Paradise of Paradox, Wave II

Iqra Tanveer

Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Kochi-Muziris Biennale
Fort Kochi, India

In her highly abstract installations, Iqra Tanveer deploys the basic materials of the world of our perception —water, light, air— to complicate the relationship between human perception and reality. These are often magically rearranged to reveal the many unknown, un-felt galaxies that spiral and engulf us. In installations such as Wave II (2009) and Paradise of Paradox (2011) she cleaves open the gallery space, creating an experiential environment where viewers can perceive the mystery and complexity of the world.

In Wave II, Tanveer powerfully captures that which can not be contained– the ocean, a formidable presence in the life of an artist who grew up in a port town. The installation consists of a rectangular transparent container filled with water that is positioned behind an opening in a wall. Within this frame, waves move vigorously, constantly altering the surface of the water and the light that filters through it. According to the artist, it is the duality of elements such as light and water, their existence “both as objective entities in thought and constantly shifting phenomena in the world” that interests her.

In Paradise of Paradox, the artist makes the air her canvas, retrieving from the highly mundane an imagination of the infinite. In this contemplative installation, the empty yet symbolically powerful liminal space of a doorway is lit by a beam of light, dramatically revealing galaxies made of swirling dust particles.


  • Title: Paradise of Paradox, Wave II
  • Creator: Iqra Tanveer
  • Physical Dimensions: Dimensions variable
  • Type: Installation
  • Medium: Light, dust particles and Transparent container filled with water
  • Gallery: Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi
  • First Creator: 1983
  • Date of artwork's creation: 2011, 2009
  • Creator's practice: Lahore, Pakistan
  • Creator's date of birth: Karachi, Pakistan

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