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Rashid Rana | Off shore accounts – II 2006 | Lambda print mounted on composite board, ed. 1/5 | Triptych: 199.4 x 373.4cm (overall) | Purchased 2007. The Queensland Government’s Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Rashid Rana ‘Off shore accounts – II’ 2006

Rashid Rana’s photographs are composed of thousands of pixel-like images, ranging in subject matter from stills taken from popular Indian cinema to details of Lahore’s urban environment. Rana meticulously brings these minutiae together to create in composite images of famous Indian film stars or of landscapes. This attention to detail is akin to that found in the South Asian tradition of miniature painting, which Rana studied at the renowned National School of Art in Lahore. His use of digital photographic processes, however, emphasises the contemporary nature of his subject: Lahore’s urban and increasingly media-saturated landscape.

Offshore accounts II 2006 appears to depict a gentle sea studded with flotsam, but on closer inspection is made up of tiny images of accumulated rubbish as well as historical paintings of colonial sailing vessels. Rana brings together symbols relating to European colonial trade in South Asia with the debris of contemporary consumer culture, underlining the destructive nexus of consumerism and the legacies of colonialism in contemporary Pakistan. The title of the work references wealth generated and held offshore, as well as the process of sending information from a distant location.

Categories: Artist

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