SIKANDER’S ADVENTURE OF THE MIND
by Franklin W. Liu
Shahzia Sikander savors art as a fundamental, erudite process, a wonderful, exuberant adventure of the mind. It’s an academic endeavor that yields a rich array of cultural symbolisms that she culls directly from those distant, exotic places she traveled to worldwide. What she distilled from those locales sparks a vital, cutting- edge conversation between life’s essential truths pitted against baffling human conventions, thus delineating a “Parallax,” a curious social complexity in life to behold.
Pivotal visual elements within Sikander’s drawing, watercolor and painting have been harvested and seeded seamlessly into her latest large-scale, digital-formatted animation-work that’s also infused with newly composed sound, music and poetry, producing a mesmerizing mixed-media sensory experience.
Accepting the advantages offered by computer technology, Sikander digitally scans many of her original large, intricate drawings; they are meticulously rendered and fascinating to examine close up. Next, she zooms in digitally to pull out a fraction of an image not unlike isolating just an eyelash
of the entire body and changing its scale which then acquires a distinct image-quality wholly separate from the parent-image. In this way, a second- generation of synthesized, moving colors and patterns of splashes, planes, stripes and drips come alive as layered, modulating and vibrant as an Impressionist painting.