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Aisha Abid Hussain

Born in 1980 in Peshawar (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Lahore (Pakistan)

Aisha Abid Hussain is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in a variety of mediums, from Miniature Painting to Photography and Film. She obtained her MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 2012, and her BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2008. She is a recipient of various scholarships and awards including Hajji Sharif Award in Miniature Painting from the National College of Arts, and New Contemporaries from ICA, London. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world and in Pakistan, and she has held numerous solo shows, at venues including: Rohtas 2, Lahore; The Loft at the Lower Parel, Mumbai; Koel Gallery, Karachi; Hanmi Gallery, London; Gandhara Art Space, Karachi; and Alexis Renard Gallery, Paris. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the National College of Arts and Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. Hussain’s art practice is very much research-based, derivative of her fascination with personal and worldly history. Thus, a crucial aspect of her creative process comprises of excavating through archival documents, scripts, photographs and text. A constant point of reference in her technical practice is her training as a miniaturist, and by using this engrained sensibility, she oscillates between traditional and contemporary media in order to visually explore forgotten narratives she has discovered through archival research in her work.

Aisha Abid Hussain’s series of digital photographs, Two Not Together, expands on her artistic interest in the socio-cultural context of gender discourse, gently mocking societal fixation with wedding celebrations. Her works have been inspired by photographs found in a familial archive, and are consequently imbued with a pseudo-nostalgia that furthers the satire in her re-staging of the original ceremony. The composition of the photographs is carefully arranged, not only referring back to Hussain’s archival source, but capturing the gender politics and power dynamic between the betrothed in their roles of ‘bride’ and ‘groom’. This is ultimately subverted by the fact that both parties in the photographs are female, but with costume, gesture and stance as gender signifiers, subtly critiquing the contextual rigidity of the institution of marriage.

Two Not Together, 2014.
Archival print on Hahnemuhle photo rag
83.82 x 59.69 cm.
Collection of the artist