The Mughal of Modern Times
A group show
5. - 27. October 2012
Artists from Pakistan:
Sheema Khan, Madiha Sikander, Shoiab Mehmood, Asif Ahmed, Waseem Ahmed, Sobia Ahmad, Akbar Ali, Saba Saleem
Vernissage: Thur. 4. October 2012, 5 - 8 pm
A 44 page full colour catalog in English / German is available
The Mughal of Modern Times / Der Mogul der Neuzeit, CHF 10.-
The Mughal of Modern Times brings closer to a European audience the overlooked, yet exceptionally vibrant contemporary art from Pakistan. The show is the premiere exhibition held in Switzerland, which features over 40 works by 8 emerging and established artists who have been trained within the traditions of historical miniature painting. Many of the works are being shown for the first time in Europe.
During the past decade a new generation of Pakistani artists has created compelling works that have largely gone unnoticed outside their country. This exhibition is an effort to take stock of some of the work being done by these artists to reshape commonly held understanding of nationhood, individual expression that include class and gender in a Muslim society and artistic traditions.
Of these traditions is notably miniature painting; the art of small-scale paintings on paper that has been one of the most sophisticated art forms in South and Southwest Asia for centuries. It is during the Mughal rule that the art of miniature painting flourished until its decline during British rule. The Mughal Empire was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent between the mid-16th century and the early 18th century. The Mughal emperors were supportive of the arts and hence, it is not surprising that the word "Mughal" evokes meanings and images connected to power, culture and the arts.
Today, miniature painting has seen a revival in Pakistan, with artists re-inventing this art form by introducing new elements, methods and materials. And artists are exploring different subject matters that are considered taboo – politics, social classes, culture change and inter-cultural relations, and power associated with wealth and financial institutions.
This exhibition explores boundaries of experience within these various realms. Art is only one of many methods used, where Pakistanis have given shape to their experiences and voiced independent aspirations for their lives.