There is a minor revolution underway in the world of Pakistani Art as a new generation of young artists are making their mark on the international scene with art that is distinctly Pakistani and pregnant with political content.
I should say that the only reason I know this is becasue of Hammad Nasar. Hammad runs the London-based not-for-profit arts organization Green Cardamom, which brings the works of artists in the early stages of their international careers to a global audience through exhibitions and publications.
I plan to have more on Hammad later, but one artist that Green Cardamom has been working with is Naeem Rana (two of whose artworks are displayed here). According to the Green Cardamom website:
Naeem Rana was born in Lahore. He received a BFA from the National College of Arts in Lahore and a Graduate Diploma in Visual Art from the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne. Rana’s most recent solo show was at the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick, Melbourne. His work has been exhibited in Australia, Asia, Pakistan, the UK and the USA. His work is included in a number of private and public collections, including that of the South London Gallery.
Naeem is now based in Melbourne, Australia and according to the Australian website State of the Art:
Naeem Rana comes from a family of calligraphers, and Urdu calligraphy is an identifying feature in his work, which tends to be very bold in the manner of Indian and Pakistani movie posters, and is conceptually political. Embroiled in Rana’s images are political figures such as Saddam Hussein, Osama-Bin Laden and George Bush, whose impact on the region’s political, economic and social life has been disruptive to say the least.
I am particularly fond of these two pieces from Naeem (can't afford the originals so have electronic copies of both on my screensaver). I am not sure whether he meant them to be a set, but I have always wondered how Sher-i-Punjab would stack up against the Sher-i-Texas?