Owais Husain searches for a lost homeland

Owais Husain searches for a lost homeland
The seventh edition of the Mumbai Public Art Festival (PAF) was held on October 22 and 23 at the city’s CST Railway Station — its iconic architecture considered a social synthesis of Mumbai’s cosmopolitan nature. Among the artists invited to participate in the festival is Owais Husain, the youngest son of the legendary MF Husain. Owais, who has been in the news for a couple of years for his work on displaced cultures in search of a homeland, continued with the same theme at the just concluded PAF.

In Husain’s textured creations, one can see are a sign of his roots in a traditional Indian style, while exploring a combination of iconography evolving from one generation to the next. The artist is known for his use of film, photography, painting sculpture, installations and even poetry — in combinations or on their own. His installation ‘You are Forever’, consists of two walls of aluminium trunks, converging in a corner. The trunks are a natural representation of the displacement of time and space, both in a literal sense as well as a metaphoric reference to the station and the concept of travel. Owais has ensured that the theme continues, by exhibiting it at many Mumbai locations. The installation was first displayed at Sir JJ School of Art till October 18, before moving to the PAF. It is now showing at the Palladium Mall (October 24-30) and will move to the ICIA Gallery (October 26-November 30) for a closing exhibition followed by a symposium.

At another fair the 43rd Fiac (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain), which also opened to the public at the Grand Palais in Paris, over the same weekend as Mumbai’s PAF, 38 dealers participated in showcasing 40 works at the Petit Palais. The winner of this year’s €35,000 Marcel Duchamp Prize, is Kader Attia, born in Paris to Algerian parents. The prize is given annually to a French artist whom they believe is worthy of foreign recognition.

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