200 Voices


Amreen Khan


Amreen Khan investigates the concept of cultures, in particular her struggle between two contrasting societies, one being her origins in Pakistan and the Western society.

By looking at these cultures she is able to transfer her knowledge of these cultures into her paintings on canvas.

She starts of by using solid colours which originate from traditional Asian clothing; she does this by making her own paint from raw pigments and also using silkscreen, which originate from East Asia, this way of work the colours used gives the work a richness of colour that she is portraying in her work. Then she adds the Western elements to the work by looking at the way the Westerns make their paintings, such as stretching their work on a stretcher; she adds additional elements to the work, still coming from the western society such as pen, which is applied on top of the canvas, and also using dyed fabric that is later on stretched onto the stretcher. The designs she use are originally from an ancient technique called Mehndi (is an Urdu meaning for ‘henna’). Mehndi is a temporary tattoo that is applied on as a paste onto the hand and feet, it is mostly common to do decorative designs on the bride’s hands and feet before her wedding day. Mehndi originally came from a plant which is grinded down until it became into powder. Sometime oil or water is used to make it into a paste, which in some cases is put into a cone, which is an easier way to apply the Mehndi onto the hand. The paste can last for a couple of days or weeks, depends on how strong the paste is. The designs came in a variety of forms such as in Pakistani and Indian society the most common forms used is the teardrops. The reason why she apply these two different tools and technique onto the canvas is because she wants to introduce this relationship between these two very different cultures. By using these different techniques and tools she is able to show her struggles between these two very different societies.


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