37th Interim Exhibition: Two Not Together

  • Artist: Aisha Abid Hussain
  • 27 August–25 September, 2014
  • PV: 26 August 2014, 6–9pm

Hanmi Gallery is proud to present‭ ‬“Two Not Together‭,‬”‭ ‬a series of work by Pakistani artist Aisha Abid Hussain‭. ‬In this collection‭, ‬Hussain builds on themes of gender‭, ‬class‭ ‬and status and explores a repertoire of culture-specific symbols‭. ‬



One may view Aisha Abid Hussain’s recent work as a cabinet with many drawers‭, ‬to be slid open‭, ‬one by one‭, ‬exposing the carefully assembled private chronicles‭. ‬The coming together of two individuals in holy or unholy bonds of marriage is a rapidly altering episode in human relationships‭.‬‭ ‬“Two Not Together”‭ ‬interrogates our assumptions‭, ‬our clichés and our romance with the institution of marriage‭. ‬She contrives a staged moment‭, ‬replete with the finery and the trimmings of attire and dreams‭. ‬The farcical underpinnings of the charade do not escape scrutiny‭. ‬Her delight in baroque role-playing only emphasises the patent ridiculousness of each person’s expectations‭. ‬Yet there is a tinge of sadness here‭. ‬The inevitability of decay‭, ‬both physical and emotional is at the core of‭ ‬Hussain’s image-making‭.‬


The relief prints in the same series constitute another aperture in this cabinet of domestic bliss‭. ‬Utopia has imploded unto itself‭, ‬leaving only traces of the fantasy and the relationship it nurtured‭. ‬These lace-like vestiges from another time are almost‭ ‬poetic in their deterioration‭, ‬stubbornly clinging to life in a last ditch show of strength‭.‬


The‭ ‬‘Love is a wasted vigil’‭ ‬series are culled from a trove of crisscrossing visual memoirs‭. ‬The tactile gentleness of the prints is absent‭. ‬This drawer of‭ ‬the cabinet is steeped in carnage‭, ‬conflict and desolation‭. ‬Against such a backdrop‭, ‬the passivity of the matrimonial couple proclaims the strength of humankind and its ability to delude itself‭.‬


Each layer‭, ‬each strata‭, ‬discloses the complexity of men and women‭, ‬their inter woven power play‭, ‬their betrayals‭, ‬unmasking’s and tenacity‭. ‬It is apparent that Aisha Abid Hussain is loathe to be partisan‭. ‬Eventually‭, ‬tenderness casts its delicate shadow over her determined cross-examination and ardent inquiry‭.‬


Salima Hashmi



Aisha Abid Hussain received her BFA degree from the National College of Arts‭, ‬Lahore‭, ‬Pakistan in 2008‭ (‬Passed with Honours‭) ‬and‭ ‬received her MFA from Goldsmiths College‭, ‬University of London‭, ‬England in 2012‭ (‬Passed with Merit‭ & ‬Distinction in studio practice‭). ‬Hussain works within a diverse practice‭, ‬utilising a variety of mediums from miniature painting to photography and film‭. ‬Her work has been exhibited widely in group and solo shows internationally‭. ‬Her Group shows include‭: ‬Open‭ | ‬Pump House Gallery‭, ‬London‭, ‬England 2013‭ | ‬Bloomberg New Contemporaries‭ | ‬Spike Island‭, ‬Bristol‭ | ‬Institute of Contemporary Art London‭, ‬England 2013‭ | ‬Her Stories‭ | ‬Taubman Museum‭, ‬Virginia‭ | ‬Queens Museum‭, ‬Brooklyn‭, ‬New York‭, ‬USA 2012-2013‭ | ‬Drive In‭ | ‬PAMI‭ (‬Peckham Artist Moving Image‭) ‬Festival‭, ‬London‭, ‬England 2012‭ | ‬Through other Eyes‭, ‬Contemporary Art from South Asia‭ | ‬Herbert Art Gallery and Museum‭, ‬Coventry‭, ‬England 2009‭ | ‬Parallel Lines‭ | ‬Bradford Museums Galleries‭ & ‬Heritage‭, ‬England 2008‭ | ‬The Human Dichotomy‭ | ‬Aicon‭ ‬Gallery‭, ‬Palo Alto‭, ‬USA 2008‭ | ‬Connect‭ | ‬Anant Art Gallery‭, ‬New Delhi‭, ‬India 2008‭. ‬Her Solo Shows are‭: ‬Spaces Within‭ | ‬Gandhara‭ ‬Art Space‭, ‬Karachi‭, ‬Pakistan 2010‭ | ‬Miniature Contemporaines du Pakistan‭ | ‬Alexis Renard Gallery‭, ‬Paris‭, ‬France 2009‭ | ‬Preview‭ ‬‭| ‬Rohtas Gallery‭, ‬Lahore‭, ‬Pakistan 2009‭.‬


She is currently working as an assistant professor for a masters programme at the National College of Arts in Lahore and for the‭ ‬Art‭, ‬Design and Education programme at Beconhouse National University‭, ‬Lahore‭, ‬Pakistan‭.  ‬