Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Contemporary art

Asian art

View More:


Nalini Malani currently enjoys considerable international fame. Having trained at the distinguished J J School of Art in Bombay, Malani explores the political and postcolonial issues of urban and Third World poverty, decay, exploitation and violence. These complex and difficult themes are brought closer to home through her use of a narrative style and her innate interest in, and profound respect for, the human subject affected by this turmoil. In her 'Hieroglyph' series Malani creates a layering of images produced by techniques she calls 'cloning': monoprints photocopied and worked over in ink, charcoal, watercolour, pen and collage. Malani fashions a complex, layered image which alludes to the multifaceted urbanity of a small street in an area of Mumbai known as Lohar Chawl. She uses her practice to give vision to those stories which history often sweeps aside.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.57.


Place where the work was made

Mumbai Maharashtra India

Cultural origin

Baroda school



Media categories

Book , Print

Materials used

bound book: 34 leaves, 33 photocopied monotypes worked over in ink, watercolour and pen; leaf l is an acetate sheet overlaying leaf m so that these two sheets form one image.


22.3 x 27.8 cm leaf; 22.8 x 29.3 cm closed book; 22.8 x 58.1 cm open book

Signature & date

Signed and dated, leaf hh, l.r.corner, black ink, "...N Malani 91".


Purchased 1994


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Nalini Malani

Works in the collection


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


Victoria Lynn, India Songs: multiple streams in contemporary Indian art, Sydney, 1993, 18, 19 (colour illus.).

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Contemporary Painting in Urban and Village India', Sydney, 2003, 57 (colour illus.). 2 images from the 'Hieroglyph' series.

Haema Sivanesan, Indian painting, 'Indian Painting', verso of poster., Sydney, 2001. 6.16