Art Scene South Asian American Art Festival
By Fatima S. Khan
Los Angeles , CA

Artists of the South Asian Diaspora are spread across the United States and are socio economically diverse. The art world is more receptive than ever before and has organized the festival of South Asian Arts as part of a concerted effort to help artists from this region to present varied works.

These artists have struggled with modernity and tradition and most of all the complex issue of identity.

They formed an artistic language of their own using South Asian influences to guide them while reflecting on present day concerns.

The artist in the exhibition depict diversity and commonalities, they grapple with identity, environmental issues, religious and political issues. They deal with poverty and post-9/11, resulting in a most unusual collection of artwork in an Art Festival ever held in Southern California.

Over 150 artworks by 25 artists are for sale and the price ranges from $500 and up.

Amina Ahmed: Her works are based on the principles of “Sacred Geometry a universal language that permeates all living things the Language of symbols and Archetypes.”

Riffat Ahmad: Self-taught she sees beauty in everyday life. Like the Impressionists, her colorful artwork draws attention to the undeniable beauty of daily life.

Salma Arastu: Born in India, resides in Oakland California. Her post-9/11 artwork is about comfort and unity, embracing and hugging figures.

AQ Arif: Draws his abstract forms from historical monuments. Deeply concerned about the restoration of many monuments he uplifts them in his artwork.

Siona Benjamin: She is of Indian Jewish heritage and gracefully portrays her identity through ancient myths and contemporary figures.

Bismillah: An Afghani/American, he resides in San Francisco and his amazing photography captures the plight of children in Afghanistan.

Bushra Chaudry: Her delicate maps are called the broken borders; she carefully maps her roots and travels with fine lines and pastel shades.

Tabinda Chinoy: Resides in Karachi and New York. She works with oil, acrylics on canvas with colorful portraits of women expressing hope, joy, and happiness.

Gazala Chinwalla : She resides in New York and has worked in Corporate America. She was the only artist chosen in 2007 for the Venice Biennale. Gazala paints luxurious landscapes and is an ardent environmentalist.

Delna Dastur: Is at present on the faculty of Smithsonian Associates of Washington DC. One of the most accomplished artists she is unconsciously drawn to the brilliance of colors.

Nasreen Haroon: She now resides in Santa Monica and captures the dynamic religious images as well as the scenic beauty of Santa Monica. Her artwork has been selected by the US government to be displayed in US embassies in the Middle East and African countries.

Aziz Hasan: Explores the universe with strong colors. His large artwork transports the viewer into outer space; influenced by science fiction most of his works are abstract.

Wahab Jaffer: One of the most accomplished Pakistani artists residing in Canada his female heads are adorned with complex head gears exploring the female mind.

Reeta Karmarkar: Reeta experiments with geometric cubes inside out and gives each one depth and dimension with a play of colors and shades. She resides in Bel Air California.

Vijay Kumar: A founding member of Manhattan Graphic Center in NYC, his printmaking and graphics are inspired by Faiz Ahmed’s poetry. His works are at the MOMA, New York public library and several important places.

Kuzana Ogg: “My paintings share a contemplative quality celebrating change and growth as experienced in nature and humanity,” says Ogg.

Veru Narula: In his own words Narula paints “to explore the power of the hand, the destruction of the ego, and the beauty of the mind……”

S.A. Noory : Self-taught in the art of miniatures, Noory resides in Karachi and draws inspiration from the indigenous regions of Sindh. His Rajasthani women are exotic and he indulges in the finest techniques of miniature painting that draw out the beauty of each artwork.

Tara Rashid: Resides in the tranquil settings of Newport Beach California. She translates these settings into abstract works on canvas and paper. Her most passionate works are the deeply disturbing images of war and the repression of women.

Natasha Shoro: Her artwork is exotic. Exploring various styles, she finds the connectivity to the South Asian cultures by using bright colors. She is an accomplished artist and an educator. 

Prince Thomas: Incorporates a variety of photographic and digital techniques into his work. Metaphorically illustrates the wide array of possibilities that prescription drugs offer positive and negative.

Carole J. Wilson: She creates colorful spiritually uplifting artworks that has a universal message of peace and happiness. Born in New York, she presently resides in Westlake Village.

Farooq Yousufzai : He has a passion for “Kings Falconry sports” and Arabian horses which he vividly portrays in his paintings.




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.