7 Feb – 26 Jun 2022
Admission was FREE
This exhibition was informed by the time Ali Kazim, one of the most exciting artists working in Pakistan today, spent in the Ashmolean.
During a residency in 2019, Kazim spent days browsing through the Museum’s South Asian collection, examining several objects up close. Kazim’s engagement with the material and visual traditions – for example, how a small clay sculpture or a fingerprint can connect us, directly and viscerally, to the people who originally made and used them – encourages us in turn to reflect on how the past informs and influences the present.
The 40 small clay and terracotta sculptures in Kazim's ‘Votive Offering’ series evolved after Kazim’s close engagement with some of the Museum’s collection of Buddhist items. His ‘Man of Faith’ portraits are a tour-de-force of emotion, and it was breathtaking to enter the gallery and encounter his huge but delicate five-panel watercolour, the ‘Conference of Birds’ in flight.
Curated by Dr Mallica Kumbera Landrus, Keeper of the Department of Eastern Art and Senior Curator of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art, in collaboration with the artist, the exhibition featured Ashmolean objects alongside paintings, sculptures and installations by Kazim. The exhibition coincided with the 75th anniversary of Pakistan’s creation.
The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue supported by the Elie Khouri Art Foundation.
All Images: © Ali Kazim, Courtesy Jhaveri Contemporary