Zarina’s portrayal of an empty boat in Rohingyas: Floating on the Dark Sea
, 2015 is heavy with symbolism of travel and transit, of isolation and escape. The title refers to the Rohingyas, a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group who claim to be indigenous to western Myanmar (also known as Burma) yet have been denied citizenship by the Myanmar government and become victims to an ongoing genocide. The international media have referred to the Rohingyas as ‘Boat People’ due to their sudden need to flee Myanmar to escape the genocidal violence. Since 2015, when Zarina created this work, the Myanmar government has continued to brutally persecute the Rohingya people, forcing over a million Rohingya to flee to other countries.
Zarina generously produced this limited edition in support of the new Tate Modern. Each woodcut is printed on BFK light paper and mounted onto on Arches Cover buff paper. Produced as an edition of 100, each work is signed and numbered by the artist.
Rohingyas: Floating on the Dark Sea
40 x 30 cm
Woodcut on BFK light paper mounted on Arches Cover buff paper
Edition of 100, signed and numbered
Date of work
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Zarina Hashmi (1937 – 25 April 2020, b. Aligarh, India), known professionally as Zarina, worked in drawing, sculpture and print-making. She was an accomplished print-maker, studying woodblock printing in Bangkok and Tokyo, and intaglio with S. W. Hayter at Atelier-17 in Paris. She left India in 1958 to live and work in New York. Around the same time she left, her family were subject to relocation from Delhi to Karachi following the partition of India and Pakistan. Consequently exile and the loss of the family home are embedded in her work, whose spare visual vocabulary often evokes physical and psychological spaces relating to memories of childhood and later life. She exhibited at numerous venues internationally including representing India at the 2011 Venice Biennale, and her retrospective exhibition entitled Zarina: Paper Like Skin was presented at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2012, and at the Guggenheim, New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013.
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