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Aparna Kumar

(b Hyderabad, 1972).

Aparna Kumar

Pakistani painter.

Qureshi began his artistic career at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore, where he earned his BFA in 1993. As a student, Qureshi cultivated a keen interest in performance and theatre, and was an active member of the school’s puppetry and drama societies. He was also, however, drawn to painting and, at the encouragement of his teacher and famed miniaturist Bashir Ahmed (b 1954), eventually selected miniature painting as his specialty.

Qureshi’s training in miniature painting coincided with a period of renewed interest in the technique and its history at the NCA. He joined the Miniature department on the heels of Shahzia Sikander, a pioneering artist two years his senior, whose success as a miniaturist in both Pakistan and abroad challenged prevailing conceptions of the medium as kitsch and paved the way for a new generation of experimentation at the NCA.

Qureshi became a key figure in the revival and reinvention of miniature painting in Pakistan. He was, for instance, one of six Pakistani artists behind the ...

Article

Partha Mitter

(b Lahore, March 6, 1969).

Pakistani painter, active also in the USA. Sikander’s formative influences were her liberal family, schooling at a Catholic convent and travelling throughout Pakistan. She attended the National College of Arts in Lahore in 1989–92, followed by the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1992–5. Sikander is an example of a transnational artist, whose evolving artistic expression kept pace with her own development as a political individual. With a precocious gift for drawing (see figs 1 and 2), she showed great versatility in her artistic media, from delicate miniatures and drawings inspired by numerology, to large-scale wall paintings, installations, performance art (with the dancer Sharmila Desai), digital animation and ceramics (see fig.). At the art school in Lahore she demonstrated her independence by specializing in miniature painting, widely dismissed at the time as kitsch, though some younger artists in Pakistan have subsequently followed her path. This solid grounding in traditional craftsmanship paradoxically offered her the wherewithal to engage with the predicament of modernity and its fractured identities. The genre opened up a dialogue between artistic, cultural and existential polarities: East and West, Muslim and Hindu, secular Mughal portraiture and Hindu religious mythology, narration and abstraction....

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Lahore).

Pakistani painter, active also in America. Wasim’s images critique authority by using a painting technique that produces works described as “epic miniatures.” Prior to the 19th century, miniature painting was associated with royal courts in South Asia, but by the late 20th century it was being taught at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Pakistan. Wasim majored in miniature painting at NCA, graduating with a BFA in 1999. Her approach mirrors the philosophical and formal methods utilized by 16th-century Mughal family Empire court painters in that she addresses contemporary issues and incorporates new materials and styles, as did the Mughal artists (see also Indian subcontinent §VI 4., (i)).

Wasim is part of a group of NCA graduates that does not set limits on miniature painting’s purpose and form unlike many contemporary practitioners and viewers in Pakistan. Like Shahzia Sikander before her, Wasim has introduced a dynamic technique to audiences in the USA, where she moved in ...