Muhammad Zeeshan|Posternama

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart shares a note on Muhammad Zeeshan’s current exhibition at Latitude 28

Muhammad Zeeshan, Vidya, 2013

Muhammad Zeeshan, Vidya, 2013. Image Credit:

London: Latitude 28 in New Delhi is currently hosting Muhammad Zeeshan solo exhibition: Posternama.

The exhibition includes Zeeshan’s recent body of work which is inspired by miniatures’ imageries such as myths, stories of saints and martyrs and scholars which have been reinterpreted by the artist’s austere sensibilities and transformed into contemporary miniatures.

Muhammad Zeeshan, Buraq I, 2013

Muhammad Zeeshan, Buraq I, 2013. Image Credit:


Zeeshan said about his work: “I am using poster images found locally within our culture. These imageries consist of mythical creatures and human. Within the Sufi culture lies a lot of fantastical stories. Using these stories, random local artists and believers have given their own faces to the Sufis and creatures, illustrating the time, events and landscape. I am using those posters to research and explore my own technique.”

Muhammad Zeeshan, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, 2013

Muhammad Zeeshan, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, 2013. Image Credit:


The artist started his career as billboard painter and then studied miniature art at National College in Lahore. For this exhibition he experimented laser scoring which made his work meditative, almost spiritual.

Muhammad Zeeshan, Buraq II, 2013

Muhammad Zeeshan, Buraq II, 2013. Image Credit:

The exhibition is on until January 5. For more information click here.

Imran Qureshi’s Inaugural Solo Exhibition in Rome

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart suggests a visit to the MACRO in Rome for Imran Qureshi’s first solo exhibiton in Italy

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

London: The MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome) is hosting Imran Qureshi’s first solo exhibition in Italy in collaboration with Deutsche Bank.

After being nominated Deutsche Bank “Artist of the Year” 2013 and after completing a large scale site specific installation at the MET in New York, Qureshi concludes a very successful artistic year with this exhibition.

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

Qureshi, one of the leading contemporary Pakistani artists, is internationally renown for the creation of contemporary miniatures. The artist in his work discusses the current socio-political situation in Pakistan including delicate topics such as terrorism using mainly traditional painting techniques on wasli (handmade paper). The dichotomy between violence and hope, destruction and creation are also permanent features in his art as well as the evocative red colour and the flower pattern which denote Qureshi’s optimism and peaceful resistance.

Imran Qureshi in an interview with Amna Tirmizi Naqvi said about his choice of studying miniature paintings:

“I did not choose it, it kind of chose me. I was adept at it and therefore Professor Bashir, the teacher who was conducting the course, insisted and declared that he felt I was really suited for it. I chose painting but he kept insisting. Contrary to his opinion I had my own misgivings and I replied that the tradition did not suit my temperament. He quoted a mahawara, which is witty idiom in Urdu. He stated that “we can tell from the aroma emanating from the cauldron about the condition of a single grain of rice”. I thought that if a teacher is conveying this idea with such persistence, there must be some truth in it.”

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

Installation Shot at MACRO, Rome

The present exhibition features recent works by Qureshi, some of which had been exhibited at the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in Berlin, including miniatures, oval canvases as well as site specific installations. The museum space is fitting to Qureshi’s works as it offers a classical presentation for the miniatures and a contemporary environment for the installations.

The exhibition stimulates the viewers to embark on a critical discourse on culture, politics and religion and their misconceptions and stereotypes.

Below you can enjoy a selection of the works on display.

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The exhibition is on until November 17, so you are still in time to visit Imran Qureshi’s first Italian solo exhibition at the MACRO in Rome! For more information click here.

‘Move on Asia’ – Video Art From Asia 2002 – 2012

Emily Jane Cushing suggests the ‘Move on Asia’ exhibition of Asian video art from 2002 to 2012.

London: The ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany opened on February 9th their exhibition which shows the development of the video art genre and the increasing importance of Asia in contemporary art; the exhibition runs until August 4th 2013.

Meiro Koizumi: „My Voice Would Reach You“ (2009). Video still; Image Credit:

Meiro Koizumi: „My Voice Would Reach You“ (2009). Video still; Image Credit:

The increased interest in Asian arts resulted in the 2007 exhibition at the ZKM | Karlsruhe  curated by Wonil Rhee entitled “Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves”. This exhibition was hugely successful in attracting world-wide attention to the Asiatic ‘moving image’; despite being only six years prior and fifty years since the emergence of video art, the need for a follow on exhibition showing the huge development in this genre is needed.

It is noted that as an art genre video art has continually been associated with the West despite much of the technology originating in Asia. This exhibition proves that over the last couple of decades the culture of video art has gained greater independence from Western models by showing at biennale’s and art exhibitions across the world.

The vast exhibition, containing over 140 works, is made up of works from video artists originating from thirteen Asiatic countries including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. In addition to the showing of established artists, recent works by new artists are also shown.

The exhibition displays a wide range of Indian art; Indian artists showing are Vishal K. Dar, Chitra Ganesh, Shilpa Gupta, Tushar Joag, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Nalini Malani, Pushpamala N., Sharmila Samant, Tejal Shah, Valay Shende, Shine Shivan and Thukral & Tagra.

“40+4. Art is "Not Enough! Not Enough" Image Credit,

“40+4. Art is Not Enough! Not Enough” Image Credit,

An interactive installation entitled “Global Fire” by the Paris-based artist Du Zhenjun may also be viewed in connection with the exhibition. “Global Fire” is a large inflatable dome in which the visitors may ignite the flags of 200 countries with lighters on heat censors. Also on show in the ZKM_PanoramaLab is the interactive video installation “40+4. Art is Not Enough! Not Enough” in which forty Shanghai based artists are interviewed about their works and asked to question their art in relation to the environment and the social impact of their artistic production. This installation resulting from the collaboration between the curator Davide Quadrio, the filmmaker Lothar Spree as well as the video artist Xiaowen Zhu is truly insightful and fascinating.

“Global Fire” by the Paris-based artist Du Zhenjun, Image Credit;

“Global Fire” by the Paris-based artist Du Zhenjun, Image Credit;

This exhibition runs until 4th August 2013; view the website for more details on this exciting exhibition.

Also, for those wishing to read more about Indian video art, I have found a really interesting article from Tehelka Magazine with Pakistani artist Bani Abidi discussing Indian Video art and it’s increased popularity here; it’s a great read!

Venezia Calling

Kanika Pruthi of Saffronart talks about the South Asian artists participating at the 55th Venice Biennale

New York: 2013 seems to have had a promising start for the art world considering the reviews received from the art fairs so far. Frieze New York opened this May with around 180 galleries from 40 countries showing works in all media, including performance. The visual and sensory frenzy then travelled across the seas to Hong Kong, which witnessed the debut of Art Basel Hong Kong, the commercial success of this venture still a worthy point of conversation in the art circles. They say the market has been resurrected, and the buzz continues at the 55th Venice Biennale which opened its doors to art aficionados from around the world on 1 June.

Massimiliano Gioni, Director of the 55th Venice Biennale

Massimiliano Gioni, Director of the 55th Venice Biennale. Image Credit:

Massimiliano Gioni, the Director of this edition of the Biennale, titled this year’s exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace. Echoing the credentials of its Director – heralded as one of the youngest, innovative and most talented international curators seen in recent years – it is no surprise that this year’s Biennale has already gathered overall positive reviews in its first week. The eclectic ensemble exhibited this year mirrors Gioni’s refreshing approach, which shuns the dichotomies of high and low art, insider and outsider artist – there is a place for one and all under the Venetian sun.

Several works by artists from India and the subcontinent are on display this year, signaling a continued affiliation with the biennale after the debut of India’s National Pavilion at the 54th edition in 2011.

Dayanita Singh is among four non-German artists showing in the German Pavilion this year. During the opening preview on May 30, she signed and stamped limited edition copies of her latest photo-book File Room for visitors. At the Biennale she will show photos from her 2001 work Mona, which chronicles the life of a eunuch living in India. Singh has worked with the subject for over a decade now. The continuity-and-change binary in her practice and the elusive meaning and layered contexts, seem to echo the dominant theme of the Biennale and the curatorial context of Gioni’s efforts, which highlight the changing landscape of artistic practice today – redefining and re-imagining existing models which are in a constant state of flux yet ever-present.

Outpost, Samar Singh Jodha

Outpost, Samar Singh Jodha. Image Credit:

Samar Singh Jodha is showing his work titled Outpost in the Arsenal. The work is a commentary on global consumerism and its impact on aesthetics – intentional and accidental. The subject of his work is discarded containers fashioned into habitat by miners in India’s pristine northeast. He utilizes this pictorial trope to invite interplay of narratives around consumerism and the impact of technology.

Imran Qureshi, one of the most acclaimed contemporary Pakistani artists, known for his modern miniatures inspired by Mughal art, is also showing at Venice this year. His series of miniature paintings titled Moderate Enlightenment (of which one featured in Saffronart’s first Art of Pakistan Auction last year) depicts various characters taking part in everyday activities. These images embody cultural shifts and quietly counter Western preconceptions, while commenting on the scenarios and situations in his native Pakistan.

Moderate Enlightenment, Imran Qureshi

Moderate Enlightenment, Imran Qureshi. Image Credit:

Faiza Butt, born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, is exhibiting her pop culture infused works at the exhibition. Her works also draw from the miniature tradition, while commenting on current and controversial themes that explore issues of politics, gender and identity.

To read more about the 55th Venice Biennale click here.

Guggenheim Museum’s South and Southeast Asian Exhibition

Medha Kapur of Saffronart on an upcoming exhibition of Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia at The Guggenheim Museum. 

Mumbai: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, one of the world’s most renowned museums, will host the exhibition ‘No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia’. This inaugural exhibition of the  Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative presents works by 22 artists from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is a five-year program involving curatorial residencies, touring exhibitions and new acquisitions. After New York, the exhibition will be travel to venues in Singapore and Hong Kong. All the works featuring in the show have been acquired by the museum and will become part of its permanent collection.

The exhibition includes works by Tayeba Begum Lipi, one of Bangladesh’s leading contemporary artists, Filipino multidisciplinary artist Poklong Anading, Indian multidisciplinary artist Shilpa Gupta and more. Works showcased in this exhibit will vary across a range of paintings, sculptures, photography, video, works on paper and installations.

Here is a selection of the artworks that will be on show:

Tayeba Begum Lipi -“Love Bed”

Tayeba Begum Lipi -“Love Bed”
Image courtesy:

Norberto Roldan F-16, 2012

Norberto Roldan
F-16, 2012
Image courtesy:

Poklong Anading Counter Acts, 2004

Poklong Anading
Counter Acts, 2004
Image courtesy:

Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo Volcanic Ash Series #4, 2012

Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo
Volcanic Ash Series #4, 2012
Image courtesy:

The Ghost of Mohammed Bin Qasim

Bani Abidi
The Ghost of Mohammed Bin Qasim, 2006
Image courtesy:

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