Monday, September 29, 2014
Khalil Chishtee 

I me and mine

Khalil Chishtee

Khalil Chishtee
Shield 2014
 
Handwritten calligraphy transferred to plywood by laser scoring
 
24 in X 24 in



Twelve Gates Arts will be showing a new set of work entitled “I, Me and Mine” by Pakistani artist, Khalil Chishtee. The title of the show is borrowed from a work by Shahid Sajjad.  Sajjad's concepts and lifestyle inspired many artists of the region over 4 decades. “I me and mine” will run from September 5 - 28, 2014.

Khalil's art practice questions values and given meanings, for example, instead of highly respected materials like bronze, marble or wood, he works in discarded or unconventional materials like trash bags. He has related this to egalitarian Sufi concepts. Furthermore, he firmly believes that things are not always what they seem. The present moment is all there is, and it is always in flux. Life is not a savings account – one earns and spends simultaneously, every moment. 

Khalil Chishtee

Khalil Chishtee
Perception 2014 
Handwritten calligraphy transferred to plywood by laser scoring 
24 in X 24 in



In this light, one can see that static concepts are not valid. Khalil Chishtee's work questions assumed hierarchies and preciousness by expressing high ideas and emotions in unexpected low materials and words. His work points out the contradictions and transience of life and its meanings. If you look closely at his work titled "Patriotism", for example, the calligraphy of its form that looks like sacred Arabic scriptures is just banal sentences. These pieces make us think and be in the present. In turn, we begin to pay attention, and perhaps even question, our identities that we have created from static concepts of the ego such as religions, nationalities, material possessions and differences amongst peoples. 

Some of his pieces will be appearing around Philadelphia throughout the exhibition, as well. 

Khalil Chishtee earned his BFA from the National College of Arts in Lahore (1988). He is a student of the late Shahid Sajjad. Chishtee splits his time living between Pakistan and Brooklyn, NY. In 2006 he earned an MA from California State University, Sacramento. Chishtee has been exhibiting work in Pakistan and United States since 1994, and he has been publicly commissioned to make work across Pakistan, California, and Brooklyn, NY. His work was previously displayed at Twelve Gates Arts, in May 2013 as part of the group show Text Embodied. 

Twelve Gates Arts (12G) is a nonprofit (501(c)(3) organization created with the aim to showcase international arts bound by the sensibilities of a Diaspora identity, including the South Asian identity, to create and promote projects crossing cultural and geographical boundaries, and to educate the community about Diaspora culture.