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Artists

Saba Hasan



VIEW WORKS

SHOWS WITH ART ALIVE GALLERY
Swasti Roop
 Presented by Art Alive Gallery
 23rd February 2007 - 24th March 2007
 Art Alive Gallery



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Statement

I was born on a busy August evening, right after my mother bought her coveted Singer sewing machine from the swank CP showroom. Not surprisingly, upon being asked by the nurse, as he was pacing outside the delivery room, if he would like a boy or a girl, my father flicked his cigarette ash, shot a glance at my brother and smiled, a girl .On our lawn in Pataudi House, as I lay staring at the starry sky, my parents took turns to tell me stories about the prince who followed ruby tears along the pebbly curving stream, about the proud black magical flying horse, tales of Mulla Nasruddin and seemingly endless anecdotes from our family vault. They were my first chroniclers of human history adeptly capturing colours, smells and sounds of our times. I was lifted above trivialities into the delicious world of Kulsum, Aliyan, Hafza and umme Salma, for many years I thought Mulla Nasruddin was also a relative. Full credit to all of them for my later skipping work and lazing on the grass with a book, my undying craze for movies or just wandering into the privacy of my dreams, the world of imagination and angst. Where pursuit matters as much as achievement and to be generous is to give without expecting in return, where life like art, is a result of your courage, goodwill and imagination.My generation has been long grappling with issues of ego, identity and heterogeneity of cultures. We artists, like just about everyone else, observe both the worlds, within and without and try to bring to our work an emotive visceral response rather than an objective view of reality. In this series I have used letters written to me by my mother in 2003 from Baton Rouge brimming with family anecdotes and her experiences in the States. Urdu here has evolved beyond the traditional Bismillah category of calligraphy and has become a cultural symbol having a role in the modern secular discourse thus asserting its fresh position in a syncretic Indian art. All the other materials like plaster, soot, nails and rope reinforce the elemental aspect I so prize in art and enrich my grammar with their individual textures and meanings. These letters though personal accounts, bring into the frame an authenticity. Admissions of loneliness, equanimity in the face of death, humour, political criticism have all evaded censorship and are bare to see, more importantly they allow allusions not to be broadcasted but intimately shared. If you erase the names, locations and dates, the letters will transcend such boundaries and offer insights into the universal, that which is human but not time bound. Thus being a storytellers child has given me my core, my particular vision and a sense of belonging to an infinitely larger world. And as I look at both my children, I can see that all those stories have found their meaning once again.

Biography

Saba studied from Art History Summer School, Cambridge University, UK, 2000. She was the artist-in-residence at Paris by French Government in 2006. She held her first solo show at India International Centre in 1996, followed by others at New Delhi in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001 & 2006 and at Mumbai in 1999. She has also participated in many group shows both in India and abroad. She has received the Raza Foundation Award in 2005; George Keyt Foundation Residency, Sri Lanka in 2002. She has also received the fellowship for Culture Studies from Syracuse University, New York in 1986. She lives and works in New Delhi.


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