Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Opening Reception for Hajra Waheed’s Minutes From a Second Story



Opening Reception: Friday September 13, 2013, 7pm

Free Admission

(coinciding with the 2013 Vancouver Swarm)



September 13-November 2, 2013
Gallery Hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays, 11am-6pm

Montreal-based artist, Hajra Waheed, grew up in Saudi Arabia, within the gated headquarters of Saudi ARAMCO, the largest transnational oil corporation in the world. ARAMCO enforced strict restrictions on the use of photography and video, which, combined with Saudi cultural proscriptions on photography and film, has meant that there is limited documentation of this place and its history.

“Minutes from a Second Story” is a comprehensive body of work that draws on Waheed’s experiences of growing up in Saudi Arabia. The exhibition includes two major bodies of work, The Video Project (2012), a series of small format video works recently commissioned by Centre A, which reflect broadly on contemporary life in the Gulf region; and The Scrapbook Project (2010-2011) a 34 page visual diary comprised of found images, collage and drawings that provide a personal reflection on a period of Gulf history between the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the first Gulf War, during which time the artist lived in Saudi Arabia. Recollecting the memories and geographies of her childhood in ways that are part autobiographical, part imagined or partially remembered, Waheed reflects on the mood and experiences of the everyday.

Hajra Waheed completed a BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2002) followed by an MA (2007) and doctoral studies at McGill University, Montreal. Her work has been included in numerous international group exhibitions, including “Lines of Control,” Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (2012); “In the First Circle,” Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona (2011-12); “Changing Stakes: Contemporary Art Dialogues with Dubai,” Mercer Union, Toronto (2011) and “Different Abstractions,” Green Cardamom, London (2011). Her debut solo exhibition, “The Scrapbook Project” took place at Green Cardamom, London (2012). Her first major Canadian solo exhibition, “Fieldnotes and Other Backstories,” was held earlier this year at the Art Gallery of Windsor. Her work can be found in a number of permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the British Museum and the John Jones Collection, London.

An exhibition brochure with essay by Haema Sivanesan will be available at Centre A.