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Shaheer Zazai is a Toronto-based Afghan-Canadian artist with a current studio practice both in painting and digital media. His practice focuses on exploring and attempting to investigate the development of cultural identity in the present geopolitical climate and diaspora.


Through his current painting practice Zazai is exploring the process of instantaneous painting and the translation of raw ideas into a visual narration of the act. It is as though approaching painting like it is a quick sketch of the thought of the moment. This series will serve as means to self-exploration and understanding cultural identity away from ones own homeland.


Simultaneously Zazai's digital work is an exploration into understanding the effects of displacement, hybridization and appropriation as a result of technological advances. The digital works revolves around Microsoft Word and imagery drawn from traditional Afghan carpets. Through mimicking carpet-making methods, he creates his own designs in Microsoft Word, where every knot of a carpet is translated into a typed character. These Microsoft Word carpets serve as homage to the beauty of culture and tradition that has fallen victim to many turbulent political turmoil.


Solo Exhibition


2018        Here Now Back Then
                Double Happiness Projects / Toronto
2012        A Failed Revolution
                2 of 2 Gallery / Toronto
2010        Afghanistan
                2 of 2 Gallery / Toronto


Select Group Exhibitions

2018        Ontario Artists Society 145th Annual Juried Exhibition
                 John B. Aird Gallery / Toronto
2018        VAM40 Annual Juried Exhibition
                Art Gallery of Mississauga / Mississauga
2017        Salon A Cote #1
                A Cote Studio / Toronto
2015        Realized - 5 year celebration of Digital Painting atelier
                Ada Slaight Student Gallery / OCAD University / Toronto
2015        Until Exhibition  
                Good Fellas Gallery / Toronto
2014/15    Experiencing Perspectives
                 Mercedes Benz Juried Exhibition / Toronto
2014         Hazelton Lanes Art Festival
                 Juried Group Exhibition / Toronto
2014         Deck the Walls: 2nd Annual Salon Art Show
                 Project Gallery / Toronto
2014         Frontier Art Exhibition
                 Project Gallery / Toronto
2014         Optic Elixir IV
                 Project Gallery / Toronto
2013         Abstract Implications III - Part 1 & 2
                 Project Gallery and Gallery 1313 / Toronto
2010         A Regime of Chaos
                 Gallery 1313 / Toronto
2009        Disfigured
                 Gladstone Hotel Gallery / Toronto

Education


2011        Bachelors of Fine Arts
               OCAD University

Residency

2015        Digital Painting Atelier
                OCAD University / Toronto

2014        Self Directed Residency
                Artscape Gibraltar Point

Panel Discussion


OCAD Alumni: Navigating the Contemporary World
The Artist Project 2014 : Art Chat / Toronto

Grant

2018        Ontario Arts Council
                 Exhibition Assistance Grant
2016        Ontario Arts Council
                 Emerging Artist Grant

Using Format