Khadim Ali will discuss why he became an artist, sharing his lived experiences of researching mythic and contemporary realities of violence and beauty, between Quetta (Pakistan), Kabul (Afghanistan) and Sydney (Australia).
Khadim’s study of the art of the Persian miniature focuses on his re-reading of the ‘Book of Kings’, otherwise referred as the ‘Shahnameh’ (the epic book of poems by AbulQasimFerdowsi c. 977-1010 CE). In this literary masterpiece of Persian literature, the hero named ‘Rostam’ represents the good of the people who always overcomes evil in the world, including many demons during his reign of 300 years. Both this hero-god and the demons he chases fascinate Khadim particularly because today, Rostam is an icon used to support the mission of armed religion and the ethnic cleansing of the Hazara community (an ethnic minority of whom Khadim Ali is a part). His re-reading of this epic is visualized in large-scale meticulous paintings innovating the art of the ‘miniature’ style; through video, and in woven tapestries of a style traditional to Afghanistan.
Khadim Ali was born in 1978 Quetta, Pakistan. From 1998–99, he studied mural painting and calligraphy in Tehran, Iran. He earned a BFA at the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan (2003), where he studied traditional miniature painting. Having moved to Sydney in 2010, he earned an MFA at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (2012). Ali now lives and works in Sydney, Quetta, and Kabul.
Khadim Ali is in Saigon for one month as part of Prod/Ponder, part of a large artistic endeavour called ’Conscious Realities’, initiated and organized by San Art in partnership with Prince Claus Fund.