Contempory Miniature Painter
“Silver Bullet”,Solo Show,Lauren Delaye Gallery, London
22 January – 27 February 2010
video link of BBC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_QhD3ZujFA
Press release for the show
Pakistan is a country that is often in the headlines, mostly for the wrong reasons. The media has a tendency to neglect the deep culture of this South Asian country and focus on its current bloody struggle. One certainly cannot deny the extreme socio-political turmoil that is shaping and threatening Pakistan’s future. However, as a consequence of this there has been an emergence of a new generation of artists and writers that seek to unravel the complexities of the status quo.
The Taliban and other fundamentalist groups are not often the central subject of works of art. Waseem Ahmed’s extraordinary series of miniatures turn this traditional taboo upside-down.
Ahmed’s work is uncompromising, yet his treatment of this subject is particularly nuanced. Mullah figures are delicately painted like saints or princes, their features refined, their expressions filled with inner peace. Figures of covered women are everywhere. It is a world of desire and fulfillment within the transient reality of life on earth.
The latter, however, is made of mud and blood. Waseem Ahmed succeeds beautifully in presenting the collision of these two contradicting worlds. He presents the current compost of atrocities as a parallel psychological landscape to the Paradise that is so violently desired.
His language deliberately uses the precision of the Mughal classical art on paper to suspend his subjects in this paradoxical present. Waseem Ahmed’s work combines a traditional medium with controversial subjects and reclaims the original function of miniatures: as chronicles of contemporary social issues.
This is Waseem Ahmed’s first solo exhibition in the UK. Ahmed was born in 1976 and is a graduate of the National College of Arts in Lahore.
Images from the Opening of the Show