Cheryl Sim on the work of Hajra Waheed
Hajra Waheed’s family has a long history of migration between South Asia and the Middle East. Born in Calgary of first-generation Muslim Indians, Waheed spent part of her childhood in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in the high-security headquarters of the state-owned Aramco oil company. Waheed’s life in Dhahran was thus strictly regimented and tightly controlled. The themes in her work are informed by this experience, as she engages with notions such as surveillance, multiple perspectives, imprisonment, and freedom.
About Hajra Waheed
Hajra Waheed (b. 1980) has participated in exhibitions worldwide, including the Lahore Biennial 02 (2020); Pushing Paper: Contemporary Drawing from 1970 to Now, British Museum, London (2019); Hold Everything Dear, The Power Plant, Toronto (2019); 57th Venice Biennale, VIVA ARTE VIVA, Venice (2017); 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016); The Cyphers, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2016); and Still Against the Sky, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015). She was a finalist for the 2016 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s pre-eminent contemporary art prize, and received the 2014 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award. Waheed’s works can be found in permanent collections including MOMA, New York; British Museum, London; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Art Institute of Chicago; Burger Collection, Zurich/Hong Kong; and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi. Hajra Waheed lives and works in Montréal.