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Past Exhibition


Beyond the Page: The Miniature as Attitude in Contemporary Art from Pakistan

February 18, 2010 – June 27, 2010
In the Changing Exhibition Galleries

It Was a Little Demon, I Can tell You
Hamra Abbas, It Was a Little Demon, I Can tell You, 2008 Paper collage,
Perspex box, 26 x 211 x 30 cm; Courtesy of the artist and Green Cardamom

The past two decades have witnessed a vibrant revival of miniature painting, a genre developed at Islamic courts in South, Central and West Asia between the 14th and 19th centuries. In recent years, artists have reinvented the traditional practice, negotiating a fine balance between historical practices and conceptual concerns. Collectively, their innovations have resulted in the "new miniature" movement - the subject of this exhibition.

Beyond the Page exhibits the work of thirteen contemporary artists who engage the miniature as practice and concept. Roughly half of the artists in the exhibition trained in traditional miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, and assimilate new imagery and materials. The remaining artists, though not trained in miniature painting, explore the concept of the miniature in such diverse forms as photography, textile, sculpture and installation. As these artists emigrate, travel and exhibit internationally, the "new miniature" movement has become a global phenomenon that demonstrates the vitality of contemporary Pakistani art and, more specifically, how aspects of "tradition" are essential parts of contemporary culture.

The exhibition will be on view from February 18 until June 27, 2010, and features fifty works by thirteen artists. The exhibition is guest curated by Hammad Nasar with Anna Sloan and Bridget Bray and organized by Green Cardamom and Pacific Asia Museum.

The artists featured in the exhibition are:

  • Hamra Abbas (b. 1976; lives and works in Rawalpindi, Pakistan and Boston)
  • Zahoor ul Akhlaq (b. 1941, Delhi; d. 1999, Lahore)
  • Faiza Butt (b. 1973, Lahore; lives and works in London)
  • Noor Ali Chagani
  • Ali Kazim (b. 1979, Pattok, Pakistan; lives and works in Lahore)
  • Aisha Khalid (b. 1972, Faisalabad, Pakistan; lives and works in Lahore)
  • Rehana Mangi
  • Hasnat Mehmood (b. 1978, Jhelum, Pakistan; lives and works in Jhelum)
  • Muhammad Imran Qureshi (b. 1972, Hyderabad, Pakistan; lives and works in Lahore)
  • Nusra Latif Qureshi (b. 1973, Lahore; lives and works in Melbourne)
  • Rashid Rana (b. b. 1968, Lahore; lives and works in Lahore)
  • Anwar Shemza (b. 1928, Shimla, India; d. 1985)
  • Muhammad Zeeshan (b. 1980, Mirpurkhas, Pakistan; lives and works in Lahore)

Made possible in part by Pacific Asia Museum's Pakistan Arts Council, Amina Adaya, Yasmin and Salin Adaya, Shabbir and Tahira Ali, Shahid and Ayesha Kamran, Aziz and Deanna Khan, Hamid and Javeeda Malik, Ali Pourmola and Zara Shah, Mansoor and Fiza Shah, Meher Tabatabai and Qaiser Madad, Tehmina Adaya and Amr Tannir.

Related Events:

Saturday, February 20, 11am
Art Conversation: Artist Muhammad Zeeshan and guest curator Anna Sloan discuss Zeeshan's work and Pakistan's dynamic contemporary art scene. Light refreshments provided by Pakistan Arts Council. Free to members, included with museum admission for non-members. Call (626)449-2742 ext 31 to RSVP.