Lies Beyond Rashid Rana
It Lies Beyond by Rashid Rana
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Rashid Rana, a renowned Pakistani artist, presents his solo show It Lies Beyond held at Volte Art Projects. On view are his eponymous immersive art piece (which brings one’s attention to water pollution, among other things) and the Desperately Seeking Paradise sculpture made of stainless steel. The exhibition will end on 16 March 2024.

It Lies Beyond, an enormous installation, allows a viewer to immerse themselves in the detailed imagery and multifaceted symbolism of a seascape. Upon closer inspection, it reveals heaps of garbage that it is composed of. The artwork is a reference to a full range of subjects: post-renaissance materialist inquiry, the explorations of and the expansion to the other worlds, sea trade, colonisation, the Industrial Revolution, and consumerism. The installation also emphasises the waters polluted not only by human waste but also because of climate change. The interactive experience is enhanced through an augmented reality app which converts the display into moving pictures.

Rashid Rana, It Lies Beyond and Desperately Seeking Paradise (installation view). Volte Art Projects, Dubai, 2023.

Desperately Seeking Paradise encourages us to think about how we interpret different points of view and our understanding of scale. At first, the artwork seems to be a minimalist sculpture, but if you look at it from a different angle, it turns into a panoramic skyline of a city. Delving into the themes of nostalgia, duality, space, time, and displacement, from one angle the sculpture mirrors the space around it, yet from another, it comprises photos of skyscrapers. The images have been derived from numerous tiny photos of houses in Lahore (Pakistan). In Desperately Seeking Paradise, the micro forms the macro in scale and challenges the spectator to explore further what each image represents.

Rashid Rana, Desperately Seeking Paradise I, 2007-2008. C Print + DIASEC and Stainless Steel.
118 1/10 × 118 1/10 × 118 1/10 in | 300 × 300 × 300 cm

About the artist

Rashid Rana (b. 1968, Lahore) resides in his hometown. In 1992, he received his BFA from the National College of Arts (Lahore). After that, he pursued his education at the Massachusetts College of Arts (Boston, MA, USA), from which he obtained his MFA in 1994. Currently, Rana is an associate professor at the School of Visual Arts and Design at Beaconhouse National University (Lahore). 

Initially trained as a painter, Rana freely swaps between artistic mediums. His practice deploys digital photography and printmaking, video, installation art, and performances. The artist is mostly known for his photo mosaics, large-scale photos which he describes as “unpacked abstraction”. From afar, they look like non-representative geometric compositions, however, up close, they are revealed to be composed of multiple images related to the artwork’s subject. Rana’s work focuses on such themes as politics, urbanisation, faith, and tradition and explores the impact of globalisation and media on South Asian life and identity. In his art pieces, he also satirises pop culture and reinterprets elements of art and cultural history. 

Rashid Rana, It Lies Beyond (2022). Mixed media on vinyl print. Karachi Biennale 2022, Pakistan. Photo: Iman Sultan/Hyperallergic.

Rana has exhibited solo at multiple art galleries and institutions which include Fiona and Sydney Myer Gallery (Melbourne, Australia, 2022), Leila Heller Gallery (Dubai, 2017), Lisson Gallery (Milan, Italy, 2014), Mohatta Palace Museum (Karachi, Pakistan, 2013), Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai, India, 2012), Cornerhouse (Manchester, UK, 2011), Musée Guimet (Paris, France, 2010), and many others. The artist has also participated in numerous group shows such as View Points and Viewing Points, Asian Art Biennial (National Fine Arts Museum, Taichung, Taiwan, 2009); The 21st Century, the Feminine Century, and the Century of Diversity and Hope, Incheon Biennale (Incheon, Korea, 2009); Critical Studio: Dialogue with South Asian Artists (Macy Gallery, Columbia University, New York, USA, 2008), among others.

Rana’s art pieces have been featured in several esteemed public collections including Asia Society (New York, USA), Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (UK), Devi Foundation (Delhi, India), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan), Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris, France), and Tiroche DeLeon Collection (Jaffa, Israel), to name a few.

To learn more about It Lies Beyond, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

You might also be interested in visiting Solid Void by Asma Belhamar at the 421 gallery.

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