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‘RANKIN STREET, 1953’ AT SIGNATURE ART PRIZE 2014

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A forgotten box of old photos, the lost memories from the past, and Naeem’s search to know the untold stories by his father evoked the idea of ‘Rankin Street, 1953’.  Taken from his father’s old negatives, the photos reveal the life that almost is surreal to our modern life. It is his approach to the quest to find out the hidden stories of the photographs that somehow forgotten by his father.  The negative moulding of the images carry a whole different story. Natasha Ginwala in Art-Agenda described his moulds perfectly - “…anthills, the steps of an agora, and a forest’s edge”. It is an attempt to connect her mother’s response to his father’s images.  In his imagination, Naeem’s mom and dad engaging in a debate with each other through the images and the mouldings.

A part of his work contains a row of 12 photos and mouldings that would take you to a journey of a nostalgic past.  You may wonder at first, ‘What’s the mouldings for?’ As you walk through it, you would soon find the relation. “This is a negative!” The visitors of the Dhaka Art Summit 2014 exclaimed just the way you would surely exclaim in your mind. The unevenness and the raised surfaces of the moulds portray the negative images of the photographs, although distorted.  

Naeem Mohaiemen is the short listed artist for Signature Art Prize 2014. The exhibition of the ten short listed artists was inaugurated at Singapore Art Museum on November 14. ‘Rankin Street, 1953’ belongs to the Samdani Art Collection.

The Signature Art Prize 2014 has started from 14 November 2014 and run till 15 March 2015 at Singapore Art Museum.