Mirror Image series, 2011
Carbon paper and graphite, 8 x 10.5 inches
Lala Rukh lived and worked in Lahore, Pakistan.
Aside from being an accomplished visual artist and a life-long educator, Lala Rukh was among the foremost feminist activists of South Asia.
Lala Rukh’s seminal work from 1992-3, River in an Ocean in mixed media is inspired by glimpses of the river Kabul, perhaps on a moon lit night flight to Peshawar. This anecdote has been recounted on several occasions. It is with this spark of inspiration began a process of reworking the surface, of overlaying locations, times and places into one image that is at the core of much of Lala Rukh’s artistic oeuvre. Later works such as the Mirror Image 2011 series can be seen as the most distilled paring down of the process of overlaying images, a way of getting to the most indispensable, and arriving at the most essential signs of image making just before it disappears completely.
Lala Rukh studied art at Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan (MFA) and University of Chicago, USA (MFA). She taught for 30 years at Punjab University, Department of Fine Art and the National College of Arts where she set up the MA (Hons) Visual Art Program in the year 2000. After retiring from teaching, Lala Rukh devoted her time in her studio in Lahore and to activism. Her work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions, including most recently at the Dhaka Art Summit (2018), Grey Noise, Dubai (2017), Documenta 14, Athens (2017), Drawing Room, London (2017), Yinchuan Biennial, Yinchuan (2016), Sharjah Biennial 12, Sharjah (2015).
Text and image source: The Estate of Lala Rukh
Special Thanks: Grey Noise Gallery