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Amin Rehman is a multidisciplinary visual artist who has been working since the1980s. Originally from Pakistan, he studied at the historic National College of Arts and the University of Punjab in Lahore. He received a Masters from the University of Windsor, Ontario in 2011. Rehman has exhibited extensively in a number of exhibitions across Canada, notably Other Histories at the Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery (2008); Hope at the Art Gallery of Regina (2014); A is for… at the McIntosh Gallery at the University of Western Ontario (2012) and White Wash at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, (2011). Rehman received the Canada Council for the Arts Project Grants to Visual Artists in 2014, 2017 and 2021. He also received the prestigious Chalmers Fellowship Award from the Ontario Arts Council twice, once in 2008 and then in 2017. He has received the grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council 11 separate times since 2008. He was honoured with SAVAC’s (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) ‘Artist of the Year Award’ in 2005. His upcoming exhibition the Bleeding Borders will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Alberta in the fall of 2021. Rehman’s work engages and comments on the current effects of neo-colonialism and globalization and also encompasses a number of artist practices such as installation, painting, video and neon. Rehman currently resides in Toronto.
Through my art practice, I have continually investigated and questioned themes such as: violence, conflict, war and peace to highlight the complexities of cultural globalization as an ideology of security. In using a range of artistic interventions, I attempt to highlight the issues of post-colonialism ideology alongside the aggressive capitalism, which manifests itself as a floating signifier of world order and peace. Expanding on this body of work I utilize the graphic and informational qualities of print media, aesthetic design elements taken from Pop Art, and speak to the current ‘branding’ of global issues across internet and traditional media platforms.
The “Bleeding Borders”, is an in-progress series of vinyl, neon, mixed media and video installation and looks into the communities living along the porous borderlands of Pakistan (with India, Iran and Afghanistan), Iran (with Afghanistan, Pakistan) and Turkey (with Syria, Iran), as these areas have been associated for exporting terrorism regionally and internationally. In 2018-19, I traveled to region’s border areas to document (photographically and textually) the current political turmoil surrounding, extremism, ethnic violence, poverty and cultural mélange. These visual and lexical artifacts collected through my research inform the content of work processes that reach those who struggle against social, cultural and political systems.