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Shahzia Sikander in "Spirituality"

Trained in the challenging discipline of Indian and Persian miniature painting, Shahzia Sikander has adapted an enduring artistic tradition to the task of questioning and exploring her Eastern heritage, its boundaries, and its liberating possibilities.

“My whole purpose of taking on miniature painting was to break the tradition, to experiment with it, to find new ways of making meaning, to question the relevance of it,” she says.

The segment traces the artist’s balancing act between studio and museum, small works and large-scale installations, Islamic faith and American attitudes towards Islam, and Sikander’s life in the United States and her family in Pakistan.

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Shahzia Sikander

Shahzia Sikander specializes in Indian and Persian miniature painting, a traditional, technique-driven style that Sikander imbued with a personal context and history, blending the Eastern focus on precision and methodology with a Western emphasis on creative, subjective expression. In doing so, Sikander transported miniature painting into the realm of contemporary art. Expanding the miniature painting to the wall, Sikander also creates murals and installations, using tissue-paper-like materials that allow for a more free-flowing style. Utilizing performance and various media and formats to investigate issues of border crossing, she seeks to subvert stereotypes of the East and, in particular, the Eastern Pakistani woman.

“One thing I’ve learned is respect for tradition and respect for patience. Time is the key.”

Shahzia Sikander

Shahzia Sikander

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Shahzia Sikander

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