This week we welcome Aiza Ahmed, a Pakistani artist who works primarily in painting, drawing and printmaking. Her practice revolves around her experience as a South Asian woman, her relationship to South Asian visual culture, and making the social class codes of this culture more accessible to audiences unfamiliar with them.
Ahmed is currently pursuing her master’s degree in fine arts in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Cornell University in 2020. She is the recipient of the RISD Fellowship, the Edith Stone and Walter King Memorial Prize and David R. Bean Prize.
Ahmed has exhibited in solo and group shows including at Christie’s (New York), Aicon Gallery (New York), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Ithaca, New York), Hilton Garden Inn Ithaca, Cornell University, VM Art Gallery (Karachi, Pakistan), Dominion Gallery (Lahore, Pakistan) and Little Lahore (restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates). She has also collaborated with Rastah, a luxury streetwear brand that aims to decontextualize South Asian heritage. Ahmed’s work is held with private art collectors internationally.
“I see the world through my position as a young, Pakistani, educated female, who has resided in many parts of the world having spent the majority of her time away from her home country, Pakistan, yet feels deeply connected to it. I stage encounters, experiences, observations, and memories of Pakistani culture, traditions, norms, society, class disparities, etc. I think about the complexity of memory and childhood and the impact of its imprints on me. I think about performativity, facades, stages, and the theatricality of being a person neither from here nor there. The in-between. How to ground oneself in that space. What even is that space? I live between the fact and the fiction, weaving together fragments of my life and thought into a fantastical wonderland.”