Developing a conceptually driven practice that maintains a pixelated attention to formal concerns, Rashid Rana has emerged as a leading figure among Pakistan`s younger artists. First educated at the National College of Art, Lahore, and earning an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, Rana also studied fashion design in Paris in 1996. Born in Pakistan, he now divides his time between Toronto and Lahore, where he is on the Faculty at the School of Visual Arts, Beaconhouse National University. In works that suggest a simultaneous exploration of media and identity bound by a political edge, Rana satirizes pop culture, transforms symbols of traditional Muslim daily life, and reinterprets elements of art and cultural history. Following "Non-sense," Rana`s inaugural show in Islamabad and Lahore in 2000, the artist`s series "Identical Views" traveled to Karachi, Mumbai, and New Delhi as a solo exhibition in 2004-5. Works from from fromthat set manipulated micro-photographs from contemporary advertisements into digitized, iconic re-creations of mosque ornamentation, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in profile, and French Impressionist painting. The artist`s subversive intentions manifested especially in his Veil series (2004), which converted tiny pornographic images downloaded from the Internet into composite, veiled portraits.
A launch into video art has given rise to seminal installations like Meeting Point (2006).From through projections of two airplanes facing and seeming to fly towards one another, accompanied by the loud white noise of airspace. Along with other recent new media projects, that work was exhibited in a 2007 solo exhibition in Delhi. Departure Lounge, a six-channel video installation included in the First Singapore Biennale (2006), imaged an alternate engagement with aviation and contemporary politics, digitizing the tensions of waiting, motion, and stillness experienced on board a flying airplane.