in the female form
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The fairy-tale beauty of this Sufi poem has made it an enduring favorite with artists, inspired by the image of a thousand species of colorful bird setting out on an Odyssey across the skies.Inspired by the symbolism of ancient tales and the delicacy of traditional miniatures, Khan employs time-honored techniques to produce bleakly humorous contemporary works, in which the juxtaposition of old and new is used to create a scathing social and political commentary.A further three works by Khan, hung on the other side of the gallery, use black ink stamps to create traditional abstract patterns.Exhibited alongside Khan's six pieces are five works by Asif Ahmed, who also employs the tropes of traditional miniatures to tackle modern themes. Concerned with the exploitation of traditional imagery in contemporary art, Ahmed's beautifully executed gouache portraits capture turbaned men with thick sideburns and luxurious moustaches in the traditional style of Mughal miniatures.Combining art and design often risks diluting the power of an exhibition, but the thematic similarities between Sahabi's work and that of the artists on show here allows it to overcome the potential danger.
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