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Sania Samad & Sadia Pasha Kamran

Artist Statement & Bio

The oversized robe titled The Inner and The Outer from the series, The Robes of Honor, is stitched in empathy to garb the suffering humanity. Be it the Uighurs, Rohingyas, Kashmiris, Afghans, Hazaras, or Palestinians, humans around the world are distressed today. They are victims of the vicious politics that benefit only the few with insatiable hunger for power and wealth. The policies of such callous fellows have affected the entire human civilization. Mother nature is crying for help too. At the brink of extinction and devastation we can’t afford to be the silent spectators. For an endurable present and a pleasant future, we need to reprimand this war of hatred, poverty, disease, inequality, displacement, migration. Additionally, we must learn to respect nature, else it will take its due stance. To have a future here, on earth, we have to take steps towards global peace and prosperity. With these ideas of compassion, The Robe of Honor endows humans of all colors, beliefs, and regions with care, comfort, and warmth. The robe is stitched in a conventional manner with an underlining (astar in Urdu) that carries images of violence; while the outer layer, a lush green velvet, is symbol of hope and prosperity, devoid of any image except a simple motif created with the help of embroidery needles that hold the two layers together as a reflection of the current human world.

Sania Samad is a visual artist, textile collector, and embroiderer living in New York since 2007. Her practice explores the culture of textile making within communities and home. Born and raised in Pakistan, Samad’s conceptual framework draws its inspiration from the history of textile production in the subcontinent. The questions of identity, language of clothing, immigration, memories, displacement, boundaries geographical as well as emotional, colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism create images for her textile poems on fabric. Samad’s current art works lay the foundation for starting conversations around textile production and environment. She agrees with Molly Aitken’s observation about traditional methods of production as “the intelligence of tradition.’’

Sadia Pasha Kamran is a thinker, a theorist, and an art educator. Currently she is associated with Institute for Art and Culture, Lahore. Her research on contemporary art in Pakistan informs her experience of teaching art history and her appreciation of indigenous teaching methodologies. She places the contemporary art of Pakistan within its socio-political and historical context to trace its development as it transforms from traditional to modern in contemporary practices. Conforming to works of twentieth century thinkers on postcolonialism, she evaluates systems of knowledge production and artmaking according to local sensibilities of art and design pedagogy and practice.

Artwork Details

"The Inner and The Outer (Robe of Honor)," 2018. Velvet, embroidery needles, digital printing on cotton fabric; 80 inches in length and width varies from top to bottom from 20 inches to
40 inches.

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