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MORE PAST EXHIBITIONS

Hitesh Natalwala, 'It suddenly struck her, fate had taken a turn for the worse', paper collage, 2007.

Sabeen Raja, I am not forgiven, opaque watercolour with gold on wasli paper, 2007.

Alia Toor, installation detail, 99 Names of Aman, dust masks with cotton embroidery, 2004.

Khadim Ali, Untitled, opaque watercolour with silver leaf on wasli paper, 2007.

Sangeeta Sandrasegar,Untitled (The Shadow of Murder Lay Upon My Sleep), paper cutouts: paper and glitter, 2006.

Tazeen Qayyum, May Irritate Eyes, Opaque watercolour on wasli paper with typed paper label, 2007.

Hamra Abbas, Battle Scenes, computer generated animation on DVD, 2006.

Henna Nadeem, Snow Melt, paper collage, 2007.

Amin Rehman, installation detail, Black Hole, vinyl lettering, 2007.

Urban Myths & Modern Fables
March 19 - May 11, 2008

Work by Hamra Abbas, Khadim Ali, Henna Nadeem, Hitesh Natalwala, Tazeen Qayyum, Nusra Latif Qureshi & Naeem Rana, Sabeen Raja, Amin Rehman, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, Alia Toor
Curated by Haema Sivanesan
Co-presented with SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre)

Opening: Wednesday, March 19, 5-9 pm
Curator and Artists’ Talk with Haema Sivanesan, Tazeen Qayyum and Amin Rehman at 7 pm
Free shuttle bus to DMG departs 401 Richmond St. W. at 6 pm

Miniature Painting Lecture & Demonstration with Tazeen Qayyum: Wednesday, March 26, 12 - 4 pm

Contemporary Art Bus Tour: Sunday, April 13, 12 - 5 pm
Free bus departs OCAD (100 McCaul St.) at 12 noon to DMG, Koffler Gallery, Art Gallery of York University and Blackwood Gallery. To reserve a seat, contact AGYU at 416.736.5169.

Catalogue Launch & SAVAC Salon: Sunday, May 4, 2 - 5 pm
Free shuttle bus to DMG departs 401 Richmond St. W. at 1:30 pm

Urban Myths & Modern Fables is an exhibition of new work by contemporary artists of Indian and Pakistani background, working in Canada and the international diaspora.

Drawing on the notion of myth, a perpetuating narrative featuring heroic or supernatural characters and events, or the idea of a fable, an aphoristic or instructive story, these artists employ fictive strategies to comment on the contemporary world. Working with conceptual techniques of visual puns, quotation and metaphor the works in this exhibition re-invent and challenge master narratives informing perceptions of culture. The work of these artists speaks of culture as operating between the past and the present, the real and the imagined, as an ongoing process of myth-making and story-telling.

The artists included in this exhibition work in a variety of media and techniques – in painting, collage, paper cutouts, digital printmaking and computer generated animation. Their works reference the visual traditions of the sub-continent through the use of distinctive, culturally specific images and techniques drawn from traditional or historical sources. But these artists re-fashion this imagery in order to undertake a critical exploration of the language of contemporary art.

BIOGRAPHIES

Hamra Abbas (born 1976, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates) received both her BFA in Sculpture and MA (Honours) in Visual Arts from the National College of Art in Lahore, Pakistan. In 2004 she became a Meisterschuler at Universitat der Kunste, Berlin, Germany. Abbas’ work has been included in exhibitions internationally, including Playing with a Loaded Gun, APEX Art, New York and Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2004); Aar Paar 3 Lahore and Karachi, Pakistan/Mumbai and Juhu, India (2004); Miniatures from Pakistan, Fukuoka Museum of Asian Art, Japan (2004); Beyond Borders, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai (2005); Zones of Contact, Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2006); Beyond the Page, Asia House, London; Manchester Art Gallery, England (2006); Inaugural exhibition, National Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan (2007); and the 2007 Istanbul Biennale, Turkey. Abbas currently lives and works in Islamabad, Pakistan and Berlin, Germany.

Khadim Ali (born 1978, Quetta, Pakistan) began his art studies in 2000, taking courses in mural painting and calligraphy at Tehran University, Iran. In 2003, he received his BFA in Miniature Painting from the National College of Art in Lahore, Pakistan. Ali’s work has been featured in exhibitions such as Contemporary Miniature Paintings from Pakistan, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan (2004); Lila-Play: Contemporary Miniatures and New Art from South Asia at Span Galleries, Melbourne (2006); The 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2006); and Winds of Artists, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan (2006). His work is included in the collections of the Queensland Art Gallery (Australia), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (England).

Henna Nadeem (born 1966, Leeds, England) currently lives and works in London. After receiving her Honours BA in Fine Art from John Moores University in Liverpool, she studied at the Royal College of Art in London, graduating with an MA in 1993. Nadeem’s work has been shown extensively in England, including the group exhibitions Picture of Britain, Tate Britain, London, England (2005); Green, Winchester Gallery, England (2006); and Alien Nation, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England (2006). Recent solo exhibitions include Henna Nadeem: A Picture Book of Britain, Charleston Farmhouse, Firle, which was part of the 2006 Brighton Photo Biennial. The exhibition was accompanied by an artist book published by Photoworks.

Hitesh Natalwala (born 1964, Nairobi, Kenya) received an Honours BA in Painting from St. Martins School of Art, London, England. He also holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Art and Design from London University, England and a Diploma in Multimedia from TAFE, Sydney, Australia. Natalwala’s work was included in the recent exhibitions International Works on Paper, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney, Australia (2005) and Lila-Play: Contemporary Miniatures and New Art from South Asia, Span Galleries, Melbourne, Australia (2006). He currently lives and works in Sydney, Australia.

Tazeen Qayyum (born 1973, Karachi, Pakistan) is a contemporary miniature painter currently living and working in Toronto, Canada. She received her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan in 1996. Qayyum has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including A Thousand and One Days: The Art of Pakistani Women Miniaturists, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii, USA (2005); Gendering Detail: Contemporary Miniature Paintings, Art Square Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2006); Contemporary Miniatures Between Two Worlds, Croweaters Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan (2006); and Women Looking East, URI Providence Campus Gallery, Rhode Island, USA (2007. Her work was included in the 2nd Painting Biennial, Saba Cultural and Artistic Center, Tehran, Iran (2002) and the 10th Asian Biennial, Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2002). In 2007, Qayyum directed Double Date, a collaborative inter-disciplinary performance project, produced by SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Collective) at Lennox Contemporary Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

Nusra Latif Qureshi (born 1973, Lahore Pakistan) received her BFA in Miniature Painting from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, before completing her MFA at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. Qureshi’s work has been included in many group exhibitions internationally, including Contemporary Miniature Paintings from Pakistan, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (2004); Beyond Borders: Art of Pakistan, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, India (2005); Karkhana: Collaborative Painting from Pakistan’s Avant-Garde, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, USA (2005); A Thousand and One Days: The Art of Pakistani Women Miniaturists, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii, USA (2005): Lila/Play:Contemporary Miniatures and New Art from South Asia, Span Galleries, Melbourne, Australia (2006); and Beyond The Page, Manchester Art Gallery and Asia House, London, England (2006). Selected solo exhibitions include The Way I Remember Them, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, USA ( 2004); with Naeem Rana, Heavenly Products Exotic Bodies, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia and Nexus Gallery, Adelaide, Australia (2005); Intentions of Memory, Joshua McClelland Print Room, Melbourne, Australia (2005); Acts of Compliance, Studio Glass Gallery, London, England (2006) and A Garden of Fruit Trees, Anant Art Gallery, New Delhi, India (2007). Qureshi currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.

Naeem Rana (born 1974, Lahore, Pakistan) trained in Nastalique style calligraphy under his father, before completing his BFA in Sculpture at the National College of Art, Lahore, Pakistan and a Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts at Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. Rana’s solo exhibitions include Colour, Pattern and Desire, Span Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (2003); with Nusra Latif Qureshi. Exotic Bodies, Heavenly Products, Fremantle Arts Centre,Western Australia and Nexus Gallery, Adelaide, Australia (2005); with Faiza Butt. it’s still hard being british-1, but where are you really from?, Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, England (2005); and Heavenly Pictures, Anant Gallery, Delhi, India (2007). His work has also been included in many group exhibitions, including paperchase, Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (2005); Fremantle Print Award, Fremantle, Western Australia (2006); and “Who are you? Where are you really from?, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England (2006). Rana currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.

Sabeen Raja (born 1977, Lahore, Pakistan) received her BFA in Miniature Painting from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, and her MFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, USA. She has had several solo exhibitions, including It’s a Small World, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, USA (2004); Sabeen Raja, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, Australia (2005); and Sabeen Raja: New Miniature Paintings, Conner Contemporary Art, Washington DC, USA (2005). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions such as paperchase, Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (2005); Twocubes, Sherman Galleries, Sydney, Australia; and Cotton Candy on A Rainy Day, The Proposition, New York, USA. Raja currently lives and works in Virginia, USA.

Amin Rehman (born 1957, Lahore, Pakistan) is an experimental painter currently living and working in Toronto, Canada. He received his BA in Painting from the University of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, and holds a Diploma in Design from the National College of Art, Lahore, Pakistan, a Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies, University of Manchester, England and a Certificate in Digital Art, Digital Media Studios, Toronto, Canada. Rehman has participated in numerous group exhibitions locally and internationally, including Lila-Play: Contemporary Miniatures and New Art from South Asia, Span Galleries, Melbourne, Australia (2006); This is not a propaganda zone (Art + Activism), YYZ Artist’s Outlet, Toronto, Canada (2006); and the 4th Biennale of Contemporary Islamic Painting, Tehran, Iran (2006). Recent solo exhibitions include Their Lives//Our Culture, Praxis Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2002) and Market Values, South Asian Gallery of Art, Toronto, Canada and Nairang Galleries, Lahore, Pakistan (2006).

Sangeeta Sandrasegar (born 1977, Brisbane, Australia) received her BFA in Painting, Graduate Diploma in Visual Art and PhD from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. She has exhibited extensively, including Papercuts, Monash University Faculty Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (2003); Home/Ground: Scape Biennial 2004, Christchurch, New Zealand  (2004); Second Auckland Triennial, New Zealand (2004); Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2004); NEW04, ACCA, Melbourne, Australia (2004); C’Town Bling, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown, Australia (2005); Asian Traffic, Gallery 4A, Sydney, Australia (2005); Lila/Play: Contemporary Miniatures and New Art from South Asia, Span Galleries, Melbourne, Australia (2006); Light and Shade, 24HR Art, Darwin, Australia (2006); and the 5th Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2006). Sandrasegar currently lives and works between London, England and Melbourne, Australia.

Alia Toor (born 1966, Karachi, Pakistan) is an artist and media educator who completed her MA at Columbia University, NY in 2003. She received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo, Canada, and holds a Graduate Diploma in Arts Education from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Her work has been included in exhibitions such as Creative Insecurity, organised by SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Collective) at Marilyn Brewer Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada (2004) and Toronto Alternative Art Fair, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, Canada (2004), as well as the Artwallah Festival, Los Angeles, USA (2005) and Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2006). Toor currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada.