This large-scale mural by Iman Raad is a riot of colour and decoration. It takes inspiration from the heavily ornamented trucks and buses of South Asia – a painting tradition inspired by Mughal art, which developed from Persian miniature painting. The ornate trucks are like mobile galleries and Raad’s mural is intended to be viewed on the move as people make their way through the Gallery. In addition, the giddy repetition of images affords the viewer’s eye quick movement across the surface of the wall.
Ornamentation is central to Raad’s mural. Foliage and animals usually found in the borders of Persian miniature paintings appear as principal figures. The importance of ornamentation is also apparent in the accompanying textiles. These velvet banners are inspired by the flags displayed on buildings and fences in Iran during annual Ashura festivities, when the Shiite population mourns the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad. Raad works with artisans in the city of Mashhad, who adapt and transform his drawings into highly decorative embroidered banners that celebrate and mourn life and death in all its forms. Raad’s practice is informed by a belief in the central role of vernacular art forms to the wider history of art.
Exhibited in 'The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT9) | 24 Nov 2018 – 28 Apr 2019