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Artist, Curator, Writer

Hamja Ashan

  • CountryUnited Kingdom
  • Born1981

About

Hamja Ahsan is an artist and independent curator based in London. Ahsan’s practice encompasses the entire span of media: drawing, sound, painting, appropriated text work, sculpture, photography, performance, video, directing exhibitions and critical writing. His thematic concerns as an artist and writing revolves around contesting secularism, diaspora politics, indexing time, the prison system and new formations of Imperialism.

He has previously presented projects at Tate Britain, Aicon gallery, Deptford X, Shanaakht Festival (Pakistan), Shiplakala Academy (Bangladesh), Guild gallery (New York) and across artist-run spaces. He is the co-director of Other Asias – an artist-run organisation of 10 interweaving curatorial currents, exploring national and regional representation, unthinking Eurocentrism, the language of officialdom and public access, and the politics of history-making, exclusion and inclusion. His foremost interest is in the space between being an artist and a curator and translating the forms of parallel conceptual thinking of non-art disciplines (e.g. geography, economics, blogging) into contemporary art practice. He is the co-curator with Fatima Hussain of the REDO Pakistan project – a nomadic art project that engages with the contested histories and futures of South Asia – in the form of an activist newspaper stall, generating further work in the form of radio sessions, archives, video essays, vocabularies, plays, symposiums and film events on its journey.

He is currently working on a collaborative archival project with the jazz musician Zoe Rahman, exploring Bangladeshi nationhood as performative identity. His recent work included producing video installation as commissioned media artist for Bangladesh Independence Day and the second edition of REDO PAKISTAN: Declaration of War against the Present Times. Ahsan studied is an alumni of  Central Saint Martins (BA Fine Art). Chelsea College of Art &Design (MA in Critical Writing & Curatorial Practice)  and Royal College of Art (MA Curating Contemporary Art). He recent had a solo-show at Watermans Arts Centre entitled “Nation-Building”.

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