Arndt Art Agency
2018 KHADIM ALI
Khadim Ali, "Untitled" (2017-18), gouache and gold leaf, ink on paper, 47 x 35 cm
12.10. - 07.12.18
Opening Friday October 12th, 6-8pm
Arndt Art Agency, Berlin
Arndt Art Agency is pleased to announce a solo presentation of work by Australian artist Khadim Ali in October 2018.
Within this new body of work the artist has produced a new series entitled “Actors”. This series dictates the imagery of romance between war and actor through the role of “Actors”. The two are inseparable. Whether actors dictate war or war dictates actors, the blend creates the aesthetics of violence, destruction and ruination – in the presence of the absent people. In a land, fertile with blood and bones of humans, the unrepeatable historical wars resemble the contemporary conflict. The narrative of virtue and glory, good and evil, remain the immortal characteristics of the on-going war in the artist’s homeland.
Every inch in the tapestry of land-of-conflict is weaved with weapons, to defend its cause that has become so complex and unidentifiable. It is only in the vein of the country that one realises the actors-of-war are dominant, and the physicality of weapons, deadly. Brutality is the only primary legacy of truth. Beneath the skin of the society, a bleeding generation of conflict exists – the invisible actors that pay the cost, through blood and loss. They recite meaning from the poems of a lost history. They sing the songs of actors from a ‘heroic’ past. They make love with the story of war.
In this series, the artist illustrates the domination and transition of actors and weapons in the aforementioned conflict. But what viewers do not see, and, what the artist hopes to convey, are the invisible actors on whose skin this brutality, killing, and bloodshed take place. The actor is thus embodied, as a transitioning, breathing, colourful portrait that represents the complexity of conflict.
About the artist:
Born 1978, Quetta, Pakistan. Ali lives and works in Sydney, Australia. After growing up in Pakistan as a refugee, Afghan artist Khadim Ali was trained in classical miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore and in mural painting and calligraphy in Tehran. Ali’s family is from Bamiyan (Hazarajat region) where in 2001 the colossal sixth-century Buddha statues were destroyed. The Shahnameh (Book of Kings) was read to Ali by his grandfather and its illustrations were his first lessons in art history. Ironically, its hero Rostam became appropriated by the Taliban.
Rich in traditional and modern motifs of Eastern and Western art-historical references, Ali’s works tell stories about loss (of his own cultural heritage and of human values) and about how meaning shifts as words and images are twisted through ideological adoption. Ali’s recent work focuses on the relationship of Afghanistan to refugees who have relocated to his home country. Following the style of miniature painting, specifically that which uses the technique of neem rang (half-colour), Ali employs traditional production methods.
Khadim Ali earned a BFA at the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan in 2003 and Master of Fine Arts, College of fine Arts UNSW, Sydney, Australia in 2013. He has earned Western Sydney Arts Fellowship in 2016. Ali has exhibited in recent solo exhibitions that include: Fragmented Memories, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia (2018), The Arrival, Milani Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2016), Transitions / Evacuation, ARNDT, Singapore (2015), The Haunted Lotus, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2013) and Rustam, Rohtas2 Lahore, Pakistan (2009). Recent group exhibitions include: Enough خلاص Khalas, University of New South Wales Galleries, Sydney, Australia, Waqt al-tagherr: Time of Change, ACE Open, Adelaide, Australia (2018), The National 2017 – New Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2017), NSW Visual Artist Fellowship Exhibition, Art Bank Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2017), Mythologies of the Oppressed, Rohtas 2 Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan (2016) and Refugees, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia (2016).
Ali’s work was featured in the shared Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), Venice, Italy, in Documenta 2013 (2012), Kassel, Germany, The Asia Pacific Triennial 5, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2006) and the presentation No Country: Contemporary Art for South East Asia at the Guggenheim, New York, USA (2013). His work is held in numerous public collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; British Museum, London; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; Foreign Office, Islamabad; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.