The urban environment of Lahore is the inspiration for Rashid Rana’s work — selling popular American and Indian film posters, Lahore’s street stalls rest beneath the grandeur of Mughal architecture. The contrast of physical scale and cultural history is visually evident in Rana’s meticulous photographs. At first glance, famous Indian film stars or idyllic scenic landscapes are depicted. However, on closer examination, the subject shifts, once focus adjusts, to the smaller, pixel-like images embedded within the larger work.
Rana’s attention to the minutiae of an image draws on the historical tradition of miniature painting from South Asia. The influence of this illuminated manuscript tradition — its detailed attention to composition, surface, form, colour and scale — can be found in his photographic works. However, his conceptual departure from this traditional style and medium is distinctly his own. Fascinated by how meaning is often misunderstood in our media-oriented society, Rana’s photographic practice creates images that offer a different view of how popular ideas and stereotypes are created. His art investigates the representation of reality, as well as the politics of gender, violence and authenticity in the age of global communication.
Rashid Rana is one of the most important artists of his generation in Pakistan. Rana has been included in numerous exhibitions in Pakistan and abroad, most recently in the 'Parallel Realities: 3rd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale 2005', Japan; and the 'Singapore Biennale 2006'.
Gallery 16, QAG
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