nottingham, UK, in the same year. She worked at Sarai-CSDS, New Delhi from 2005 - 2011, as a researcher and media practitioner with the Sarai Media Lab and Cybermohalla, and collaborated in collective contexts across a range of media forms and vocabularies.Priya works as an editor, sound designer and freelance filmmaker, and has recently moved to Bangalore to teach film at the Srishti School of
Art, Design and Technology.
Saira Ansari was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1982 but moved to Pakistan in late 1983. She received her BFA Degree in Painting in 2004 from the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore. She returned to her Alma Mater for a Masters Degree in 2009, where she graduated with an MA (Hons.) Visual Arts degree in January 2011.
Ansari's practice consists of experimenting with mixed media and she has moved fluidly between 2D and 3D in several of her works. A large body of her work is based around text based pieces and small 'scribble-like' drawings. She also maintains a blog under The s.a. Project title as part of her art practice. Her content often contains strong opinions about the structures of power that she observes in her personal life, around her and within the art world.
Ansari has participated in several group exhibitions in Lahore and Karachi since 2003. Her first solo exhibition 'the work that will probably never end' was held at the Grey Noise gallery in 2010. In 2011, Ansari has participated in 3 international shows - IAS 2011, Delhi, Art Dubai 2011 and a group show at Jamjar gallery, Dubai - and is working on the fourth one which will be held at the Asia House, London, later this year. Ansari currently resides in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she is completing her MA dissertation on public spaces of art in Pakistan.
1961,born inBangladesh.1976-1981, B.F.A. at Dhaka Art College, Bangladesh.1984-1986, M.F.A. at Central Academy of Fine Arts Peking, P.R. of China. Since 1988, living and working in Berlin and Dhaka. Since1982 founding member of the artist group SHOMOY, participated in most of the group exhibitions. Since1979 participated in most of the National, Young Artist's Exhibitions and Asian Art Biennale organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.