Sunday, July 21, 2019

Afghanistan: then and now

Jun 25. 2019
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Richard Koh Fine Art brings the works of Indonesia-based Afghan artist Amin Taasha to Kuala Lumpur for his first solo exhibition. Titled “Time-lapse” and showing through July 13, it presents recent watercolour, mixed-media and sculpture pieces.

Born in the Bimiyan province in Afghanistan, Taasha’s practice draws upon a wealth of traditional Central Asian artistic sensibilities that are steeped in elements of Greek and Buddhist art, merged into a distinctive classical style known as Greco-Buddhist. Taasha commonly infuses his pictorial plane with ancient Persian script, Buddhist iconography and figures referencing 7th – 11th century Afghan miniature paintings, executed within the stylistic range of Chinese calligraphy ink traditions and Zen abstraction.


His forms are loaded with symbolic metaphors, reminding viewers about the inescapable fate of the past, which it is always with us in our memories, the physical landscape and environment that endures.

“Each painting is individual and tells its own story. The horses are a symbol of mobility  of refugees who want better lives, but then bombs drop from the sky and machine guns shoot at them from the ground. The crows flying over the horses and carrying the Buddha’s head away – they are my interpretation of the clever people who have education and money but use it to destroy their own culture and history. The more clever they get, the more corrupt they become,” says Taasha.


Viewers are immersed into a “timevortex”, winding back centuries of Afghanistan culture and history. The paintings represent a romanticisation of the Khusan Kingdom and the triumph of miniature paintings, abridging them with the complexities of modern day Afghanistan. 

Taasha appropriates the miniatures as artistic language to indicate parallels in social conditions of the past to Afghanistan’s current precarious position as a country seen through the eyes of Western media. The works are considered the artist’s personal understanding of the world’s relentless preoccupation with the country: historically, of its strategic significance as a crossroad for trade and presently, its scrutiny after the post AmericanAfghan war.


Taasha tarted painting in 2007 at the painting department of Marefat High School and in 2010, he continued his studies in painting at Kabul Fine Arts Institute. He first exhibited his paintings in 2008 and has participated in several exhibitions across the globe including Italy, Germany, France, US, Canada and Indonesia.

He spent three years painting in realism style and replicating nature. In 2009, he took part in contemporary arts workshops led by the renowned international artist, Khadim Ali, and through studying in art school, he began creating and mostly working with the contemporary style that combined both abstraction and miniature approaches.

For further information about the exhibition, email


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