Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What does it mean to make art in the South Asian diaspora?

By Hrag Vartanian
Shahzia Sikander’s “Many Faces of Islam” (1993–99), gouache, vegetable color, watercolor,and tea on wasli paper, 24 x 28 in. (61 x 71.1 cm) (commissioned by New York Times Magazine Special Issue: “Imagining the Millennium” by living artists, Sept. 19, 1999 Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelly, New York)
In the midst of the Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions exhibition at the Asia Society is a small work by Shahzia Sikander titled “Many Faces of Islam” (1993–99). It’s a surprisingly prescient piece that grapples with what would become the more pronounced fault-lines of the 21st century: money, war, religion, terrorism, censorship, and more. This work by Sikander is a masterpiece of American art, but in many ways it perfectly encapsulates the complexity of contemporary art being produced by artists of the South Asian diaspora — it contains multitudes. Closed August 6, 2016. [More]