Methodical Mergers: A Juried Members’ Exhibition

11-22 July 2012; opening 11 July from 7-9pm
Gallery 1313 1313 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1L8

Featuring works by Huma Durrani, Sabina Zeba Haque, Smriti Mehra, Tharmila Rajasingam & Asma Sultana

SAVAC’s Annual Juried Members’ Exhibition provides the opportunity for the presentation of new works created by the SAVAC membership. Through a juried process, SAVAC surveys new ideas, techniques and dialogues being explored by South Asian artists. Many of the artists discovered through past juried exhibitions have gone on to contribute to the SAVAC community by engaging younger artists, serving on the programming committee, and by continuing to show their work in exhibitions.

SAVAC works without its own gallery space, always in collaboration with other artist-run centres, galleries or museums. We have found our model engages a broader dialogue for the works we present, and discovers new audiences each time, while maintaining past connections. For this year’s annual juried members’ exhibition we are delighted to present the selected works of our members at Gallery 1313, in the heart of a vibrant art community. We hope that this partnership will lead to many points of interaction for our membership, and will ultimately result in fruitful partnerships with artists, curators and audiences in the future.

The narratives in this year’s exhibition, aptly titled, Methodical Mergers explore a negotiation of the contemporary growth of South Asian economic and cultural capital on a global scale. They highlight political, social, historical and financial exchanges through creative and methodical art processes. Sabina Zeba Haque’s War Game Series explores the cultural divide experienced by the artist, through the use of Indo-Persian miniature painting, aerial photography of topographic maps of Northern Pakistan, and pop art produced in North America. Asma Sultana’s mixed media work My Baby is Growing Outside of my Body uses her body to create markers for an ever-changing identity. Sultana’s finger-painted scrolls, and a quilt made from her own hair speak to the inseparable nature of her physical self from her history.

Retracing geometric patterns ingrained in memory, Huma Durrani’s work Mughal Jalee Series employs Mughal architecture, and translates it onto brightly coloured Japanese paper. Smriti Mehra brings us PushpaPatha: The Flower Trail, a video from her native city of Bangalore tracing the anonymous task force behind the flower industry, from the fields, to the wholesale market and then to a graveyard.

Finally, Tharmilla Rajasingam’s durational performance, One After the Other After Another lends itself to the exploration of tradition and ritual. The remnants from the performance are left behind in the gallery and are repurposed as sculptural objects, allowing the viewers to recreate and re-interpret the performance for themselves.


“Participating on the jury for SAVAC’s annual members’ show gave me a vivid snapshot of contemporary South Asian visual and media arts practices today, both in Toronto and further afield, across Canada, North America and the world. It was a great pleasure to be exposed to new artists and their practices and to see meaningful juxtapositions and conversations emerge between the artworks over the course of the jurying process. The exhibition will be full of formally adventurous, politically sophisticated and witty work.”

– Jon DaviesJury Member

“As an emerging artist, I am honoured to exhibit with SAVAC to kick start my professional artistic career. SAVAC has given me the opportunity to grow as a contemporary emerging artist in Toronto. I am excited to grow my artistic career as a member of SAVAC, and seize the opportunity to show in incredible venues.”

– Tharmila RajasingamArtist

Artist Biographies

Smriti Mehra is a video artist who lives and works in Bangalore, India. She has earned her MFA in Media Art from NSCAD University at Halifax, Canada with a scholarship from the AAUW Educational Foundation. She is currently an artist-in-residence at the Centre for Experimental Media Art and she also teaches at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology where she studied as an undergraduate.  Her video works have played at many festivals including ‘Voices from the Waters’, the third international film festival on water in Bangalore, ‘The Images Festival’ in Toronto, the ‘Made in Video’ festival in Denmark, ‘Monitor7’ & ‘Monitor 3’ in Toronto, ‘Photophobia 8’ in Hamilton and ‘Images De l Inde’ at the Centre Pompidou in France.

Tharmila Rajasingam, born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka is a Toronto-based installation artist working with performative and sculptural elements. Her practice examines the shifting nature of identity. Her work often includes cultural practices and religious rituals as a form of self-expression. Rajasingam incorporates time and memories in her work as a dialogue between the self and the other. The idea of the “everyday”and repetition are key elements when discussing rituals in her artistic practice. She has participated in many exhibitions in Toronto, such as Gallery 1265, Labspace Studio, AWOL Gallery and The {decommissioned} Shaw Street School. 

Asma Sultana is a Bangladeshi born, British freelance visual artist, currently living and working in Canada. She holds a BFA in Drawing and Paintings from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and recently completed a Fine Art Diploma Program from the Toronto School of Art. She has had 4 solo exhibitions and participated in many group exhibitions in Canada, England, India and Bangladesh.  

Sabina Zeba Haque was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Karachi, Pakistan by an American mother and a Pakistani father. Her artwork combines photography, collage and painting, to synthesize her complex relationship to her diverse Christian and Muslim heritage. Haque received her MFA in Painting from Boston University. Her work has been exhibited at the Bowery Gallery in NYC, Boston Contemporary Art Center, Los Angeles Arts and Cultural Center and The Lincoln Arts Center to name a few. Her artworks are in numerous private and public collections including the City of Portland’s Public Art collection. Haque’s upcoming solo exhibit will be held at Koel Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan in 2013.

Huma Durrani was born and raised in the Toronto area. She studied Mathematics, Visual Arts and Art History at the University of Waterloo. Her fascination with Islamic art was developed through Architecture courses at University, as well by traveling to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Spain, France and Turkey, which house sites of Islamic architecture. After working for the provincial government for 7 years, Durrani is now studying and working on her art full time.

Please join us for the opening reception of Methodical Mergers: A Juried Members’ Exhibition on July 11, at Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen Street West, Toronto.

7:00 – 9:00pm

Featuring a durational performance by Tharmila Rajasingam and artists talks by Asma Sultana & Huma Durrani.

For more information on Methodical Mergers: A Juried Members’ Exhibition please contact Sharlene Bamboat, Programming Coordinator at or call 416-542-1661.

Suite 450
401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

1 (416) 542-1661

Office Closed
Monday – Thursday
by appointment only


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