Dear Nani  (2017) is a project that addresses issues of gender performance and colonial mimicry through the family archive. The photographs included in this project are of the artist’s maternal grandmother, Rhubab Tapal. Nani is performing the act of cross-dressing by wearing several different outfits that belong to her husband. The photographs were taken on her honeymoon after the couple was newly married in Quetta and Karachi Pakistan, in 1948. The artist’s grandfather or Nana, Gulam Abbas Tapal, is the photographer and presumed director of the photo session.   As Nani holds a Children’s Encyclopaedia produced for subjects of the British colonies, she is performing not only the role of man, but also, an Indian man performing the role of a British man. As Naqvi tries to understand these images she puts herself into the unanswered questions. She tries on the role of Nani as well as some of the other contributors to the images, such as the unknown children in the background. The fictional dialogue between Nani and her grand-daughter attempts to unpack some of the questions surrounding these images, while also asking the viewer to revisit their own reading.

Dear Nani (2017) is a project that addresses issues of gender performance and colonial mimicry through the family archive. The photographs included in this project are of the artist’s maternal grandmother, Rhubab Tapal. Nani is performing the act of cross-dressing by wearing several different outfits that belong to her husband. The photographs were taken on her honeymoon after the couple was newly married in Quetta and Karachi Pakistan, in 1948. The artist’s grandfather or Nana, Gulam Abbas Tapal, is the photographer and presumed director of the photo session. 

As Nani holds a Children’s Encyclopaedia produced for subjects of the British colonies, she is performing not only the role of man, but also, an Indian man performing the role of a British man. As Naqvi tries to understand these images she puts herself into the unanswered questions. She tries on the role of Nani as well as some of the other contributors to the images, such as the unknown children in the background. The fictional dialogue between Nani and her grand-daughter attempts to unpack some of the questions surrounding these images, while also asking the viewer to revisit their own reading.

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 Installation View from Ignition 13 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal 2017 Photo credit: Paul Litherland / Studio Lux © Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University

Installation View from Ignition 13 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal 2017
Photo credit: Paul Litherland / Studio Lux © Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University

 Installation View from solo show at Ryerson Artspace at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Installation View from solo show at Ryerson Artspace at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto 2017.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

 Photo courtesy of the artist. New Generation Photography Award, Gladstone Hotel 2019.

Photo courtesy of the artist.
New Generation Photography Award, Gladstone Hotel 2019.

 Installation View from VM Art Gallery at the 2017 Karachi Biennale Photo courtesy of the artist.

Installation View from VM Art Gallery at the 2017 Karachi Biennale
Photo courtesy of the artist.

  Dear Nani  (2017) is a project that addresses issues of gender performance and colonial mimicry through the family archive. The photographs included in this project are of the artist’s maternal grandmother, Rhubab Tapal. Nani is performing the act of cross-dressing by wearing several different outfits that belong to her husband. The photographs were taken on her honeymoon after the couple was newly married in Quetta and Karachi Pakistan, in 1948. The artist’s grandfather or Nana, Gulam Abbas Tapal, is the photographer and presumed director of the photo session.   As Nani holds a Children’s Encyclopaedia produced for subjects of the British colonies, she is performing not only the role of man, but also, an Indian man performing the role of a British man. As Naqvi tries to understand these images she puts herself into the unanswered questions. She tries on the role of Nani as well as some of the other contributors to the images, such as the unknown children in the background. The fictional dialogue between Nani and her grand-daughter attempts to unpack some of the questions surrounding these images, while also asking the viewer to revisit their own reading.
1 copy.jpg
Nani&IintheGarden.jpg
3.jpg
4.jpg
6.jpg
7.jpg
8.jpg
Dear Nani_small24.jpg
15.jpg
14.jpg
16.jpg
18.jpg
Dear Nani_small25.jpg
Dear Nani_small27.jpg
 Installation View from Ignition 13 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal 2017 Photo credit: Paul Litherland / Studio Lux © Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University
 Installation View from solo show at Ryerson Artspace at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist.
 Photo courtesy of the artist. New Generation Photography Award, Gladstone Hotel 2019.
 Installation View from VM Art Gallery at the 2017 Karachi Biennale Photo courtesy of the artist.

Dear Nani (2017) is a project that addresses issues of gender performance and colonial mimicry through the family archive. The photographs included in this project are of the artist’s maternal grandmother, Rhubab Tapal. Nani is performing the act of cross-dressing by wearing several different outfits that belong to her husband. The photographs were taken on her honeymoon after the couple was newly married in Quetta and Karachi Pakistan, in 1948. The artist’s grandfather or Nana, Gulam Abbas Tapal, is the photographer and presumed director of the photo session. 

As Nani holds a Children’s Encyclopaedia produced for subjects of the British colonies, she is performing not only the role of man, but also, an Indian man performing the role of a British man. As Naqvi tries to understand these images she puts herself into the unanswered questions. She tries on the role of Nani as well as some of the other contributors to the images, such as the unknown children in the background. The fictional dialogue between Nani and her grand-daughter attempts to unpack some of the questions surrounding these images, while also asking the viewer to revisit their own reading.

Installation View from Ignition 13 at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal 2017
Photo credit: Paul Litherland / Studio Lux © Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University

Installation View from solo show at Ryerson Artspace at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto 2017.
Photo courtesy of the artist.

Photo courtesy of the artist.
New Generation Photography Award, Gladstone Hotel 2019.

Installation View from VM Art Gallery at the 2017 Karachi Biennale
Photo courtesy of the artist.

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