Pakistani art goes Beyond the Page at the Asia House

Beyond The Page Opens At Asia House On 31 August, 2006. Exploring the miniature as an attitude in sculpture, installation, digital prints and painting.

Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1

Curated by Hammad Nasar of Green Cardamom for Asia House and Manchester Art Gallery, Beyond the Page explores how the ethos and techniques of miniature painting have translated into an attitude, informing the practice of a number of contemporary artists working in different media.

Miniature painting developed at Islamic courts in Asia between the 14th and 19th centuries. In recent years there has been a revival of this genre as a new generation of Pakistani artists, some included in Beyond the Page , have reinvented the medium and responded to it, infusing it with Postmodern conceptual concerns and new techniques.

THE ARTISTS
Hamra Abbas trained in miniature painting and sculpture at the National College of Arts in Lahore. Based in Berlin for the past three years, she is currently in residence at Gasworks, London. Abbas works in a variety of media, including video, sculpture, installation and miniature painting. Her work was recently exhibited at the 2006 Sydney Biennale.

Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941 – 1999) trained at the National College of Arts, Hornsey and the Royal College of Art and was a Fulbright fellow at Yale University . Zahoor ul Akhlaq established the Miniature Painting department at the National College of Arts in Lahore . His work was exhibited widely including at the 47th Venice Biennale, the Paris 5ieme Biennale and the Hirshorn Museum, Washington DC.

Aisha Khalid trained in miniature painting at the National College of Arts, Lahore and spent a two-year work period at the Rikksakadamie in Amsterdam. She works in installation, textiles and painting and is based in Lahore .

Nusra Latif Qureshi lives and works in Melbourne, Australia , she trained in miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore. The Smith College Museum held a retrospective of her work in 2004 and she is part of the forthcoming Asia Pacific Triennial at Queensland Art Gallery .

Hasnat Mehmood is based in Lahore, where he teaches at the National College of Arts. Trained at the same institution in miniature painting, his work has been exhibited internationally. Most recently he was part of an exhibition on South Asian painting at SPAN galleries, Melbourne

Muhammad Imran Qureshi trained in miniature painting at the National College of Arts, Lahore where he now teaches. His work has been exhibited extensively in Europe, the US and Asia. He was one of thirty-eight artists whose work was part of The American Effect exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York, and his work is included in the 2006 Singapore Biennale.

Rashid Rana lives and works in Lahore. He trained at the National College of Arts and did his MFA at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston . He works in different media including painting, installation, digital prints and video. Rana was artist in residence at Gasworks, London in 2003, he won the Hathor prize at the 9th Cairo Biennale and was a finalist in the Sovereign Art Prize, 2006. His work is being exhibited at the 2006 Singapore Biennale.

Usman Saeed recently completed his MA from the Royal College of Art in London. He trained in miniature painting at the NCA Lahore where he also worked as a fashion photographer. He was recently commissioned by Bookworks, London for an artists book. His work has been exhibited in Europe, the US and Asia.

THE CURATOR
Hammad Nasar is an independent curator and writer based in London. He is co-founder of the arts organisation, Green Cardamom; Programme Director – Arts and Humanities for UK’s Festival of Muslim Cultures, 2006; A fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme, 2006-7 and a partner in the art advisory firm, Asal Partners. His recent curatorial projects include Karkhana: A Contemporary Collaboration (with Jessica Hough and Anna Sloan) at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum 2006 -7; and It’s Still Hard Being British at the Cartwright Hall Gallery, Bradford.

Green Cardamom has produced a 68-page hardback colour publication for this exhibition with contributions from Roger Connah, Hammad Nasar, Anna Sloan and Virgina Whiles.

Beyond the Page is an exhibition at two venues:

Asia House: 31 August to 11 November 2006

Manchester Art Gallery: 30 September 2006 to 15 January 2007

Highlights from the exhibition will tour in the UK to:

The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire: May to July 2007

Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), Birmingham : August to October 2007

Huddersfield Art Gallery: November 2007 to January 2008

Beyond the Page is presented by Asia House, Manchester Art Gallery and Shisha, and is part of the Festival of Muslim Cultures.

The Festival of Muslim Cultures is a UK-wide arts and education festival that is seeking to promote a positive image of the Muslim world in all its diversity. Full listings of events within the Festival of Muslim Cultures are published in the Events section of our website: www.muslimcultures.org

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