Khaas Contemporary Shows Minaa Haroon’s Solo Show


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ISLAMABAD: Khaas Contemporary in Islamabad hosted the opening of Terms of Adornment, a solo show by Minaa Haroon. Curated by Aasim Akhtar, the show will remain on till the 4th of June. 

Minaa Haroon is an award-winning, contemporary visual artist currently based in Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has been shown at various art galleries locally and internationally and she has received the prestigious “Sir Percy Award” at NCA, “Young artist 2012” at Alhamra Art Council and recently won the Popular’s Choice award, RedArtBox, Los Angeles.  

Aasim Akhtar said, “Minaa reveals in resplendent colours the fragile and frequently ephemeral nature of the family heirlooms. If they reflect old and rich traditions, they are, above all, objects of seduction, drawing the attention of benevolent spirits. They could also convey a more emphatic message: Look at me carefully and respectfully, because I affirm the splendour of those who possess me. Moreover, I bear the irrefutable witness to the fortune of my owner.” 

He added, “Now stilled and mute, the jewellery chosen for these paintings nonetheless retains its power, bearing a poignant quality. Who was that writer no longer so young of whom it was said that all his concatenations of discourses and montages of incantations were not worth the silence to which they led in the presence of images?” 

Minaa explains, “Throughout history, archaeologists have discovered various civilizations through their material culture. My research on objects begins by examining my mother’s jewellery that she keeps in her locker and is very attached to those pieces. The work predominantly responds to feminine accessories as they speak of female desires, lives, boundaries, and challenges in our lives. The works are also about the inheritance of women’s objects of possession (or objects they are possessive about) narrating and creating their individualistic portraits through this work. The objects tend to evoke memories of the past as they heirloom down from one generation to another over decades, especially in South Asian culture and tradition.”

She added, “Subsequently, this orientation of objects and spaces investigates the personal and social expression of self-organisation, and self-identity, and creates a socio-political statement. The personal becomes political. With such evocation of memories through materials and processes, I redefine the meaning of objects by transforming them and celebrating them in tangible marks that shift objects into historical entities or relics. This celebration of the object inspires multiple layers of imagination to transform meaning and material and its historical context in the society.”

Using gouache and direct dye on cotton and jute plant fibre, recycled paper and alum, archival ink, 24k gold leaf, and direct dye pigment, Minaacreates evocative images of family heirlooms.


Syeda Shehrbano Kazim
Syeda Shehrbano Kazim
Syeda Shehrbano Kazim is the Managing Editor of The Scoop. She has had a diversified career in journalism, public relations, communications and content development, tech-enabled e-commerce, microfinance and poverty alleviation, and programme, project and value chain design. She has considerable experience in structuring capacity building initiatives, conducting training, developing communications strategies and campaigns and managing events.


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