THIS WORLD IS BEAUTIFUL, AND DANGEROUS TOO, Series of 4, 2017- 2022
Pine Wood, red stain, pigments on handmade wasli paper, plexiglass
130” x 36” x 36” per piece
Presented by Greg Kucera Gallery
Seattle-based, Pakistan-born artist Humaira Abid received her BFA in Sculpture and Miniature Painting from National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan in 2000. Abid’s masterful works have been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums in Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Mauritius, Nepal, Kenya, Dubai, Bolivia, Germany, Russia, UK, and the United States. Abid is well known for her bold, symbolically rich, and meticulously realized wood sculptures and miniature paintings. Her work demonstrates a fearless approach to tackling cultural norms, gender roles, and relationships, often with an ironic edge.
In this work, the swings showcase a painting on the seat done in a romantic, yet subtly wry, twist on Mughal miniature painting tradition – paintings of young children representing multiple lifetimes of violence, instability, peril, and statelessness. One swing depicts Abid’s daughter, an American citizen, and the other three swings show child refugees at leisure in a landscape that at first appears beautiful and welcoming, but upon closer inspection reveals itself to be inhospitable and treacherous. The refugees are depicted having found shelter in a camp, far from home and its concomitant comforts, but while on a swing they forget about all the difficulties of life and imagine a better future, a fantasy world which might not truly exist. The inclusion of Abid’s daughter speaks to the different perils these children might experience while focusing on a joyful, escapist moment. Below the swings the viewer can note 3D wood carved elements such as a small cactus garden with butterflies, and blood stained shoes, underscoring the concept that with beauty there is discomfort and pain, just like this world which is beautiful and dangerous too.