Realms of Intimacy: Miniaturist Practice from Pakistan
This exhibition explores the method of miniaturist painting as a stylistic foundation of art in Pakistan. Realms of Intimacy addresses the ability of art forms to adapt to different environments and to exist as a language with universal relevance. It features the work of Ambreen Butt, Faiza Butt, Imran Qureshi, Nusra Qureshi, and Saira Wasim, who all studied at the National College of Art in Lahore, Pakistan (NCA). These artists, now living in different countries, deal with overcoming geographic separation and the cultures of their new homes. The exhibition also provides these artists with the opportunity to produce works that go beyond the bounds of their usual practice, allowing them to follow lines of inquiry that they have previously presented.
In the 1980s, NCA revived the artistic practice of traditional Mughal miniature painting by infusing it with individual thought and contemporary subject matter--turning it into a fresh and relevant art form. Living abroad, the five artists in the exhibition are all greatly influenced by their current environments, and their works address the political, social and cultural realities of their new homes. Saira Wasim, for example, critiques American politics; Faiza Butt merges images of western consumerism with conservative Pakistani imagery; and Nusra Qureshi looks to Bondi Beach in Sydney for inspiration. In this way, Realms of Intimacy presents how the miniaturist method evolves as it is brought into different contexts.