WASEEM AHMED: Contemporary Miniatures
November 16 - December 22, 2017
Jason McCoy Gallery is pleased to present a selection of Contemporary Miniatures by Waseem Ahmed. Based in Lahore, Pakistan, where he received his training at the National College of Arts, he creates finely rendered miniatures that address various social, political and cultural issues, including public violence. To Ahmed, his work marks the attempt "to consistently decry social attitudes that promote suppression, hatred and bloodshed among human beings."
Crossing cultural borders, Ahmed’s vocabulary is rich in metaphors and analogies. The animal shape, bearded men, blood splattered surfaces, burkas, letters from the Arabic-Farsi-Urdu alphabet suggesting religious rhetoric, guns, rosaries, suicidebombers, suicide-jackets, and lush vegetation are part of his eclectic trove of images. His recent works make particular reference to subjects derived from Western classical mythology, occasionally by reinterpreting and decontextualizing forms of prominent ancient sculptures. While combining these diverse elements freely as if part of an associative brainstorm or layered dreamscape, all of Ahmed’s works are rooted in the same universal concern: the oppression of the weak by the powerful - as it manifests in both Eastern and Western cultures, be it enforced by either individuals, groups or entire countries.
Waseem Ahmed (b. 1976) was born in Hyderabad, Pakistan. Ahmed grew up in a Muhajir (immigrant) family who, because they were Muslim, had migrated from India after Partition in 1947 to settle in the newly independent state of Pakistan. He attended the National College of Arts Lahore in Pakistan, receiving his Bachelors in Fine Arts with Honors from the Department of Miniature Painting in 2000. He has exhibited extensively in Pakistan, as well as internationally, including a solo exhibition at the Asian Art Museum, Berlin (2014/2015). His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin; The British Museum, London; Virginia Whiles Collections, United Kingdom; Anupam Podar Collections, India; Salima Hashmi, Pakistan; Naazish Ataullah Collection, Pakistan; Sajida Vandal Collection, Pakistan, and D. Daskalopoulos Collection, Switzerland, among others. He was the first artist-in-residence at the Asian Art Museum in Berlin, participating in the Humboldt Lab project (2014-2015). The latter included a solo show curated by Martina Stoye. He was a finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize (2012-2013, 2013-2014), and he was nominated for the Jameel Prize (2011-2012). Ahmed lives and works in Lahore.