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Article

Abdul, Lida  

Sarah Urist Green

(b Kabul, June 5, 1973).

Afghan video and performance artist and photographer, active also in the USA. After fleeing Soviet-occupied Kabul with her family in the late 1980s, Abdul lived as a refugee in Germany and India before moving to Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and Philosophy at California State University, Fullerton, and an MFA at the University of California, Irvine, in 2000. Abdul first returned to a post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2001, where she encountered a place and people transformed by decades of violence and unrest. Since that time, Abdul has made work in Kabul and Los Angeles, staging herself in performances and creating performance-based video works and photography that explore ideas of home and the interconnection between architecture and identity.

Beginning in the late 1990s, Abdul made emotionally intense performance art informed by that of Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramović and Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta. At the time unable to travel to Afghanistan, Abdul created and documented performances in Los Angeles that probed her position as Afghan, female, Muslim, a refugee and a transnational artist. In ...

Article

Abedin, Zainul  

Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

(b Kishorganj, East Pakistan [now Bangladesh], Nov 18, 1914; d Dhaka, May 28, 1976).

Bangladeshi painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Government School of Art in Calcutta from 1933 to 1938, and then taught there until 1947. His work first attracted public attention in 1943 when he produced a powerful series of drawings of the Bengal famine. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 he worked as chief designer in the Pakistan government’s Information and Publications Division, and also became principal of the Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka (later known as the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts), which he helped to found in 1948 and where he remained until 1967. From 1951 to 1952 he visited Europe and, in addition to exhibiting his work at several locations, worked at the Slade School of Art in London, and represented Pakistan at the UNESCO art conference in Venice in 1952. An exhibition of his work in Lahore in 1953 became the starting-point for a series of ...

Article

Agha, Zubeida  

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Faisalabad, 1922).

Pakistani painter. She introduced non-traditional pictorial imagery in Pakistan and initiated a new era in painting. She completed a degree in political science at Kinnaird College, Lahore. Her introverted disposition and concentrated study of philosophy formed the background against which her abstract ‘idea’ paintings emerged. At the Lahore School of Fine Art (1945), Agha began a study of Western art. In addition to copying Old Masters, she came into contact with contemporary Indian painting and folk art.

Mario Perlingieri, an Italian painter who had studied with Picasso, introduced Agha to abstraction in 1946. Unlike the majority of Pakistani artists in the 1950s and 1960s, who emulated Cubism (see Cubism, §I), Agha evolved a personal style synthesizing East and West. Four years in London and Paris (1950–53) brought her face to face with modern European art. Agha’s predilection for discordant shapes, tension, and mysterious and irrational juxtapositions link her art to that of Marc Chagall and Edvard Munch. An intensely private and cerebral individual, she was awarded the President’s Medal for Pride of Performance in ...

Article

Akhlaq, Zahoor ul-  

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Delhi, India, Feb 4, 1941; d Lahore, Pakistan, Jan 18, 1999).

Pakistani painter, sculptor and printmaker. Educated in Pakistan and abroad, he has consciously and successfully synthesized Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions. In 1963, a year after graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, he joined the faculty as a lecturer in art, later becoming a professor and head of the Department of Fine Arts. His studies abroad have included post-graduate work in London (1966–7, 1968–9) and the United States (1987–9).

Like many of his colleagues, Zahoor was influenced by his mentor, Shakir ‛Ali, principal of the National College of Art from 1961 to 1975. Both artists were motivated by art history, philosophy and aesthetics. Zahoor’s non-figurative paintings of the 1960s evolved into tangible—though not always realistic—images addressing the dualities of space and time, East and West. Most of his triptychs and single canvases were conceived within a grid that provides a stabilizing structure for their compositions. This grid refers to Zahoor’s admiration for the American artist ...

Article

‛Ali, Shakir  

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Rampur, 1916; d Lahore, 1975).

Pakistani painter. A seminal figure, Shakir ‛Ali introduced Cubism to Lahore in 1952. His style quickly became fashionable there, was adopted in Karachi and dominated the art scene for more than a decade (see Pakistan, Islamic Republic of §III).

Shakir ‛Ali first studied painting at the Ukil Brothers Studio in Delhi. In 1938, after a year in that city, he joined the J. J. School of Art, Bombay, which promoted the British system of art education—drawing from cast and copying Old Masters. From the school’s director, Charles Gerrard, Shakir learned mural painting and was introduced to Impressionism. He also learned about indigenous art such as that at Ajanta (see Ajanta, §2, (i)) and the modern work of Roy, Jamini and Sher-Gil, Amrita.

After receiving a diploma in fine art from the Slade School of Art, London, Shakir ‛Ali studied with André Lhote in France. Moving to Prague, he joined the School of Industrial Design and studied textile design. From Prague, Shakir went to Lahore, where he was appointed Professor and head of the art department at the Mayo School of Arts. In ...

Article

Andree, A(dolphus) W(illiam)  

Ismeth Raheem

(b Jaffna, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], Sept 26, 1869; d Colombo, July 2, 1910).

Ceylonese photographer. His family had practised photography for three generations. His grandfather, Adolphus Wilhelmus Andree (b 1799), was one of the early pioneers of daguerreotypy in Ceylon, and his father, Adolphus William Andree, had a flourishing photographic business between the 1860s and 1880s with studios in the capital Colombo and the provincial towns of Jaffna, Galle and Matara. At 18, he was already working as an apprentice in the studio of an American photographer at Chatham Street, Colombo, using the ferrotype process (see Photography §I). By 1893 he had established the Hopetown Studio, Slave Island, Colombo, which within a decade was one of the most fashionable and best-equipped in the country. Andree earned several awards at the Exposition Universelle, Paris, in 1900 and at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, in 1904. In 1901 the government appointed him as one of its official photographers to cover the visit to Ceylon of the Duke and Duchess of York....

Article

Araeen, Rasheed  

Francis Summers

revised by Atteqa Ali

(b Karachi, 1935).

Pakistani conceptual artist, sculptor, painter, activist, writer, and curator, active in England. Originally trained as a civil engineer, Araeen began painting in the 1950s while living in Karachi, Pakistan, where he and a few artists created art in a modern style that was not fully accepted in the cultural milieu of the time. Lack of positive reception in Pakistan prompted his move to London in 1964, where he found more like-minded artists and gained further exposure to contemporary art. This helped him to develop his practice, which gradually shifted from painting to sculpture. Araeen was especially influenced by the works of Anthony Caro and Sol LeWitt, and started producing objects in a highly reduced abstract vocabulary, becoming a pioneer of British Minimalism. He drew on his experience as a civil engineer when constructing grid-like forms using lattice patterns similar to window structures. His sculpture Second Structure (1966–1967) employed crossing elements imbued with political content and articulated his solidarity with the oppressed around the world. Moving to London did not result in reception so different from Karachi—museums and galleries in England overlooked his work and did not provide support for him as an artist. These acts of institutional marginalization appalled Araeen and fueled the politicization of his art and life. He began to make art addressing identity politics and racism and became active in groups such as the Black Panthers. In ...

Article

Arahmaiani  

Agung Hujatnikajennong

(b Bandung, May 21, 1961).

Indonesian installation, video and performance artist and writer. Arahmaiani graduated from the Fine Art Department of Bandung Institute of Technology in 1983 and then continued her studies at the Paddington Art School, Sydney (1985–6) before attending the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst & Vormgeving (AKI), Enschede (1991–2). During the 1980s she was also part of a rebellious young artists’ movement in Indonesia.

Arahmaiani is known for her specific point of view in responding to the domination of academicism in the Indonesian art world, which became her departure point in developing Happenings and performance art during the early 1980s; a boom era of painting and commercialization that occurred as a result of the economic boosting under the Indonesian New Order regime. One of her most important works, Newspaper Man (1981), in which she wrapped her body in newspaper advertisements and walked through the streets and shopping malls of Bandung, stimulated a more vibrant practice and discourse on the use of human body as an art medium in Indonesian art. ...

Article

Ardizzone, Edward  

Alan Powers

(Irving Jeffrey)

(b Haiphong, French Indo-China [now Vietnam], Oct 16, 1900; d Rodmersham, Kent, Nov 8, 1979).

English illustrator and author. From 1905 he grew up in England, becoming a professional artist in 1926 after part-time study at the Westminster School of Art, London. He became known as an illustrator of genre scenes in a variety of media, often with a comic Victorian flavour. He was best known for illustrated stories, the first of which, Little Tim and the Brave Sea-captain (Oxford, 1936), was followed by numerous imaginative and popular children’s books and by many other illustrated books. Baggage to the Enemy (London, 1941) reflected his appointment in 1940 as an Official War Artist, recording the German invasion of France, and the North African and Italian campaigns. His freelance career continued after the war with a steady production of illustrative and ephemeral work in an instantly recognizable style that relied on ink line and delicate washes.

The Young Ardizzone: An Autobiographical Fragment (London, 1970) Diary of a War Artist...

Article

Ataman, Kutlug  

Michael Jay McClure

(b Istanbul, 1961).

Turkish video and installation artist, active also in England and Pakistan. He was educated at Mimar Sinan University, the Sorbonne, Paris, Los Angeles Santa Monica College, and the University of California, Los Angeles (MFA, 1988). Ataman holds a prominent place among artists exploring identity, sexuality, documentation, and the cultural politics of the Middle East and its diasporas; his work echoes that of Shirin Neshat, Omer Fast, Mona Hatoum, and the more commercial filmmaker Fatih Akin, among others.

Producing multi-channel ‘video sculptures’, Ataman explores states of psychological, cultural, and social displacement, often employing massive amounts of footage in a quasi-documentary style. An early piece, Women Who Wear Wigs (1999; see images tab for additional illustration), is a representative example. On a four-channel display, four Turkish women reveal their reasons for donning wigs: a reporter who recently lost her hair due to chemotherapy, a transsexual prostitute forced to shave her head by the police, a targeted terrorist who disguises herself, and a student banned from wearing a traditional headscarf in school. The wig, which conceals and connects these women, parallels how Ataman uses video: as a medium that both reveals and obfuscates its subjects. A spectator must negotiate not only the truth of the stories but also their syncopated broadcasts distributed over the space of the exhibition. Indeed, Ataman often uses the situation of the screens to disorienting sculptural effect. In ...

Article

Baij, Ramkinker  

R. Siva Kumar

(b Bankura, May 25, 1906; d Calcutta, Aug 2, 1980).

Indian sculptor and painter. The example of rural craftsmen inspired him to paint curtains for village theatre and posters for the nationalist demonstrations before he was taken in 1925 to the art college at Santiniketan in West Bengal by the nationalist leader, publisher and patron Ramananda Chatterjee (1865–1943). He was initially influenced by Abanindranath Tagore and Nandalal Bose but soon developed an individual perception and a keen interest in sculpture. His early outdoor sculptures, such as Sujata (1935), Santal Family (1939) and the Lamp Stand (1940), were made in situ in Santiniketan in concrete and were environmental in scale and theme.

Although best known for his sculpture, as a painter Baij, along with Benode Behari Mukherjee, was one of the first Indian artists to show a deep understanding of modern Western art. In the late 1930s and early 1940s he made reference in his formal language to Post-Impressionism, Cubism and Futurism, although he consistently derived his imagery from immediate visual experience. The combination of these influences with his natural ...

Article

Baker, Sir Herbert  

Gavin Stamp

(b Cobham, Kent, June 9, 1862; d Cobham, Feb 4, 1946).

English architect and writer, also active in South Africa and India. He was articled to a cousin, Arthur Baker, a former assistant of George Gilbert Scott I, in 1879 and attended classes at the Architectural Association and Royal Academy Schools before joining the office of George & Peto in London (1882), where he first met and befriended Edwin Lutyens. Baker set up in independent practice in 1890 but moved to South Africa in 1892 to join his brother Lionel Baker. In Cape Town he met Cecil Rhodes, Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, who directed his attention to the traditional European Cape Dutch architecture of the province and asked him to rebuild his house Groote Schuur (1893, 1897), now the official residence of South Africa’s prime ministers. Applying the ideas of the English Arts and Crafts movement to local conditions, Baker produced a series of houses, both in the Cape Province and the Transvaal, which were instrumental in the revival of Cape Dutch architecture. In ...

Article

Baker, Laurence [Laurie] Wilfred  

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b March 2, 1917).

English architect and writer, active in India . He graduated from the School of Architecture, Birmingham, and after serving as an anaesthetist in South-east Asia in World War II, he settled in India in 1945, first working as an architect/builder for a missionary organization in Pithorgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and from 1963 in Trivandrum, Kerala State. Inspired by the vernacular building of the area, he developed an architecture based only on local materials and stressing low-cost design. Other important influences were his Quaker religious beliefs, the philosophy of his friend Mahatma Gandhi, and his opposition to the architecture of Le Corbusier and the International style. Working as designer, builder and contractor, Baker has executed nearly 1000 works, mainly houses. Improvisation, for example using old building elements in new structures as in the Narayan House (1973), Trivandrum, is a characteristic of his approach. His house for T. N. Krishanan (1971...

Article

Bawa, Geoffrey  

John Musgrove

(b Colombo, 1919; d Colombo, May 27, 2003).

Sri Lankan architect. He studied English literature at the University of Cambridge and was admitted to the Bar in 1943. After some years travelling in the USA and Europe he returned to Sri Lanka where, in 1949, he bought Lunuganga at Bentota, on the west coast south of Colombo, and initiated what became a widely renowned garden. He then returned to England to study architecture at the Architectural Association, London, graduating in 1956. He joined the Colombo practice of Edward Reid & Begg (1958) and began a close collaboration with the Danish architect Ulrik Plesner (b 1930), one of its partners, which lasted until 1967.

There are two distinct aspects to Bawa’s work. The first is an intensely personal flair for expressing what he called a ‘subconscious residue of understanding’ left in the mind by all kinds of buildings and landscapes in Sri Lanka and abroad; this was the basis of his celebration of the local vernacular, which grew out of Portuguese, Dutch and British influences as well as indigenous models. The second is the element of dynamism in his buildings, which stems from his belief that a building, like a garden, can only be experienced by moving through it. Bawa’s European training is most evident in his early works, although even these bear a personal stamp that immediately relates them to local culture, context and climate. The tennis club-house (...

Article

Begg, John  

Philip Davies

(b Bo’ness, 1866; d Edinburgh, Feb 23, 1937).

Scottish architect, active in India. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Royal Academy Schools. At the RIBA he was a Silver Medallist (1894). After a period articled to Hippolyte Blanc (1844–1917), he worked with Alfred Waterhouse and R. W. Edis before going to South Africa as architect to the Real Estate Corporation. In 1901 he became Consulting Architect to the Government of Bombay, before succeeding James Ransome (1865–1944) as Consulting Architect to the Government of India in 1908, the first to be employed outside the ranks of the Public Works Department engineers. He remained in this post until 1921.

He was proficient in a wide variety of styles. He designed barracks and housing for the new cantonment at Delhi and devised a standardized design for the Post and Telegraph departments, of which the Nagpur Post Office and Agra Post Office (1913...

Article

Bhimji, Zarina  

Susan Kart

(b Mbarara, 1963).

Ugandan photographer, film maker, and installation artist of Indian descent, active in the UK. Bhimji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. The family fled Uganda to England in 1972 due to President Idi Amin’s expulsion of all Asians and Asian-Ugandans from the country along with seizure of their property and businesses as part of his ‘economic war’ on Asia. Bhimji studied art at Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art in London and her photographic work primarily consists of close-up, sometimes abstracted glimpses of seemingly abandoned spaces, objects, and landscapes. Bhimji’s work focuses on India and Uganda, which are treated as almost anthropomorphic subjects that appear restless, unfinished, abandoned, or frozen in her photographs, films, and film stills. Bhimji was one of four shortlisted finalists for the Turner Prize in 2007, and her work has been exhibited alongside such artists as El Anatsui, António Olé, Yinka Shonibare, and ...

Article

Park Seo Bo  

Youngna Kim

[Pak Sŏ-bo]

(b 1931).

Korean painter and art educator. Park Seo-bo graduated from the College of Fine Arts at Hongik University, Seoul, in 1954. He began his career as an abstract painter around 1957 after joining Association of Korean Contemporary Artists, a group of young artists. He created works with similarities to the Art informel movement in Europe and Abstract Expressionism from the United States. Beyond following international art trends, however, Park’s works represented a significant challenge to contemporary Korean art, with its long-standing preference for conservative realist art. One of Park’s representative works from this period is Painting No. 1 (1957; oil on canvas, priv. col., see Youngna Kim 1993, 177), where he splashed paint onto the canvas. But, over the course of his career, he employed a wide variety of techniques.

Park launched his signature Ecriture series in 1967. At that time more Korean artists were breaking away from the influence of Western art, seeking to create art that embodied the authentic spirit of Korea. For each work in the ...

Article

Boonma, Montien  

Eleanor Heartney

(b Bangkok, Feb 25, 1953; d Bangkok, Aug 25, 2000).

Thai sculptor and installation artist. Boonma studied at the Poh Chang Arts and Crafts School, Bangkok (1971–3) and went on to study painting at Silpakorn University, Bangkok (1974–8). He became a Buddhist monk in 1986 and his work explores a distinctively Buddhist art language. His early work dealt with environmental issues that came out of his concerns about the effects of industrialization on rural Thailand. Increasingly his work became involved with issues of illness and death as his own health faltered. He subtly melded natural forms, Buddhist architecture and ritual objects with a minimalist sense of structure inspired by his study of Western art. He fashioned sculptural objects based on Buddhist alms bowls, ‘painted’ with healing herbs and created walls and enclosures from stacks of hundreds of ceramic temple bells.

From 1991 Boonma’s wife struggled with breast cancer, until she succumbed in 1994. During this period the pair turned to both Western and Eastern tools to battle her disease, alternating chemotherapy with visits to shrines and offerings to propitious spirits. In ...

Article

Bose, Nandalal  

R. Siva Kumar

(b Kharagpur, Dec 3, 1882; d Shantiniketan, April 16, 1966).

Indian painter and teacher. The foremost student of Abanindranath Tagore and a close associate of Rabindranath Tagore (see Tagore family §(1)), he was a resourceful artist and teacher. His early paintings (e.g. Sati, watercolour, c. 1907; destr.; copy in Delhi, N.G. Mod. A.), revivalist in style and mythological and literary in content, were influenced by the cultural nationalism of Ernest Binfield Havell and of Sister Nivedita and by the early work of Abanindranath Tagore. These paintings brought him to public notice while he was still a student. His sensibility was modified by his study of the wall paintings of Ajanta and of East Asian art, which he was encouraged in first by the Japanese artist Arai Kempo (1878–1945) in 1916 and later by a visit in 1924 to China and Japan. These interests were supplemented by the ideas of Rabindranath Tagore, Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, Okakura Kakuzo and Mahatma Gandhi (...

Article

Bourne, Samuel  

Arthur Ollman

(b Mucklestone, Staffs, 1834; d Nottingham, April 24, 1912).

English photographer. He photographed extensively in India between 1863 and 1869 and is known for the elegant compositional structure of his images and for the rugged conditions under which he worked. He began photographing in 1853 in the Midlands. A decade later he moved to India and established a photographic firm in Simla with Charles Shepherd. His legendary Himalayan expeditions in 1863, 1864 and 1866 produced hundreds of dramatic views (London, V&A). His architectural studies were widely sold; his mountain landscapes and ethnographic studies, few of which survive, sold less well. On returning to England in 1870 he left the partnership of Bourne and Shepherd and became a successful manufacturer, although continuing to work as a photographer and watercolour painter until his death.