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Twelve Gates Arts is pleased to present the works of artists Hiba Schahbaz and Menaka Gopalan. Re-contextualizing miniature painting, Schahbaz’s recent work explores the subject of self-portraiture through paintings of family members and loved ones in search of a balance between personal content and accessible imagery. In a similar vein, Gopalan’s works delineate conditions of rituals, gendered ideals, and monumentalizing space through digital video, photography, and collage.

In both artists’ works, boundaries of the real and fantastical are manipulated, disrupting normative representations of the self. Recognition of an identity to call one’s own becomes a thematic pursuit in the minimalist and stylized vignettes of these artists’ works.

Menaka Gopalan was born in Singapore and moved to the United States in her teens. She received her B.A. at Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA, during which she conducted research in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India, as a participant in the Summer Fellows Program. Gopalan went on to receive a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and M.F.A from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Hiba Schahbaz trained in the art of miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. She has practiced contemporary miniature painting for the past ten years and recently received her MFA in Painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She has exhibited her work in traditional and contemporary miniature painting internationally, in addition to curating exhibitions of miniature paintings in Pakistan and India.