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, in which it is always with us in our memories, the physical landscape and environment that endures.
As indicated by Taasha, “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.”
In Time-lapse, viewers are immersed into a ‘time-vortex’, 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. Miniature paintings were fundamentally historical documents recounting stories of heroism, class struggles, romance, spirituality, warfare and economic conditions of the time. Taasha appropriates its 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 (past & present) with the country; Historically, of its strategic significance as a crossroad for trade and presently, its scrutiny after the post American-Afghan war.
Amin Taasha – Time-lapse