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Published: 19 Mar, 2014

Shahzia Sikander / Parallax

NEWS On Sunday 30 March at 14:00 the exhibition "Shahzia Sikander / Parallax" will open to the public at the top floor of Bildmuseet. Welcome to a press preview at Thursday 27 March at 10:00.

Shahzia Sikander’s practice takes Indo-Persian miniature painting as a point of departure. She challenges the strict formal tropes of miniature painting as well as its medium-based restrictions by experimenting with scale and media, including video, animation, mural, and collaboration with other artists.

Her recent video installation Parallax is comprised of hundreds of tiny drawings that have been digitally animated. The animation deals with the history of maritime trade in the Strait of Hormuz, particularly the fraught history of imperial control. The Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf, with Iran to the north and the United Arab Emirates to the south, with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Today, 35 % of the petroleum traded by sea passes through the strait, which says something of its immense importance. The animation is accompanied by a musical score composed by Du Yun and made in collaboration with local poets from Sharjah.  

The exhibition also includes original drawings that form the basis for the video work, as well as a selection of additional works. Here we see clear references to historical miniature painting, in which she is trained, and can observe its precision and richness of detail. Miniature painting is an art form governed by strict rules and regulations. While challenging the rules she has experi- mented with both scale and material, creating a groundbreaking and critically charged approach to this genre.

Shahzia Sikander studied at the National College of Arts in Lahore (1991) and at the Rhode Island School of Design (1995). She has had solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Art Institute; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; The 13th Istanbul Biennial 2013; The Sharjah Biennal 11, 2013; La Biennale di Venezia, 2005; The Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, 1999 and The Whitney Biennial Exhibition, 1997.

Her work is represented in collections including the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; MOT-Tokyo, MAXII, Rome; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris; the Pinault Collection, the Burger Collection among others. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Inaugural Medal of Art by the US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton (2012), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement ‘Genius’ award (2006-2011), The DAAD, (Berliner Künstlerprogramm, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) Berlin (2007-2008)  Sikander lives and works in New York and Lahore.

An illustrated catalogue produced by Bildmuseet with texts by Cecilia Andersson, Claire Brandon and John Zarobell accompanies the exhibition.

Editor: Helena Vejbrink