2018 > Waqt al-tagheer: time of change

Abdullah MI Syed
Abdullah MI Syed

Aura II | Abdullah M.I. Syed | 2013
hand-stitched white crocheted prayer caps (topi), Perspex and LED light
127 (diameter) x 54cm.
Courtesy the artist.

Photograph - Sam Roberts Photography

“Time is not a linear measurement of history, events, or an experience for me. As identified by Muslim philosopher Ibn Hazm, time is composed of finite instants that have beginnings. In this regard, my artworks are a snapshot of my diverse lived experiences growing up in Pakistan and later as a Muslim immigrant to the U.S. and Australia. Spanning over decades and toeing a fine line in terms of connectivity and differentiability, some of my significant memories include my childhood fascination with the full moon, visits to the Holy mosque of Mecca, first political rally, first life drawing lesson, the experience of post-9/11 fear and anxiety, and the reminder of my colonial past as part of the South-Asian Muslim diaspora in Australia. Each instant has had a profound and immeasurable effect upon my life and thinking.

In my art practice, I see such events and their memories as temporal currency that produces religious, political and cultural identifies. I use infinite structures and endless patterns of light and shadow to poetically ground these identities, therefore rendering time visible. The tactile sensation of the material and the movement of light give a sense of the ephemeral. The combined effect of the presented works creates an open narrative that places the audience at the heart, inviting them to speculate, contemplate, and reflect on their own infinite beginnings.”