- Media category
- Materials used
- digital pigment print on Cotton RagArt Paper with hand-applied gold leaf
- edition of 15
- 50.0 x 23.0 cm
- Purchased with funds provided by Johanna Featherstone and Geoff Ainsworth 2021
- Not on display
- Accession number
- © Khadim Ali. Courtesy Milani Gallery
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Khadim Ali is an Afghan Hazara artist, born in Pakistan, who currently lives in Sydney. These prints are inspired by an epic 10th century Persian poem The Shahnameh (Book of Kings), read to Ali by his grandfather when he was young. First appearing in his work in a series of miniatures in the style of Mughal painting begun in 2007, Ali refashions motifs from the poem, including its central hero Rostam, to tell a story of loss – his own, of human values, and of Afghanistan.
Ali’s family is from Bamiyan in the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan, where in 2001 two monumental sculptures of the Buddha, dating from the 6th century, were destroyed by the Taliban in a deliberate act of iconoclasm. The Taliban has co-opted the character Rostam, who is represented historically as the mightiest of holy warriors, in the furtherance of their own political ends. In Ali’s work, Rostam the hero metamorphoses into a horned demon, a complex motif to illustrate the way meaning shifts as words and images are perverted through ideological adoption.
Other works by Khadim Ali
See all 11 works