Sa’dia Rehman works with themes such as isolation, shame, and hidden social boundaries. Her installations, sculptures, and works on paper explore subjects that are considered taboo such as sexuality, power hierarchies, and normative ideals around gender, depicted through formal strategies like repetition of motifs and patterns and accumulations of words. Rehman grew up in such a community where these taboos were hidden yet aggressively maintained. Rehman alters silhouettes and outlines of herself taken from childhood photographs to reveal childhood visions that exist within uncomfortable and isolated settings. She sees materials, methods, traditions, and history as elements that can be sampled from and combined to create new forms and new meanings. Rehman seeks out and researches the oddities of a place and time.
Sa’dia Rehman (b. Queens, NY) has shared her work internationally and nationally at venues such as the Taubman Museum (2013), Queens Museum of Art (2012), Jersey City Museum (2010), Grey Noise Gallery (2008), and Exit Art (2007). Rehman was selected to participate in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Artists Summer Institute (2011) and residencies at the Bronx Museum of Art (2008) and National Gallery of Art, Islamabad, Pakistan (2006). Her work has been featured in publications such as ColorLines, the New York Times, Harper’s, and Art Papers. She is the director of +91 Foundation, the first nonprofit to provide a platform for highlighting contemporary art practice from South Asia and its diasporic communities in the public domain. Her work will be featured in an upcoming two-person show at Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia, PA opening in May 2014.