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Title

Rustam series #1


Artist

Khadim Ali

Pakistan, Australia

1978 -


About

Khadim Ali, an artist from the Hazara community from Central Afghanistan, is currently based in Sydney. He trained in contemporary miniature painting at the prestigious National College of Art, Lahore, Pakistan, and in mural painting and calligraphy at Tehran University, Iran. In his own words:’ My style of painting is very much inspired by two great schools, Indian Mughal painting and the 15th/16th century Persian artist Razai Abbasi Isfahani’.

This drawing contains an image of one of the two monumental 6th century Bamiyan buddhas destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. The Buddhas were in Khadim Ali’s home province of Hazarajat. Apart from these emotive images, his work also incorporates images of a demon. In his words “The demon I paint is a fusion of my own created elements with characters from the 11th century secular book by Abul Qasim Firdausi, the 'Shahnama', written at Mahmoud Ghaznavi’s court in Ghazni, Afghanistan’. The hero of the 'Shahnama' is Rustam, known to generations of Afghani children.

The gilded lettering on the work is meaningless, his commentary on how gilded words with perverted meanings have seduced more and more people in his region towards religious fundamentalism. As he says ‘The true value of words and ideas is lost to the demons’.

The lattice work surrounding the Buddhas alludes to the bamboo structure surrounding the buddhas as part of a UNESCO project to rebuild them. This work is a continuation of a series started in 2004.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, February 2011.


Details


Place where the work was made

Sydney New South Wales Australia


Date

2009-2010


Materials used

pencil, gouache, watercolour, gold leaf on Vasli paper


Dimensions

55.0 x 32.0 cm


Credit

Asian Collection Benefactors' Fund 2011


Accession number

79.2011


Artist information

Khadim Ali

Works in the collection

4


Place

Where the work was made
Sydney

Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history