Khadim Ali was born in 1978 in Quetta, Pakistan and currently lives and works in Sydney, Australia. After growing up in Pakistan, Ali was trained in classical miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore and in mural painting and calligraphy in Tehran. Ali’s family is from Bamiyan (Hazarajat region) where in 2001 the colossal sixth-century Buddha statues were destroyed. The Shahnameh (Book of Kings) was read to Ali by his grandfather and its illustrations were his first lessons in art history. Ironically, its hero Rostam became appropriated by the Taliban. In Ali’s series of miniatures in the style of Indian Mogul painting, begun in 2007, he explores and updates the motifs of the poem. Rostam turns into a horned demon, with a long beard reminiscent of those worn by Taliban fighters. Rich in traditional and modern motifs of Eastern and Western art-historical references, Ali’s paintings tell stories about loss (of his own cultural heritage and of human values) and about how meaning shifts as words and images are perverted through ideological adoption.
Ali is has shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions including and his work is held in private collections worldwide and publicly, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, Foreign Office, Islamabad, Pakistan, The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia.
Ali is represented by Milani Gallery in Brisbane. To view Ali’s portfolio, cv and publications visit the Khadim Ali’s artist profile in the Milani Gallery website link below.
Image credit: Khadim Ali, Untitled (2015) from the Transitions / Evacuation series