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Title

Untitled, from the series The haunted lotus

2013-2014


Artist

Khadim Ali

Pakistan, Australia

1978 -


About

Khadim Ali reinterprets the ancient Persian poem Shahnameh c977-1010, also known as the Book of Kings, from the perspective of troubled present day Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Shahnameh was recited to the young artist by his grandfather, which has since been appropriated by Taliban fighters to promote and justify their jihad. Ali once related to its protagonist, the warrior Rustum, who tragically kills and is killed by his jealous half-brother Shaghad. However, through personal experiences shaped by civil war, he now also indentifies with the Shahnameh's antagonist demons.

Depicted in a detailed drawing are two demon characters, portrayed as tubby half human / half animal figures with wings, horns, a beard and goat ears. Their anthropomorphic features and double representation are emblematic of a moral inversion between good and evil, in an imperfect world where heroes fail and villains succeed. Ali's painstaking style is indebted to the influence of Indian Mughal illustrations, as well as his training in Persian miniature painting.


Details


Date

2013-2014


Materials used

gouache, ink and gold leaves on wasli paper


Dimensions

70.0 x 56.0 cm sheet; 85.4 x 70.6 cm frame


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Contemporary Collection Benefactors Fund 2014


Location

Not on display


Accession number

94.2014.1


Artist information

Khadim Ali

Works in the collection

4


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Macushla Robinson and Khadim Ali, Khadim Ali: The haunted lotus, 'Khadim Ali in conversation with Macushla Robinson', Sydney, 2014, n.pag.. general reference