Sharjah Museums Department to open first printmaking exhibition from the sub-continent in the Middle East

Press release
Published September 8th, 2014 - 08:24 GMT
Trajectories: 19th-21st Century Printmaking from India and Pakistan
Trajectories: 19th-21st Century Printmaking from India and Pakistan

The Sharjah Art Museum announces the debut of Trajectories: 19th-21st Century Printmaking from India and Pakistan, on 10th September. The exhibition, which will open under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, will present some 157 works from more than 20 Pakistani and Indian artists of note and will mark the first time that prints from the Sub-continent have been displayed in a museum in the Middle East.

The exhibition begins with an immersion in the 19th century “bazaar” schools, exploring the influence of British colonialism and Western notions of beauty, chromolithographs and oleographs, a revived interest in indigenous symbolism in the late 19th century. 

Visitors to the Sharjah Art Museum will take a journey back in time to witness the birth of Modernism, leading to the exciting yet painful Partition years, and following artists’ responses to the shattering of their previous realities, reflected in political prints that spoke to the urban masses. Finally, examples of contemporary prints will invite visitors to explore the parallel development of the medium across borders and to appreciate the inventive ways in which today’s artists incorporate symbolism into their practice of a time-honored artistic medium. 

The vision behind “Trajectories” is to introduce a UAE audience to the development of the printmaking medium, its significant schools, influences, and most groundbreaking works, while also providing a platform for a dialogue on the complex history of India and Pakistan.

Sharjah Museums Department  invited two guest curators Dr. Paula Sengupta from Calcutta, India and Camilla Hadi Chaudhary from Karachi, Pakistan to co-curate the unique exhibition. Dr. Sengupta is an artist, academic, curator, and writer while Ms. Chaudhary is founding member of Art Chowk Gallery (Pakistan) and an independent curator who is currently based in Dubai.

On her experience of co-curating “Trajectories”, Dr. Paula Sengupta said, “As a practitioner and historian of printmaking, to curate this exhibition for the Sharjah Art Museum is a dream project for me - more so, because it has afforded the rare and unique opportunity of sharing a cultural space with Pakistan.” 

She went on to add, “The process of co-curating with my Pakistani counterpart, Camilla Hadi Chaudhary has led me on a journey of discovery as I’ve learned about printmaking practice in Pakistan post-Partition—years that had remained hidden behind borders despite the shared history of the Subcontinent.” 

Co-Curator Camilla Hadi Chaudhary commented, “The exhibition spans a history that has seen much change and evolution in the region and that is reflected in the works on show. The most exciting part has been to study the confluence and divergence of art practices in the two countries that reflect shared history and distinct identities.” 

“Trajectories: 19th-21st Century Printmaking in India and Pakistan” will run at Sharjah Art Museum through 20 November and admission is free of charge. Various educational programs and guided tours will take place in conjunction with the exhibition and those who would like to learn more or register to participate are kindly requested to phone 06 - 5688222.

Background Information

Sharjah Museums Department

The Sharjah Museums Authority - SMA (Sharjah Museums Department – SMD previously) was established in 2006 by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, as an independent government department. Sharjah Museums Authority includes 15 museums covering Islamic art and culture, archaeology, heritage, science, marine life, Sharjah history and the region.

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