Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time


Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time: Sa'dia Rehman and Mohsin Shafi
May 2 - June 15, 2014
Philadelphia, PA

Twelve Gates Arts presents a collaboration between Lahore-based multimedia artist, Mohsin Shafi and Pakistani-American artist, Sa'dia Rehman, which will open with a reception First Friday, May 2nd from 6:30 - 8:30pm. The works explore taboo subjects, visually manifesting sometimes ambiguous inner worlds as a way to challenge the status quo. Both artists draw inspiration from their own lives as a means to inspire viewers out of any isolation in theirs. 

The title of the show is taken from the English translation of the poem "El amenazado" (The Threatened One) by Jorge Luis Borges. 
 

Sa'dia Rehman (b.Queens, NY) has shared her work internationally and nationally at venues such as the Taubman Museum (2013), Queens Museum of Art (2012), Jersey City Museum (2010), Grey Noise Gallery (2008) Exit Art (2007). Rehman was selected to participate in LMCC's Artists Summer Institute (2011) and residencies at the Bronx Museum of Art (2008) and National Gallery of Art, Islamabad, Pakistan (2006). Her work has been featured in publications such as ColorLines Magazine, The NY Times, Harper's Magazine and Art Papers. Rehman is a MFA candidate at Ohio State University (2017). 

She works with themes such as isolation, shame and hidden social boundaries, inspired by her upbringing in a community where "these taboos were hidden yet aggressively maintained." She employs formal strategies like repetition of motifs and patterns and seeks out oddities of a place and time. The works include small-scale watercolors, as well as one sculpture. 

Mohsin Shafi is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Lahore. He received his Masters Degree (2010-2011) and BFA Degree (2004-2007), both from the National College of Arts in Lahore; he continues to serve his alma mater as visiting faculty in the MA Visual Art Department of Fine Arts. He has previously exhibited work in Pakistan and Ireland, as well as completing a residency at Rondo Studios in Graz, Austria. 

Shafi's work investigates the blurred edges between identity and the intentions of identity. His collages create the fantasies of dream and phantasmagoria, while seamlessly synthesizing elements of pop-culture, surrealist thought, and pictorialism. This technique resembles classic collage and is an allusion to the modern era's overabundance of pictures and films. The public and private merge into a single narrative much like the way in which Shafi fuses images and words. Through these images he probes the small spaces between lucidity and madness, intimacy and alienation, desire and ambivalence, the living and the absent.