EX: 1/30/2012
  >> Search exhibitions
>> Confirm subscribe
Amelia Johnson Contemporary
2013.03.07 Thu - 2013.04.06 Sat
Opening Exhibition
03/07/2013 15:00
g/f 6-10 Shin Hing Street (off Hollywood Road) Central, Hong Kong
+852 2548 2286
Opening Hours

>> Go to website

>> See map

[Press Release]

Amelia Johnson Contemporary is proud to present Boundaries, Lalla Essaydi’s first solo exhibition in Asia.

Essaydi’s international career as an artist has encompassed painting, mixed media, photography and video. Boundaries features a carefully curated collection of Essaydi’s works which pose a contemporary reflection on an iconography that stretches at least as far back as the Orientalist imagery of nineteenth century artists such as Ingres, Delacroix and Gérôme. Moroccan women are swathed in sumptuous fabrics covered in Islamic calligraphy – writing, applied in henna, which adorns their skin, robes and the interiors they occupy. The studied confusion of body and environ- ment address the complex issue of female identity from a unique, personal and regional perspective.

Essaydi was raised in Morocco, educated in Europe and the United States and spent many years living in Saudi Arabia. She completed studies at the L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris before receiving her BFA (1999) and MFA (2003) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. In her work she returns to her Moroccan past by placing her subjects within architectural settings linked both to her own personal history and the histories, traditions and belief systems of Islam. The blending of body and object in each series operates on a decorative level, but more acutely as a subversive means of questioning, validating and record- ing feminine identities and how they are perceived.

The artist acknowledges that both herself and her work are shaped and distorted as much by her Eastern heritage as her Western experiences. Using only analog film and cameras, Essaydi photographs are painstakingly choreographed in staged scenes appropriated from well-known, 19th-century European and American Orientalist paintings. In this way she acknowledges Western influences, but simultaneously encourages a re-consideration of iconography associated with such scenes.

In oscillating between Western and Eastern ideology, as well as between the past and present, Essaydi articulates how identity can be understood not by characteris- tics peculiar to a linear conception of self, but by an amalgam of varying influences. Her work serves as a visual metaphor for this continual negotiation of shifting and converging boundaries.

Lalla Essaydi lives and works between New York City and Morocco. She received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/TUFTS University in May 2003. Power- house Books published selections from her series, Les Femmes du Maroc, in 2009. Recent exhibitions of her work have been staged at Williams College Museum, Wil- liamstown, Massachusetts; and the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. Her work is repre- sented in major private and public collections, including the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and many others.