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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Zoe Butt on the Challenges and Rewards of Curating Ocula Conversation Zoe Butt on the Challenges and Rewards of Curating

Zoe Butt is the artistic director of The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, the first purpose-built space for contemporary art in Vietnam. Founded in March 2016, the Centre was designed by HTAP Architects in an old steel warehouse, with cargo shipping containers added to its structure. Initiated as a social enterprise...

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Ocula 报告|Condo Shanghai 2019 展览看点 Ocula Report Ocula 报告|Condo Shanghai 2019 展览看点 11 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

即将于2019年7月13开幕的第二届 Condo Shanghai,联合上海7座画廊/艺术机构与14 家来自全球11个不同的城市,如东京、首尔、雅加达、巴尔的摩、洛杉矶、伦敦、纽约、危地马拉城、利马和墨西哥城,为实验性展览营造了一个更切实可行的国际环境。以下是Ocula的展览看点。周奥,《景观/对象WA》(2016)。橡木上固化油墨打印,左: 55.88 × 147.32 cm,中: 121.92 × 152.4 cm,右: 55.88 × 147.32 cm,图片提供:马凌画廊,上海。马凌画廊 × 80m2 Livia Benavides × LABOR × Proyectos Ultravioleta马凌画廊 |...

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Rana Begum

b. 1977, Bangladesh

Rana Begum is an Anglo-Bangladeshi contemporary artist who experiments with the boundaries between painting, design, and architecture. She is influenced by both Minimalism and her childhood experiences of Islam and Islamic art and architecture. Born in Sylhet, eastern Bangladesh, the artist moved to England when she was only eight years old. She now lives and works in London and describes it as a city that is 'constantly morphing and changing'. She combines her early childhood's sense of steady repetition and calm contemplation with urban structures and industrial materials to create a conversation between form, colour, and light. The artist finds inspiration in her childhood memories of light hitting the water in Bangladesh's rice fields, as well as the ritual of praying five times a day.

Initially Begum's works were representational, but as she became exposed to artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Sol LeWitt, she carried her interest in line, colour, and light towards an abstracted exploration of repetition and materiality. During her Masters degree, the artist gained inspiration from Latin American artists including Jesús Rafael de Soto and Hélio Oiticica, and Constructivist artists such as Charles Biederman. She introduced colour and light slowly into her works, determined to approach these complex phenomenona with care. The quietly intense process of concentration with which she treats each level of her artistic process allows the work to act not as spectacle, but instead quietly grab the viewer's attention until he or she is immersed in the work's own elucidation of time.

Begum's highly geometric sculptures are both static and in constant flux. That is, though the physical artworks themselves stand still, as the light changes within the space throughout the day and as the viewer moves around the artwork, bright colours may turn to more subdued tones and short and sharp shadows may enlarge and fade. In an interview with Stephanie Bailey for Ocula Magazine, the artist stated: 'In life we are in constant motion, seeing things change and shift around us. I felt the need to reflect these transitions and changes within my work.' In this way, the moving viewer activates the work and may experience a new moment at each angle.

Though London provides a great deal of inspiration to Begum, equally influential are the many residencies the artist has undertaken in cities like Bangkok and Beirut. During these residencies, the artist develops her art in reaction to the new environments in which she finds herself, absorbing each unique context and incorporating it into her style and process. In a 2009 residency in Beirut, she took inspiration from the city's skyline to make sculptural drawings with straws from a Lebanese corner shop. She has since extended this exploration, replacing straws with steel and pairing the steel with reflective sheets placed on the wall or the floor.

In 2016, Begum won the Abraaj Group Art Prize, for which she was awarded $100 000 to realise a project for Art Dubai 2017. The exhibition that accompanied this prize, curated by Omer Berrada, brought together works by three other shortlisted artists and Begum's commissioned work. In the commissioned work, the artist developed her conversation between light and colour by extending a series of painted MDF studies into a three-dimensional transparent glass installation. A monograph written and produced by Berrada was also published.

Begum's work acts architecturally in reaction to both the exhibition space and its broader environmental location. She reflects on moments where she is able to find 'unexpected silence amidst the clamour' of the urban environment, taking readily available industrial materials and presenting them in patterns and forms that reflect the feeling of infinity found through meditation. In this way, the artist blends past memories and present context to dissect questions of materiality and form.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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No. 725 by Rana Begum contemporary artwork
Rana BegumNo. 725, 2017 Painted on powder-coated aluminium
72 x 35 x 5 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary
No.716 M Drawing by Rana Begum contemporary artwork
Rana BegumNo.716 M Drawing, 2017 Mirror perspex and Powder coated mild steel
72 x 70 x 39 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary
No. 900 by Rana Begum contemporary artwork
Rana BegumNo. 900, 2019 Paint on powder-coated aluminium
Jhaveri Contemporary
No. 893 S Fold by Rana Begum contemporary artwork
Rana BegumNo. 893 S Fold, 2012 Paint on mild steel
73 x 52 x 23 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary
No. 888 L Fold by Rana Begum contemporary artwork
Rana BegumNo. 888 L Fold, 2019 Paint on rimix
116 x 143 x 37 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary
No. 863 L Reflector by Rana Begum contemporary artwork
Rana BegumNo. 863 L Reflector, 2019 Reflectors on aluminium
178.5 x 191 x 4 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary
No.605 Mesh by Rana Begum contemporary artwork
Rana BegumNo.605 Mesh, 2015 Paint on mild steel
102 x 67 x 2 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary
No.610 Mesh by Rana Begum contemporary artwork
Rana BegumNo.610 Mesh, 2015 Paint on mild steel
143 x 113 x 2 cm
Jhaveri Contemporary

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Collector's Focus: Tarana Sawhney Online Viewing Room at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
30 January–18 February 2019 Group Exhibition Collector's Focus: Tarana Sawhney Online Viewing Room David Zwirner
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Fifteen at Kate MacGarry, London
Closed
11 November–16 December 2017 Group Exhibition Fifteen Kate MacGarry, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Things that soak you at Kate MacGarry, London
Closed
2 June–15 July 2017 Group Exhibition Things that soak you Kate MacGarry, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Rana Begum Ocula Conversation Rana Begum Artist, United Kingdom and Bangladesh

Rana Begum, winner of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2017, is an Anglo-Bangladeshi artist whose conversation with the historical legacy of minimalism is textured by childhood memories of reading the Quran inside a mosque in Bangladesh. Her union of styles and influences, which combine references ranging from Donald Judd and Agnes Martin to Islamic art...

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In Related Press

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Rana Begum is exhibiting memories of Bangladesh at Frieze art fair Related Press Rana Begum is exhibiting memories of Bangladesh at Frieze art fair Evening Standard : 27 September 2018

At Frieze art fair next week, among thousands of artworks, it will be difficult for any one artist to stand out. But the sensual beauty and formal rigour of the works of Rana Begum, the British-Bangladeshi artist, should be a balm for the eyes and the soul amid the visual cacophony. Begum is showing in the Frieze Sculpture exhibition in Regent's...

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Frieze Sculpture 2018: the highlights Related Press Frieze Sculpture 2018: the highlights Wallpaper* : 4 July 2018

Between Wimbledon and the FIFA World Cup, there's been plenty of distractions from London's unusually Mediterranean weather of late.

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5 Questions with Rana Begum Related Press 5 Questions with Rana Begum National Museum of Women in the Arts : 2 July 2018

The fifth installment of NMWA's Women to Watch exhibition series, Heavy Metal, is presented by the museum and participating national and international outreach committees. The exhibition showcases contemporary artists working in metal, including those who create sculpture, jewelry, and conceptual forms.

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Fields of Light and Colour Related Press Fields of Light and Colour The Art Newspaper : 21 March 2017

The London-based Bangladeshi artist, an alum of Chelsea College of Art & Design and the Slade School of Fine Art, was awarded the coveted prize last October, receiving a bursary of $100,000 to realise a site-specific project at Art Dubai, working with curator Omar Berrada. And the prize-winning work, which was unveiled near the Abraaj lounge on...

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