In my recent works, I am investigating issues of self-identification within the lexicon of miniature painting, and in the process, re-contextualizing miniature painting in contemporary art. This body of work begins with the exploration of self-portraiture through paintings of myself, my family members, and loved ones. In these works, I strive to find a balance between personal content and accessible imagery. Resemblance is veiled by indirect representation, as I attempt to reflect myself in the faces of others.
My work is gradually developing into larger and more complex paintings, infused with personal narratives and ever-changing fantastical landscapes. Although rooted in traditional miniature, the content is derived from my personal relationship with my surroundings. By observing the symbolism and iconography of the cultures around me, I construct imagery that fuses the real with the imagined.
Hiba Schahbaz trained in the art of miniature painting at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. She has practiced contemporary miniature painting for the past ten years and recently received her MFA in painting from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited her work in miniature painting internationally, in addition to curating exhibitions of miniature paintings in Pakistan and India. hibaschahbaz.com
All images: © 2014 Hiba Schahbaz