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Asma Ahmed Shikoh
Asma Shikoh grew up in Karachi, and found that her society was very limited by both tradition and the after effects of colonial legacy. In Pakistan, she wanted her artwork to demonstrate cultural and national identities of a developing country. Her work continued to advance after she made her move to New York City-a place that had a huge impact on her own identity as a Muslim immigrant who was also newly wed.
Between the years of 1999-2001, Asma completed her “Karachi Work” collection. This was an important time for Pakistani society because the American Fast Food Industry had arrived. It was here that Asma was able to express her opinions about how this arrival complicated society- many of her paintings convey the message of largeness and invasiveness of this phenomena.
Between the years of 2003-2005, Asma completed her “Home” collection. She completed this upon moving to NYC from Karachi. This collection has several interesting pieces that seem to combine the worlds of the west with the ways of the east. Asma has painted different maps with Urdu writing. In this collection, she also painted a “Self Portrait,” which is an image of the Statue of Liberty with typical Pakistani accessories. According to Asma, this painting symbolizes “immigrants, and a new beginning.”
In 2007, Asma’s “Liberated” collection was displayed in Ceres Gallery, Chelsea, New York City. This work displays the individual conception of creating a “unique national identity.” Her works here include the idea of wearing the hijab in a non-Muslim environment.