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Contemporary Art of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan

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King Kang of Mu View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 Feb 2010 at 23:08
 
Something I found in Tate Gallery's YouTube Channel.  The curator lady explains well the objective of the such exhibition and the selection so I won't add much more since I am not familiar with the contemporary Art scene from the region. 
 
I do think the motivation least in the production level was sincere and helpful to someone like me who is not familiar and curious.  However I think the viewer must consider that the contemporary Modern Art is a practice originated in the West and I noticed many of these artists are active in the West or educated there.  Which may or may not matter much as far as understanding each work but it is something to consider on works with more religious and political themes. 
 
Looking at the miniature Folk paintings of Imran Qureshi from Pakistan, I was very impressed with the craftsmanship, colors and the tension between two dimensionality and three dimensionality, almost reminding me of Japanese wood prints that had much influence on Post Impressionism and Fauvism of Europe in late 19th century.  But I had to wonder how a Muslim person with more traditional religious and cultural views would see these works. 
 
Such feeling was amplified when I saw Shezad Dawood(Pakistan/U.K.)'s work which has some Arabic texts and Muslim creeds in form of neon chandelier.  Even in just aesthetic point of view I wasn't that impressed because it reminded me too much of the American Artist jenny Holzer's works.  ( http://hmoir.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/jenny-holzers-postmodern-artwork/ ) 
 
Young Afghani photographer Farzana Wahidy's were interesting to look at especially the wedding photo and the hands with golden rings, although I have hard time separating this kind of photographic art works from photo-journalism sometimes.
 
84 year old Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian's works works grabbed me the most, well because I have developed a taste for Abstract Expressionism although the shiny reflective metallic quality of mirrors and geometric shapes reminds me more of the Minimalist Donald Judd.   But then again I'm pretty sure Judd would have appreciated Islamic geometric tile works very much so.
 
 
 
So I feel inadequate again for starting a thread with a single video and no deeper knowledge on the subject but I was just curious what you guys would say about them.  Also feel free to share other contemporary art works and artists from the region.  i would appreciate it very much     
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Milan Kundera
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Gharanai View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2010 at 07:24
Ok dear Kang here is a list of artwork from Afghanistan, as promised.
I would like to start with Miniatures and Paintings:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Paintings:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2010 at 07:41
Then we have the Calligraphy (which I also sometimes do for fun and know the first two styles Naskh and Nastaleeq):
 
 
 
 
 
Then comes the ceramic work:
 
 
 
 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 2010 at 07:57
Then we have the wood work, carpets and embroidery:
 
 
 
 
Afghan Carpets:
 
A pure silk carpet, one of the most expensive carpets in the world ranging from 3000-15000$ (depending on size).
 
 
Last but not the least and one of the most localy used art product of Afghanistan, the Afghan Embroidery.
 
 
A traditional Afghan men's waistcoat (closeup).
 
A traditional Afghan women wear.
 
 
Sorry for the multiple posts, I don't know why but I tried a couple of times to post it in one but failed so decided to go with the multiple option.
 


Edited by Gharanai - 25 Feb 2010 at 07:59


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King Kang of Mu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King Kang of Mu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2010 at 12:21
Originally posted by Gharanai Gharanai wrote:

Ok dear Kang here is a list of artwork from Afghanistan, as promised.
I would like to start with Miniatures and Paintings:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks Gharanai for lotta work..... I know you took many of these pictures yourself especially on this post. 
 
Those miniature paintings are absolutely stunning.  Again I love the visual dialogue/tension between the flat two dimensional background and decorative patterns in columns/emblems and the hint of three dimensionality in the figures.  The patterns in the clothings bridge those elements well too making it easier for eyes to move from foreground to the back and vice versa.   Not being familiar with the traditional elements of from the region, it is difficult for me to pick out any modern or elements out of them but they do have that contemporary folk art feel to them, least to me. 
 
I am a little hesitant to make this connection because I don't think it's necessary but if I must compare them with some Modern Art, the visual dialogue between the two dimensional decorative patterns and the human figures do remind me of some of the Gustav Klimt's paintings (  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Adele_Bloch-Bauer_I_Gustav_Klimt01.jpg ), ( http://www.tate.org.uk/liverpool/exhibitions/gustavklimt/images/timeline/id131_large.jpg ) or even Egon Schiele to a stretch ( http://www.leninimports.com/egon_schiele_edith_schiele_magna_postcard_1.jpg ),  although many religious person would cringe at throwing his name into the mix but I was speaking strictly in visual terms.   
 
the figures kinda remind me of some traditional Indian figures but that could be just out of my own stereotyping out of ignorance though I would not be surprised if there is some Indian elements seeped into them. 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote King Kang of Mu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2010 at 12:36
Originally posted by Gharanai Gharanai wrote:

 
 
 
......Paintings:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The more traditional  four paintings below  of the same post doesn't grab me as much perhaps due to the rather tradition duller earth tones of the colors.  But the flowing fabrics of of the first and the third one are quite liberating even the usage of space to make enough room for them.  I am drawn to the third one the most.  Most vibrant colors out of the four almost reminding me of the Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler ( http://susanconnordesign.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341d2d1f53ef010536ea7e1b970c-800wi ),  ( http://images.art.com/images/products/regular/10291000/10291790.jpg ). 
 
I am also enjoying the music and dance subject matter in these paintings which depicts the cultural elements which are also correlated to the free flowing compositional elements I mentioned above.
 
Especially the second painting has that Orientalist element of the 19th century Romanticists like Eugene Delacroix (  http://www.abcgallery.com/D/delacroix/delacroix22.html ),  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Delacroix_fanatics_of_tangier_1838_950px.jpg ). 
 
Oh yeah, and I know it is hard to separate sometimes because of lack of my ability to translate the visual language into literal one but when I make these comparisons I am mostly talking about the visual /compositional elements, so please don't get offended by the subject matter of the works that i am comparing them to.  i am merely trying to understand in the terms that I'm more familiar with which is mostly the Modern Art from the Western tradition.  And by no means I am drawing the conclusion that one id influenced by the other.   Just making some visual connections.....Embarrassed 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2010 at 01:38

Thanks for your indepth analysis and I really like the comparison since it really shows the connection and touch of arts around the world.

About the miniature, India as mostly rellied on the status to deflect their tradition and past where it was during the Persianization of India when arts such as miniature was introduced so surely you will find lots of great work in the countries around Iran (who is the richest country with that form of art) where it had cultural influence on surrounding countries.
 
About the paintings, it's the tradition Afghan way of showing them a bit dull with not much of vibrant colors since it deflects the traditional ways a bit better.
We also have the modernized vibrant paintings too but then it's not much of a mirror to the culture and tradition.
Same like the miniatures which are mostly performed in western Afghanistan (where Persian influence is more) and does not reflect the culture of our region in many ways.
 
Here are some artwork of Iranian origin where you will find similarity in it and our miniatures but with lots of diversity with the pictures which are more Afghanized.
 
 
 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2010 at 01:39
Interesting, didn't know Lori traditional costumes were popular in Afghanistan!


Most of those paintings look like embroideries of Mahmoud Farshchian paintings. 



Edited by Zagros - 27 Feb 2010 at 01:41
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2010 at 12:08
Well as I mentioned before, the Afghan miniature artists are mostly influenced by the Persian form of the art and some of the work done in Afghanistan are totaly inspired by the incient Persian work available in Afghanistan so that's why in most of Afghan miniature art you will find a lot of similarities with Persian work.
It's same like the Persianized Architecture of Mosques and Mausoleums which could be traced around the world.
 
I had seen a few work of Farshchian sometime back but thanks a lot for the site, it really is interesting and although I find lots of similiraties between his work and these pictures still  iguess his work is way brighter and alive, I guess that me be the time effect; since these ones ^ are of very old times while he is an artist of 20th century so for sure his work would be more vibrant and eye catching.
I really like below picture of him:
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2010 at 16:32
From Pakistan; http://www.sadequainfoundation.com/
From the Met; http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/wepk/hd_wepk.htm 


Edited by Sparten - 27 Feb 2010 at 16:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2010 at 08:55
Oh thanks for sharing Sparten, Sadequain's art work along with Manto and Ashfaq Ahmed Sahib's writings are among the best cultural work of Pakistan (IMO).


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mable01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 2012 at 21:15
I am just amazed to see these beautiful art creations. Just loved this contemporary art from and the awesome work. Nothing can beat this contemporary art among all different art forms.
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